At this time of year, there are plenty of things that could be keeping you from working out regularly. Midterms and projects are beginning to sap away all of your free time to be used for studying and various sicknesses are striking down students on campus left and right. Thankfully, I don’t get sick very often, but this year my immediate family all had the misfortune of passing some week-long terrible cold or flu virus from one to the other in the past month. I typically work really hard to make room in my schedule for exercise several days each week, but working out was the very last thing on my mind while I was sick.
It’s amazing how much of an effect ten days of sickness or of no exercising in general can have on your body when you try to start exercising again! The feeling of trying to catch up to your former fitness level can be discouraging and exhausting, especially if you make the mistake of trying to jump right back into your routine!
Luckily, Campus Rec offers so many fitness options that you can use to help you build up your endurance again after a workout hiatus for any reason!
Group Fitness Options:
- Start with yoga or Tai Chi. You probably don’t want to jump back into intense cardio or strength classes immediately. Both classes still provide great workouts that will increase your strength and help you feel active again without requiring any jumping around, weights, or heavy breathing.
- Next, try pilates! Pilates uses a lot of similar movements to yoga, but provides a slightly faster pace, more strength exercises, and increases the cardio intensity just a bit.
- Zumba is a great option to start re-building your cardio endurance. You’ll be up on your feet and moving around during the entire class, but there are no weights involved and no specific intense cardio intervals that could send your recovering lungs into a tizzy.
- Barre is a great option for increasing your strength, because you literally have a ballet barre to hold onto for support during the class. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that this class won’t offer a great challenge and leave you feeling strong and accomplished, though!
- Upper body conditioning and lower body conditioning are great classes to focus on strength exercises while incorporating only short bursts of cardio. Prepare yourself for some sore muscles after these classes, though! You may want to choose lighter weights than usual if you’re still trying to recover your strength!
- You’ll want to save Kickboxing, 3-2-1, BOSU Strength/Cardio Circuit, Muscle Cut, Absolution, KickHIIT, and Cycle classes until you’re feeling completely healthy, energized, and up for a challenge! These classes will push you to your limits and really help you gain both cardio and strength endurance after only a few classes!
Find the group fitness class schedule here!
Non-Group Fitness Options:
- First, remember that your own health and fitness is not a competition, so don’t worry about feeling like you have to keep up with the people around you in the gym! After being sick for a week, I couldn’t work out nearly as hard as most other people in the group fitness classes I attended, and that’s ok! What matters most is respecting how your body is feeling, so you don’t push yourself too far and make matters worse!
- Instead of running, try just walking on the treadmill and then gradually increasing your speed to a short run when you feel like you can! Stationary bikes are another great option because they allow you to sit down while you get in an awesome cardio workout.
- Just because you could lift a certain weight or do a certain number of squats last week doesn’t mean that you have to do the same amount this week! Accept the fact that you may need to work your way back up to your goal.
- Create your own workout in the studios upstairs in the SRC! Grab a mat, listen to some music on your phone, and create a self-paced workout using dumbbells, steps, and the big exercise balls – all available to you in the studios when group fitness classes aren’t in progress!
- Go for a swim! Sure, it’s definitely chilly outside, but Bowman Gray Pool is heated, and swimming is wonderfully easy on your joints and muscles. Bundle up, grab a friend, and head to the pool, or go on your own and enjoy the quiet and the feeling of the water supporting your weight!
- Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to take days off as you need it if you become sore or you didn’t get enough sleep the night before!
Judging by the constant sounds of coughing, sneezing and sniffling present in all of my classes lately, I know I’m not the only one who has been feeling a bit under the weather! If you’ve been sick lately, or you just haven’t been able to get comfortably back into a fitness routine in the midst of another busy semester, consider giving yourself a chance to ease into working out with Campus Rec. Our fitness facilities and group fitness classes are waiting to help you establish healthy habits and reach your fitness goals!
Workout Wednesday blog posts are written by UNC Campus Recreation. Each Wednesday we swap blog posts with the Tar Heel Tone Up blog so that readers can view more diverse post topics that will benefit their health and wellness. Workout Wednesday blog posts can be found both here and on tarheeltoneup.com.