You might say juggling three jobs and 19 credits is suicide, but expecting to stay sane and healthy during such a semester? Impossible.
Not for one Dixie State University student. Kelsey King, a sophomore pre-physical therapy major from Frenchtown, Montana, has endured such a workload, and she attributes her survival partially to her fitness classes.
“You get so caught up in your life and so busy, so [fitness classes] let you unwind and also use class credit while setting aside time to work out,” King said.
Whether it’s to supplement their academic lives with active elements or to pencil time in their schedules to stay sane, students like King take advantage of fitness classes. Those who have signed up for varieties of fitness electives shared their favorites, weighing physical benefits and overall enjoyment.
Chloe Winslow, a junior chemistry major from Plain City, has crafted her schedule to include at least one fitness class per semester to balance the rigorous courses her major requires. She has taken Kung Fu four times, and despite taking at least four other fitness classes, she said Kung Fu is by far her favorite.
Winslow said Kung Fu has been one of the most diverse fitness classes she’s taken at DSU; it not only develops students’ self defense skills, but it also involves consistent stretching, cardio and strength training.
“I like to take it for variety, which I didn’t find in any other fitness classes that I’ve taken,” Winslow said. “I’ve (also) learned useful self-defense tactics. All the different moves — if you do them over and over and over again, it becomes a reflex so if you were attacked you’d automatically defend yourself instead of freezing.”
Both King and Arlen Mossgrove, a sophomore integrated studies major from Glennallen, Alaska, said one of their favorite fitness class so far has been volleyball — not particularly for its physical benefits, but because it’s laid-back and fun.
Mossgrove said he could always count on his weekly volleyball class to clear his mind. Also, he was able to meet plenty of people and make new friends with ease, in addition to improving his volleyball game.
“I’m going to take it again next semester; it was way fun,” Mossgrove said. “It’s definitely worth taking because you’ll always have a group of people to play with, and it’s an enjoyable break to your day.”
Caprice Wootton, a sophomore general education major from Heber, said her choice for best fitness class at DSU is mountain biking for the practical riding skills it develops, as well as its exciting nature. Once a week the class rides a different trail (for about three to five hours), and the final entails demonstrating how to change a flat tire.
She said she valued the class because it acted as a weekly opportunity to escape class work and venture outdoors. Also, the class catered to all levels of bikers, from beginner to advanced, since everyone could go his or her own pace on the trails.
“It made me a lot more confident in mountain biking — going alone or with other people better than me,” she said. “Everyone was on different levels, and nobody judged.”
Caprice Wootton’s brother, Preston Wootton, said his favorite fitness class has been golf. Wootton, a junior business major from Heber, said it’s worthwhile not only because it’s an excellent way to de-stress, but also because of its financial value.
“The instructor is a [golf] professional, so it’s basically free lessons,” he said. “You get the whole semester of instruction, and it’s not as expensive as private lessons would be.”
Each class, after about half an hour of coaching on different swings and shots, classmates usually get to play nine holes and sometimes compete in tournaments.
“It’s a good class to better your game and make friends,” Preston Wootton said. “It’s also my day of relaxation. I look forward to it every week; I get to have a friendly competition and just enjoy myself for a few hours.”
As for King, she recommends the fitness center course because it acts as a perfect credit filler that was especially fitting for hectic schedules like hers.
Mossgrove and Preston Wootton all echoed King, saying it was the most convenient class because all it requires is a certain amount of hours per week spent inside the Student Activity Center — whatever day or time — so it’s ideal to customize according to work and academics.
Mossgrove said he enjoyed the diverse options the fitness center class offers because it was simply a matter of punching in and spending the time to do whatever he pleased, whether it meant going to the gym, playing table tennis, bouldering or swimming.
“If you’re not really into the whole working out thing, it helps you to get into the routine and helps you to mentally manage your time between work and school,” he said. “There’s a lot of fun things you can do, and it’s a good credit if you need your electives.”