Breaking out of a workout rut

Shae Slaughter

College is awesome, but sometimes I miss high school for one simple reason: sports. During my teenage years I was able to play indoor sports pretty much all year long, and it was a great way to stay active. Nowadays, it feels like I’m stuck with a treadmill and an elliptical if I’m looking to get my cardio in. With that fact in mind, I think it’s important to look for other ways to get moving because my 22-year-old metabolism surely won’t last forever (even if my love of Doritos does).

In other areas of the country there are all kinds of fun activities available that aren’t always an option here in Michigan. With our brutal winters, high wind chills and low temperatures, surfing sounds pretty unpleasant, as does hiking or basically anything outdoors. Unfortunately, that limits workout options even more, but as Grand Valley State University students, we still have some great options. 

Going to school at GVSU means that we can travel to Grand Rapids, Grandville or any other surrounding town to take full advantage of resources that might not be in Allendale. However, as students, we’re also lucky to have an awesome recreation facility at our disposal. The Rec Center even offers group classes if you’re looking to change up your workout. There’s a small fee attached, but it’s really worth it if you’re looking for a change. 

Still, if you don’t live on campus, or if most of your classes are on the Pew Campus, driving to Allendale to work out can seem both daunting and unlikely. Personally, I have a Planet Fitness membership because it is closer to where I live and the fees are pretty low. However, even with that membership fee being extracted from my bank account every month, I feel very little motivation to drive the 1.6 miles to the gym. Of course, I want to stay healthy and I want to get my heart rate up, but I just don’t like running that much. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way, either. 

I definitely don’t hate exercise. I just hate being stuck in one cycle. In an effort to keep myself from becoming a couch potato, I’ve tried out a few different options. First, I tried out Zumba. I used to dance in middle school, so I thought something that involved a little rhythm and a lot of music would be a bunch of fun. Turns out, it was. I was definitely the youngest person there, but it was a great low-impact workout nonetheless.

My next big workout adventure involved bouldering. For those of you who don’t know what bouldering is, it is essentially rock climbing without ropes. Yikes, right? Luckily, they break down the climbing routes into levels, so I knew exactly which rocks to start with (aka the easy ones). After I got over the initial fear of falling to my death, I actually loved it. The best thing about bouldering was that it got my heart pumping while also targeting muscle groups that my normal workouts don’t seem to. 

Still on my to-do list is trying out the new workout craze that involves barres. Once again, it will suit my dance background, but it is also a great full-body workout that involves no running and no winter weather. It fits all of my requirements.

There are so many options out there for someone who’s interested in making their lifestyle more active. Of course, don’t hesitate to use GVSU’s resources, but trying something new is great, too. The treadmill can get a little dull, so don’t limit yourself. Even something simple like a new workout class could become your favorite hobby.