“You don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone”: a truly accurate idea summed up by Joni Mitchell in her frequently covered song “Big Yellow Taxi,” and precisely how I feel about the group fitness classes offered at Ohio University’s Ping Recreation Center. Not because they are no longer offered, but because my schedule no longer allows me to attend them!
For much of my sophomore year, I have gotten my exercise through sports as a member of the OU Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team as well as the OU Swim Club. This quarter, however, I focused solely on swimming and exercising on my own. In absence of the direction provided from a team sport which practiced every day, I quickly missed being told what to do.
It is always easier to reach your potential when you have work-out partners or a “coach” of sorts, even for the most motivated of people.
So, what could be better than fellow work-out partners AND an instructor?
In my freshman year, I took full advantage of OU’s group fitness classes. I attended at least two weekly, on top of swimming practice and my own work-outs. When I started ultimate, I decided that two sports was plenty a work out for me, and only occasionally attended a group class.
Now that I have ceased participation in ultimate to focus on my studies, I have also forgone participating in group classes and worked out solely on my own as well as swimming in order to work around my schedule.
I now realize that this is simply not smart.
After attending a Pilates class and a yoga class, I have a whole new appreciation for the opportunity OU’s recreation center is providing me, and any OU student. It took a quarter and a half for me to realize what I had given up!
These classes are an excellent opportunity to try an array of new, exciting ways to strengthen, tone and sweat. The value of an instructor is not to be forgotten! It is both easier to motivate and safer to learn new exercises with an experienced guide.
I take a little something away from each class and incorporate it into my daily workouts. In Pilates, I reinforced my knowledge about core exercises. I learned different, challenging and effective ways to engage core muscles in moves such as leg circles, the hundred, and side kicks. Who knew rolling like a ball could be an exercise?
In yoga, stretches to open hip joints truly relieved joint-pain for me. In preparation for the crazy difficult pose pictured here, you take your bent leg up between your arms, so that your foot and your knee are between either arm, and push back and forth. This helped alleviate the tightness in my joint from an injury last quarter.
There are hundreds of benefits from relieving back pain to posture improvement that come from classes such as these, and a lot to be learned from a trained and experienced instructor to guide you through them.