Getting your Bod in gear for the start of a new year

Students have fun while participating in a Zumba dance routine. Zumba is offered Wednesdays from 12:10-12:45 p.m. and Fridays from 5:10-6:10 p.m. 

To help kick off the start of a new school year, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center at Washburn is offering a wide variety of group exercise classes. These give students the opportunity to work out and do something beneficial for their bodies, while also having fun and making new friends.

“There’s an accountability factor when you get into a group exercise setting,” said Joel Bluml, director of the SRWC. “It’s a great social environment where you get to meet people as well, so it spices up your routine.”

The classes are designed for students of all ability levels, beginner or advanced. Bluml said they don’t want people coming in thinking that they are not in good enough shape to participate.

“The instructors do a fantastic job of educating the classes, so you can trust that not only are you going to work out safely, but that you are going to be pushed to the intensity that you desire to employ,” said Ben Marx, assistant director of the SRWC.

They offer much more than the popular cardio dance classes, such as Zumba. Many of them are hybrid, or combination, classes. These include a mix of cardio and strength exercises for a total body workout.

For example, Functional Fitness, offered on Tuesdays from 8:10 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursdays from 5:10 p.m. to 6 p.m., includes a very exciting and dynamic strength training routine.

“We want to make sure we’re offering a group exercise schedule that has a very good variety and blend,” said Marx. “They’re exciting and interesting to the student population.”

Most of the class instructors are Washburn students. All group exercise classes are free to Washburn students, faculty and staff. People are encouraged to bring along friends. Comments and feedback are welcome. Bluml said that students can feel free to email them or stop by the SRWC to talk.

“We really encourage students to let us know what they think about what we’re offering,” said Bluml.

Margeaux Seymour, senior psychology major, instructs the Zumba classes offered on Wednesdays from 12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m. and Fridays from 5:10 p.m. – 6 p.m.

“Zumba is fun. It’s different. It’s social,” said Seymour. “I want to help people reach fitness goals or establish new ones.”

Seymour also instructs Dance N’ Sculpt, offered on Thursdays from 7:10 p.m. – 8 p.m.

McKensie Gnagi, sophomore kinesiology major, instructed a kickboxing class for the first two weeks and will now be teaching the Boot Camp Program three days a week starting on Sept. 4.

“This class is going to boost your endurance and overall fitness level,” said Gnagi. “It’s a full body workout so you’ll really get the most out of your time.”

Gnagi will be teaching the Boot Camp Program on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:10 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Other classes offered include Indoor Cycling, Yoga, Lethal Legs, Circuits, Core and Dance Aerobics.

Students can sign up for classes at the SRWC on the day of the class they want to attend, but no earlier than an hour before the class begins. This allows students to change up their exercise routine, try different classes and ensures that spots will be available for other students if conflicts arise.

Most classes have a maximum of 20 participants. The cycling classes can only hold 12 people due to a limited number of bikes.

The full schedule of classes can be found at Schedules are also posted throughout the SRWC and on the television screen at the front desk. The schedule that was in use before Labor Day has been updated and improved to include more classes and times.

“We just really want to encourage people to try new things,” said Bluml. “You may have to try a few things before you find your niche, but once you find your niche it can make a big, big difference.”