Top 7 Kent State workouts

Madison Goerl, Reporter

Exercise rates have continued to drop even after a 2018 study that found only 23% of adults in the U.S. meet physical activity guidelines.

With a rise in nationwide obesity rates, the U.S. faces a greater risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

To combat this change, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals get a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity and two strength training sessions per week. Those who train for 300 minutes or beyond gain substantial health benefits.

Physical activity can help prevent eight types of cancer including bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, stomach and lung in adults.

Heavy course work requires many college students to remain seated for most of the day. Kent State is aware of this barrier and offers on and off-campus fitness opportunities.

Seven Kent State students shared their favorite workouts that make a perfect addition to a busy school week.

1. Running (Monday)

As an aerobic form of exercise, running can strengthen muscles and bones, limiting a loss of bone density caused by age.

Running outside also has many health benefits and targets the main stress systems in the body. A study by the University of Essex found that outdoor exercise can trigger lower adrenaline and cortisol levels.

Running also provides a challenge for sophomore political science major Will Mihalow.

“I always want to see if I can run further each time, and I like listening to new music,” Mihalow said.

2. Dance (Tuesday)

Kent State offers five dance-based physical activity, wellness and sport courses that count towards all majors’ credit requirements.

In her tap class, senior education major Madison Higgins said she definitely gets a workout.

“Tap dancing is a cardio workout the entire time,” she said. “I definitely have more energy throughout my day, but my upper body is definitely sore from holding my arms up the whole time.”

3. Upper body weight training (Wednesday)

Over time, the body’s fat percentage will increase without strength training excerises. Strength training is a great way to maintain or lose weight by increasing the body’s metabolism.

It’s important that strength training sessions rotate through all major muscle groups with at least one rest day in between.

Weightlifting is how sophomore digital media production major Connor Schee achieves his aesthetic fitness goals.

“I want to look good and relieve stress,” he said.

By implementing two strength training sessions per week, the Mayo Clinic staff said weightlifters like Schee can look and feel their best.

4. Yoga (Thursday)

In addition to aerobic and strength training, the CDC recommends both balance and flexibility training. Yoga is sophomore public relation major Katherine Masko’s preferred way to fit a workout into her busy schedule.

“I find that I’m more refreshed, relaxed and calmer directly after classes,” she said. “In the long run, I smile and laugh more than I used to.”

She also uses yoga as a break from course work and has noticed an improvement in her academic performance.

“I never do homework after my yoga classes because they are at night, but I like to implement yoga breathing when I get overwhelmed or stressed while doing class work. It always gets me back on track,” Masko said.

5. Lower Body Weight Training (Friday)

In a study of 23,635 German adults, strength training was linked to improved quality of sleep.

Because college students spend five to eight hours a day seated, it can be difficult to burn enough energy throughout the day. This can result in restless and delayed sleep.

“I’ll notice that if I don’t work out, it takes me so much longer to fall asleep just because my body wants to move,” sophomore nursing major Emily Mayer said.

6. Spin Class (Saturday)

Spin class is a combination of high intensity interval training, resistance training and strength training. This is done on a stationary bike to the beat of the music.

“It’s high intensity cardio, but it doesn’t feel like a normal workout because the music you’re cycling to is different every time,” junior communication studies major Kaitlyn McNamara said.

With motovational instructors, riders can expect words of encouragement alongside fast-paced, endurance training.

“It leaves me in a much better headspace after I leave and unlike other workouts, it makes me want to keep coming back,” McNamara said.

7. Active Rest Day (Sunday)

Recovery days are crucial for a training routine because they allow time for muscle repair.

Active recovery can include activities such as walking, stretching, foam rolling or even golf.

“Golfing is a relaxing leisure sport. I like going with people and making a little challenge out of it,” sophomore advertising major Taylor Hajtol said.

Active rest days serve as a time to monitor your body’s needs. They can help prevent over-training injuries and burnout.

Studies have shown that any exercise, even if it falls below the weekly recommended amount, can greatly improve one’s health.

Visit Kent State Recreational Services for a full list of group fitness classes offered on campus.

Madison Goerl is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]