How do YOU get your workout in, Buffs? CUI Staffers Sam Routhier and Sean Kelly debate whether the CU Rec is the fitness be-all-end-all, or whether the great outdoors (or your bedroom floor) are better alternatives for staying in shape.
Sam Routhier: To lift is to love thyself
Sometimes life is difficult. Whether you did the wrong reading for a quiz or your roommate ate that last piece of pizza you’ve been dreaming about all day, some days just aren’t the best. But even when you feel like you have no control over anything, there is one thing that you and only you can control: your workout.
Going to the gym is a great way to relieve stress and take control of your day. There are no negatives (health-wise) of going to the gym. Just by walking in, you have already taken a step toward creating a better self. Once you’re inside, the rest is up to you. Maybe it’s chest day, so you head over to the bench press. Maybe you’re feeling that it’s time for some squats. Whatever exercises you choose are up to you, and the gym is a place where you have complete control.
While there are many ways to exercise, lifting weights at the gym is a tried and true method that guarantees results. There is a reason they call it getting “in shape”; your goal is to change your body’s shape in a positive way. And while you can burn calories any number of ways, if you’re looking to gain some muscle mass, the best way to do it is by getting in the weight room, picking things up and putting them down.
So, if you’re looking to take control of your life, or just your shape, get in the gym and lift some weights.
Sean Kelly: What about a quick, traditional workout in the comfort of your own home?
The life of a college student is a busy one. Between class, homework, on-campus organizations, and just hanging out with friends, no one attending CU has much free time to go work out, unless they carve it into their schedule.
This is why working out at home might be a better option. Why would one walk to the Rec Center everyday when a short core circuit on the floor of their bedroom can do the trick? There is not a more efficient way to workout than doing a quick series of pushups and sit-ups. There is a reason gym teachers show you these basic exercises first: they work. They may not sound dynamic and flashy, but you will notice the results if they are done consistently. As you get stronger and the workout gets easier, just add more reps.
The best part about these exercises is that they leave almost no excuse not to do them. The whole series takes 20 minutes or less and everybody, even busy CU students, can squeeze in time for a 20 minute workout at home.
If you want to exercise your legs, you can do lunges across the living room. If your abs need work, you can do planks in your garage. You can even use your door frame to do pull ups. The possibilities for quick, in-home workouts are endless, and frankly, more efficient for a busy college student.
Sam Routhier: Who wouldn’t want to hang out at the Rec Center?
While core exercises in your room can certainly make for a quick and easy workout, the Rec is not that far out of the way. Going to our new, pristine recreation center could be as easy as bringing a workout bag with you to class and then making the five or 10-minute walk from anywhere on campus.
Once you’re at the Rec, your possibilities seem endless. From traditional weights and treadmills to punching bags, it provides a number of alternative exercise choices.
There are classes you can sign up for, including swimming, Zumba, pilates, yoga, spin classes and traditional classes focused on strength (among many more options). Going to fitness classes effectively guarantees that you’re getting a workout in, and also provides the extra motivation of working out with others.
But the opportunity at the Rec doesn’t stop there. Just take a look at all of the intramural sports CU offers. Signing up for anything from badminton to soccer guarantees that you’ll be exercising at least one day a week. On top of that, intramurals are just generally a good time, and if your team happens to be good, you can earn an elusive intramural championship T-shirt out of it.
Beyond organized classes and sports, the Rec features a number of fitness options. You could head to the climbing wall and get a full body workout by rock climbing. If you’re looking to get some cardio in and not looking forward to walking 3 miles daily, you can pretty much always find a pickup basketball game going on at the courts. And if you feel like you deserve some fun after a tough workout, then there is, of course, the buffalo-shaped pool.
Sean Kelly: Why complicate things? Just go for a run.
There are a lot of features to try out at the Rec, but let’s keep it simple, Buffs. Running just three times a week is one of the best workouts you can get, especially at this high altitude. Playing a sport can be fun, but it is often challenging to get a group of people together, and all the different things to do at the Rec can be overwhelming. When going for a run, all you need is a pair of sneakers, motivation and a half hour. Even if it is short distance, going on regular jogs will boost your stamina and metabolism, which will lead to more productive workouts overall.
Also, don’t forget that you’re jogging in Boulder, where your options include the bike path that Sam mentioned above, a trail along the creek and the beautiful scenery of the Hill, campus and Chautauqua, just to name a few.
For those who thrive on competition, you can find a group to run with or continue to run farther and faster. Outside, there is direct proof of the strides you’re taking, and progress is more tangible outside than on the “Quick Start” screen on the treadmill.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writers Sam Routhier and Sean Kelly at Samuel.Routhier@colorado.edu and Sean.Kelly@colorado.edu.