Given our active student body at UNH, many students come back for fall semester motivated to start off the semester with a new workout routine. Many can find the gym to be overwhelming and the chaos of back to school season to be too much. The beginning of the semester is the perfect time to try a new approach to physical activity, and September just happens to be national yoga month! So toss on some comfy clothes, grab a water bottle and head to a class right on campus!
Yoga classes are available to students at the Hamel Rec Center six days a week at various times and through UNH Health Services on Wednesdays and Fridays of every week. Both facilities offer free classes to students that are typically around 45 minutes and can be tailored from beginners to experts right in the same class. Yoga is a great hobby because it requires no additional equipment (yoga mats are usually available at both locations) and it is individualized in the sense that once you have learned a few basic moves you can practice and challenge yourself at your own pace.
The real question though, is it actually a good workout? Contrary to popular belief, yoga can be a demanding class. For a perspective, according to livestrong.com, an average intensity yoga class for a 155lb individual can burn nearly 300 calories. The difference with yoga, why it may not seem as ‘tough’ as weight lifting or cardio, is that the mental control and calmness between every position makes you aware of each muscle being worked in your body. Yoga is a great alternative to other exercise because it strengthens your muscles and bones without a lot of impact on joints; however they are all working just as hard. Check out the Campus Rec yoga page which lists many of the health benefits, from building core strength to building stamina, not to mention the mental relaxation yoga gives many as well. It is that time of year to try something new, and start off the semester with some fun, new healthy habits. So go give yoga a try!
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