By KRISTEN GARAFANO
A stereo at the front of the room blasts energetic dance hits as students mirror the movements of an instructor standing before them. The class moves in unity, spinning and stepping at a fast, upbeat pace.
At Ramapo College, students kickbox, dance salsa and ride stationary bikes in several different intramural classes offered to provide workouts to help students get fit and stay fit.
Monday thru Friday, programs such as Zumba, Kickboxing and Spinning can be taken in the Bradley Center Dance Studio and Auxillary Gym on campus.
“Zumba is a lot of fun,” said junior Monica Jimenez, who tries to go once a week. “It makes me feel like I’m not working out. There’s fun music and fun people, and I feel good after it.”
Zumba is one of the most popular intramural classes taught at Ramapo. The hour long weekly class combines footwork and body movements from different styles of dance such as flamenco and salsa, all to popular songs that can be heard on the radio.
Zumba is a fast paced exercise that many love because they don’t even feel like it’s a workout.
“You’re not using any equipment in the gym. It’s an easy workout you get while dancing, having fun and moving your body to the beat,” Jimenez said.
The lively dance workout originated back in the mid 90s when fitness instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez forgot to bring his traditional aerobics music to a class. Instead, he used his own tapes of salsa music he grew up with in Colombia and Zumba was born on the spot.
Another intramural class held on campus is kickboxing. It combines elements of boxing, martial arts, and aerobics to provide overall physical conditioning and toning.
“Kickboxing is a very effective workout,” said junior Alexa Levan. “It’s also good if you have any anger or stress that you need to let out.”
At kickboxing, participants get to hear their favorite dance mixes as they increase their stamina, flexibility and strength while doing movements such as knee strikes, kicks and punches.
In the weekly spinning class, an instructor leads the class through routines designed to simulate terrain or riding a bike outdoors.
Students have found these programs to be very beneficial. “I like that I can go to these classes rather than just go to the gym,” Levan said.
Beat the Freshman 15
Weight gain is a serious concern among many students in college. A study done by Cornell University found that on average, college freshman gain about 0.5 pounds a week, which is almost 11 times more than the average weight gain of 17 and 18 year olds.
According to students, the workouts provided on campus are very effective when it comes to their overall fitness. “Whenever I get done with Zumba, I’m always exhausted,” Jimenez said. “But I definitely feel like it works. I always feel sore afterwards. I think it’s a great way for students to lose weight or feel healthier, especially people who are worried about gaining weight.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to eat healthy in college, so having these classes to go to is a definitely a good thing,” said Levan.
Jimenez said she also likes that Zumba is offered multiple times throughout the week, making it easier for her to fit it into her schedule.
“I love Zumba,” Jimenez said. “It’s like a party when you’re working out.”