So after writing about the benefit of Pilates in July, I finally decided to fit a class into my schedule. Because I had done an hour-long spin class the day before and planned on doing a long run the day after, it was the perfect low-impact workout.
I got there about 15 minutes early, grabbed a thick blue mat right outside the room and found my spot (in the back corner of course). Then, I followed all the flexible looking people to two bins in the opposite corner of the room to grab a longer, thinner black yoga mat. As I followed each move they made, I realized the black mat goes on top of the blue mat – the blue is for padding. After setting up my space, I looked around and noticed I was the only one still wearing my shoes and socks. With a little hesitation, I freed my feet and waited patiently for class to get started.
It seemed that over 50 people were there. Like most classes I’ve attended, there was a mix of experts and newbies. Amy, the instructor, came in, plugged in her iPod and got class started. Here it goes. Forty-five minutes of intense stretching and core work.
We started with some extreme ab exercises, and within minutes, I was feeling it. Amy spent a few seconds telling us how to do the move then we would get to work. So that I could completely focus on my breathing and the move, Amy would count down the reps for the class. The moves varied in time, however most moves were about a minute or less. This helped me push through the workout – if I could feel my muscles burning from one move, I only had to get through it for a short bit!
We were taught how to breathe in Pilates. You simply breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. It’s a little difficult to explain how to breathe out, but if I could put it in words, I would say it’s like saying “shhh.” At the beginning of each class, this will be explained (much better than I can explain it).
Overall, the class was refreshing. Although I looked like I was struggling on a few moves, I’m excited to go back at least once a week so I can get more and more flexible. Stretching and core work is so important – it gives you good posture, helps prevent injuries and makes you look long and lean. Read more of its benefits here.
To see when Pilates and other group fitness classes are going on, click here.
I don’t know about you, but I slacked off with my workouts during winter break. So, to get back into my fitness groove, I attended Campus Rec’s Spring Into Fitness event on Thursday, January 12th. This great Campus Rec sampler featured free food, fitness classes, TRX demos and more!
I started with ‘Core,’ a fitness class taught by Krissy. I didn’t think a 30 minute class would be too painful. However, when you’re only working your abs and obliques (which for the past four weeks had been stuffed with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and pie), each minute felt as long as a minute in a chemistry 101 class. Although my abs were sore for the next few days, it motivated me to keep up my momentum and prep for Spring Break (it’ll be here before we know it!).
After doing too many crunches to count, I checked out the “Ask a Nutritionist.” For a couple hours, trainers and nutritionists were available to ask all your questions on how to work out and what to eat. The best nutritional advice I got: be sure to include healthy fat, carbs and protein in each meal. The example I was given:
- Salad with lots of veggies (carbs)
- Olive oil salad dressing (fat)
- Grilled chicken on top (protein)
Eating this combination will provide your body with everything it needs. After the holidays, I needed some meal-plan ideas so that when I hit the dining hall, I’ll be in the salad line instead of grabbing one too many cookies.
Be sure to check out Campus Rec’s website to find out more of what they offer here – http://campusrec.unc.edu/unc. Their services include personal training, boot camp classes, climbing walls and countless group fitness classes. Also, take a look at the nutrition page on Campus Health Services website for some more great advice here – http://campushealth.unc.edu/healthtopics/nutrition.
Secrets to Running a 5K Race: Everyday Health gives tips on how to run your first 5k, what to wear and how to stay motivated.
Top 10 Nutrition Misconceptions: Food Network’s Health Eats shares 10 nutrition misconceptions and spills the truth on each one. Bet you didn’t know that “wheat” bread and “whole wheat” bread may not be the same thing and one can be a lot less healthy than the other!
All-Star Core Moves: This Oxygen Magazine slideshow demonstrates five extremely effective core exercises. Do each one a few times a week and soon you may be looking something like Mike ‘The Situation’ from Jersey Shore…or at least a little more toned than you were before!
Rest and Recovery After Exercise: This article discusses the importance of taking a day off from working out and how rest can actually increase your sports performance. With a full course load, we can all support a day of some good rest and relaxation.