BYU offers alternative to the gym


    By Christian Fehlberg

    For students interested in taking an aerobic class without feeling like they are the special at a meat market, BYU has come to the rescue.

    The new BYU Aerobic Fitness Program offers a variety of aerobics classes to both students and local community members, and for many, the program is a breath of fresh air.

    “It is a little bit safer, more comfortable environment than a gym,” said Jessica Sorensen, secretary for Health and Human Performance Services.

    Aerobics at BYU used to be part of the intramurals program, but a year ago the university formed the BYU Aerobic Fitness Program. “I think it”s great,” Sorensen said. “Our enrollment has gone up and now a lot more people can participate.”

    Although aerobics at BYU isn”t new, Sorensen said the Aerobic Fitness Program offers many classes that were not previously part of the intramural program and allows people other than registered BYU students to participate.

    “We offer step kickbox, aerocardio kickbox, power yoga, water aerobics and powertone classes to all of the students, faculty and dependants at BYU,” said Deni Preston, assistant coordinator of the BYU Aerobic Fitness Program. “We also offer [the classes] to anyone who lives in a BYU ward or has a college I.D. card, including UVSC.”

    The program was organized in order to offer students all the things they wanted from a gym, but in the university environment and at a lower cost.

    “We opened up our classes to everyone about a year ago,” Preston said. “[Doing so] has given so many people the opportunity to take fitness classes in an educational atmosphere.”

    Top-notch instructors are important to students. The program coordinators work hard to get good, certified instructors, Sorensen said.

    Preston said the instructors of the aerobics classes are extremely qualified.

    “The instructors are exceptional,” she said. “They are all certified internationally and are on the cutting edge in all they teach.”

    The program is gaining popularity among BYU students and non-students alike. While there are many reasons people decide to get involved with the program, Sorensen said that a lot of girls get invloved because they see aerobics as the most appealing opportunity for physical exercise.

    “Not every girl is going to play intramural flag football,” Sorensen said. “It is important for them to have an outlet for recreation.”

    Of course, the aerobics program is not limited to females only. In fact, Sorensen said the Yoga classes have become extremely popular for both guys and girls.

    Preston said that everyone needs aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility to reduce the risk of diseases such as obesity, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

    “We have these programs in place to help with our wellness,” Preston said. “When people work out they tend to eat better, they sleep better, they even clear the cobwebs out of their thinking – you know, like brain-fog.”

    “Sometimes, we concentrate too much on what we look like rather than how we feel,” she said. “[In aerobics] we seek to lift our sights to being the best we can with what we have and take good care of our bodies. The energy of the students in contagious and everyone has a great time.”

    Anyone can attend his or her first class for free. Those interested in more information on the aerobics program can visit 112 RB, call 422-3644 or visit Spouses of BYU students, university faculty, dependents and BYU alumni can take the classes for the same price as students. Classes are $32-$38 per semester. Others in the community who wish to participate may register for classes by paying an additional $5 registration fee.

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