With spring break just around the corner, students have spent the last few weeks taking advantage of the Wellness Center and warm weather by jumpstarting their exercise routines. Whether trying to get a “bikini body” or simply relieve some stress – there are many ways to achieve the wanted results.
For some, working out alone can result in little motivation or success. If this is a problem, the Wellness Center offers many fitness programs for students and the community – ranging from the peaceful art of tai chi to fast-paced cardio workouts and everything in between.
Amber Miller, junior from Owensboro, Ky., is a Zumba instructor at the Wellness Center. Zumba is the newest fitness craze on campus, with more patrons attending its classes than any other exercise program on campus.
“On average we have about 75 to 100 people on Mondays and Wednesdays,” she said. “It’s the most successful of the Wellness Center programs.”
Its slogan, “join the party,” defines the Zumba experience as a fun and energetic way to exercise. Miller said the people attending Zumba are those who do not normally engage in an exercise routine.
“People just love it,” Miller said. “You can get as crazy with it as you want and workout at your own speed.”
Regardless of the workout routine, exercise is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. While some are aware of the visual effects of exercise, few know just how beneficial creating a routine can be in the long run.
The benefits of exercise reach far beyond the physical spectrum. According to the U.S. News and World Report, there are a plethora of unseen benefits of working out – including warding off future disease, such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
As the semester has reached its halfway point – a pivotal point in many students’ academic term – exercise can also benefit people as a way to reverse the effects of stress.
Spending as little time as 30 minutes on a treadmill per day can result in the production of calming chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, in the brain. These stress-relieving hormones not only help care for the damage created by stress, but also relieve the effects of depression.
Kathryn Moore, senior from Louisville, Ky., said she thoroughly enjoys working out and maintaining her level of personal fitness.
“I try to get in a cardio workout at least four times a week,” she said.
The weather has made this an even more enjoyable experience for Moore, as she said she prefers to run outdoors.
Beyond the Wellness Center, Murray State has the loop that students often use for outdoor exercise. The loop has three different distances people can take to meet the needs of all the different fitness levels. The entire loop is two miles, with different routes indicating the varying distances offered.
A sign indicating the direction of the loop and its start and finish is located in front of the gates at Olive Street.
If you wish to stay off campus, or find a running route closer to your home, there are other options available.
The website www.mapmyrun.com has many routes mapped out with their distance and average time length listed as well.
For more information on Wellness Center exercise program dates and hours, check out the Murray State website. The Wellness Center is free to all Murray State students.