Stay healthy during winter by staying fit at the Rec


Freshman fashion design major Changgyun Kim climbs the rock wall at the Recreational Center on Thursday, Jan. 19. Kim enjoys rock climbing as a hobby and for exercise. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Jason Scarnecchia

A cold, snowy start to spring semester is enough to keep most people indoors and under a blanket. But don’t let the winter weather keep you from staying healthy.

“Exercise is an excellent way, in terms of stress management, to stay healthy — and an excellent way to stay fit,” said Scott Dotterer, coordinator of Kent State’s Office of Health Promotion. The Student Recreation and Wellness Center focuses on programs to help you exercise during winter.

The Rec offers a wide variety of daily Group-X classes that incorporate cardio and body-strengthening exercises. Spinning is an intensive cycling workout where you can choose from “all-terrain” Cyclocross or The Long Ride, for those who want a longer workout.

Catering to the recent Zumba craze, the Rec added a new Group-X class this semester called Aqua Zumba. According to the Rec’s website, it’s a safe, challenging, water-based workout that’s cardio-conditioning and body-toning.

Rachael Decker, wellness coordinator for the Rec, said the class was full during demo week.

“Various Rec members and students had asked about Aqua Zumba, especially since the regular Zumba classes are a current hit,” said Danielle Novotny, Aqua Zumba instructor. “In Aqua Zumba, participants are getting an intense cardiovascular exercise, similar to the one on land. The only difference is that participants’ heart rates are not going to go as high up due to the temperature of the water.”

The Rec also offers instructional courses, which have at least two sessions throughout the semester and run for about a month. Courses like Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu, Boot Camp and One Well U Walking are all offered and usually run two days a week.

The outdoorsy types can visit the Adventure Center while they wait for spring to come. The Rec offers Free-Climb Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., where students and members can tackle the climbing wall at no cost.

“It’s a way to get people engaged and interested in the sport of climbing,” said Jason Hawk, marketing coordinator for Recreational Services. Climbing clinics for amateur and experienced climbers are also available.

The Rec has Adventure Trips to offer to those who are looking for a thrill during the semester. The Cross Country Ski trip that goes to Lake Metroparks Chapin Forest Reservation is scheduled for Feb. 4, with registration ending on Feb. 1.

Register by Feb. 17 to spend your spring break kayaking and camping on the Georgia Spring Break Trip. Or if you’re looking for something more intense, the New River Rafting trip takes you whitewater rafting in West Virginia. The registration deadline is March 16.

Whatever route you take to stay fit, remember that ample sleep and a well-balanced diet go hand in hand with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

“When students are stressed they need to re-energize and refocus,” Dotterer said. “It’s important to balance academics and balance your healthy lifestyle.”

Visit the Rec for more information on courses and events.

Contact Jason Scarnecchia at [email protected].