For those times when you want to be active but just really need a break from the typical gym routine.
By: Ashley Grither
There are countless ways to achieve that feeling of euphoria that comes from having just pushed yourself physically, and not all of them involve a treadmill or dumbbells. Here are some activities that get you moving and can all be done without even leaving Stillwater. The best part? They’re fun, too.
Getting out into the wilderness for a few hours can be such a refreshing break from the stress of college life. The fresh air, the sounds of nature and the strength felt when you push yourself to take that next step when you’re already exhausted all add up to a pretty great afternoon. Although Lake McMurtry doesn’t exactly deliver mountaintop views, its trails can be just the cure when you need a nature fix. Descriptions of its five trails are available on their website so you can find one that’s perfect for what you're wanting. What you’ll gain: endurance and some cute pics.
Dancing is a perfect way to sneak in exercise. There are so many styles you can absolutely find one that you enjoy. Whether you prefer the structure of a step-by-step instructional lesson or the freedom to do your own thing, dance classes aren’t hard to find. The Colvin offers classes in everything from Zumba to Western to hip-hop. And yes, dancing around your apartment to throwbacks from middle school totally counts as exercise, too. What you’ll gain: improved coordination and memory along with some sick moves.
3. Roller Skating
Skating might take a bit of practice to get out of the “inching-along-like-a-child-just-learning-to-walk” phase, but when you do it can be a really great workout. The Roller Dome has discounted days to skate, although I must warn you that with the decreased prices comes an increased number of children, which can become tripping hazards when they suddenly stop right in front of you. What you’ll gain: killer leg muscles and confidence.
4. Jumping on a Trampoline
Trampolining is definitely a less conventional way of getting some exercise in, but a great way to get your heart pounding. The time you spend in the air causes your muscles to contract in order to keep you balanced. Plus, the less rigid mat makes this a low impact workout. Just grab some pals that are down to attempt some tricks and I promise you’ll have a great time. Ultimate Air has discounts nearly every night of the week so getting your jump on should be no problem. What you’ll gain: improved balance and fun memories with friends.
5. Rock Climbing
Climbing can seem a bit daunting when starting out, but once you get to the top of your first wall you’ll understand why it has so many fans. Routes vary in difficulty by color so every skill level can find something that fits what they’re looking for. One of my favorite parts of rock climbing is that it’s a mental challenge in addition to a physical one as figuring out which hold to grab next can sometimes feel like a puzzle. The Colvin has a 25-foot climbing wall and shoes for rent, both of which are available to use with a small fee. What you’ll gain: arm and core strength with a sense of accomplishment.
Although this is a pretty common form of exercise, it so different from cardio or weights so it deserves to be included. As you slowly progress from pose to pose, you have the perfect time to reflect on anything that’s been on your mind lately. Honestly, after completing a yoga sequence there really is only one word that can properly describe the feeling: zen. Once again, there are many different levels to fit your personal style, but even if you’re a total beginner I know you’ll kill it at the savasana (corpse pose). What you’ll gain: peace of mind, improved posture, and flexibility.