Coogs jump at chance to remain healthy in fun way

Busy schedules, assignments, projects and work keep students on their toes; it is a competitive spirit that drives most individuals to go to college. But of all activities, workout and fitness regimes don’t often take a toll on students.

Recent changes in lifestyle jam-packed with smartphones, podcasts, fast foods and demanding office hours have forced individuals to adopt healthy living. Organic foods and grocery consumptions are on the rise.

According to The New York Times, a sudden shift to drinking tea from soda in Americans was studied, and it is estimated that around 10 billion of green tea servings is consumed each year.

These health regimes also have popularized the idea of nutritional supplements intake. Ads popping on Facebook and Twitter pages endorsing different diet pills are trending. The ill effects of these weight loss pills are typically more common than the benefits promised.

The range of products for these dietary supplements have flooded the market shelves, despite the fact that Congress passed a law in 1994 enabling manufacturers of these products to sell them as foods without prior FDA approval. This has led to misused supply of these dietary pills with controversial ingredients sold as natural products.

But amidst all the commercialization and business selling ideas, a major group of people believes in keeping it simple for being healthy. Regular exercise to burn calories, making a note of carbohydrate intake and light cardio workouts are conveniently preferred by most.

Besides health benefits from regular gym sessions, frequent exercise has proven to aid in concentration, according to Reader’s Digest. The brain needs blood circulations and oxygen flow that boosts its functioning.

Despite a strenuous day, most UH students seem to make most out of the Recreation and Wellness Center. Students, staff and teachers taking time out of their days for workout sessions, and it is a delight to see how the gym is overwhelmingly occupied with people throughout the day.

The parking lot opposite to the Recreation and Wellness Center gets full by 7:30 a.m. by the early birds. Late comers are not spared with any excuses whatsoever.

What strikes as most popular among the health conscious ones are group fitness classes that combine aerobics with dance forms. Insanity and Zumba classes appear to be a hit for the girls.

For Heber Ramirez, UH Zumba instructor and eduction senior, he said he noticed that much of his classes were comprised of women.

“I see them coming out here to de-stress themselves from the daily hectic schedules,” Ramirez said. “It serves as an escape for the students, and I absolutely love being a Zumba instructor here.”

UH Insanity instructor and petroleum engineering sophomore Melanie Cardenas said she appreciates the opportunity to “change someone’s life completely” as an instructor.

“The fact that (students) come to one of my fitness classes and ask me questions about being healthier makes me feel like I am impacting their life,” Cardenas said. “Telling people what to do isn’t the fun part about teaching. It’s the part where they approach me at the end of the class and ask me how they can continue to strive for success and actually do it.”

“I know I’ve changed people’s lives because they show me before and after pictures of their bodies and how they have physically and mentally changed. That’s the best part of being a fitness instructor.”

The groovy music in these classes make working out fun and enjoyable. The night club cardio and dance lessons are other group fitness sessions to look forward to.

Mechanical engineering graduate student Sai Teja Gaddipatti said he has reasons more than health benefits to workout in the gym.

“I worked out keeping a target in mind,” Gaddipatti said, laughing. “I wanted to flaunt a beach body during the Spring Break in South Padre.”

Mechanical engineering graduate student Shiva Joshi said he believes that hitting the gym enables him to relish all kinds of food without cutting down on any diet plans. Being a food lover, his priorities are not compromised with a healthy regime maintaining his build.

For students who don’t make working out a priority, know that having a healthy balance of work and play is essential for everyday life. The recommended frequency of exercising is 3 to 5 times a week to live a healthy lifestyle.

Opinion columnist Aishwarya Gogoi is a petroleum engineering graduate student and may be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment