Want to get active during the minimal free time you have? It feels like there is a midterm every week when you’re a University of Toronto student — like there’s less and less time to de-stress and enjoy yourself. Luckily, The University of Toronto offers programs for students throughout this brisk season. Many of which I highly recommend you try out. Some are drop-in sessions, while others involve pre-registration, but the following is a good mixture of both. So, get out of the cold and warm up with some great exercises. It will energize you for the rest of your day! And help you towards those fitness goals!
Zumba “All Levels” or “Strong By Zumba”
Throughout the week, the All-Level Zumba is offered. And, on Saturdays, try your skills at Strong By Zumba. These are all drop-in sessions, so try them out as you get closer to your fitness goals. The difference is that Strong By Zumba incorporates a muscle conditioning challenge, among cardio and plyometric training (in synchronization with music). If you are a beginner, don’t fret! Take on this challenge and test it out — it’s the next level to ordinary Zumba! Zumba All Levels is a great fifty-minute class of cardiovascular work. If you are new to exercising and are looking for something exciting, Zumba is the perfect place to start. Please note that the location of these sessions can differ, and the schedule may change, so visit their drop-in schedule for the latest information.
Drop-In Nia: Vitality Programming and Nia “Moving To Heal”
Nia involves sensory-based movement. It is a combination of dance, martial arts, yoga, and mindfulness practices. Your mind, emotions, and body will be invigorated through music and energetic sequences to engage your mental and emotional state, leaving you stress-free and happier. I recommend Nia for anyone looking to channel their stress. Or if you’re looking for a good break from studying. If you are injured or in need of a gentle session, Nia Moving to Heal is worth checking out. It’s still vibrant and energetic, but at a calmer pace. These drop-in sessions are held at various places, so look for updates.
Body Shock: Conditioning
These sessions involve HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and are faster paced and hardcore. These drop-in sessions are fifty minutes of intense workouts. So, if you’re feeling out of shape, get into this and start feeling better! It works really well if you’re eating a high protein diet. Put some energy in to be rewarded physically and mentally. Wear your best running or training shoes, and comfortable workout clothing. Schedules are also available online.
Tabata is another form of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) where you perform short bursts of cardiovascular and strength exercises alongside short rest periods. You can use these drop-in sessions to enhance your current training regime and increase the capacity of your cardiovascular strength.
Core BT Classes (Butt + Thighs) and Core BT Barre
In short, these Core BT sessions aim to work your core muscle groups and upper leg muscles. Drawing inspiration from pilates and training techniques, you’ll focus on strengthening and increasing your flexibility. Strengthening these areas can help with your posture and make your legs feel stronger (instead of like gelatin from studying in a chair). Additionally, you may take this one step further by attending a Core BT Barre class. Core BT Barre incorporates classical ballet barre techniques and Core BT movements for a challenging journey to flexibility and strength. Visit the drop-in schedule for class information throughout the week.
The Morning Yoga Flow
These are Vinyasa-based classes involving fluid movements and transitions. You will flow from one posture to the next and focus on your endurance, flexibility, and strength. Due to the attention you place on each movement, these classes can be challenging. Therefore, it’s recommended that you have some experience with yoga prior to this. Yoga is for everyone, so try it out and don’t worry about what others think. It’s an all-inclusive environment at the University of Toronto. These sessions do not require any pre-registration! And they are highly recommended if you want to de-stress before your earlier classes of the day. Check it out!
Dance, Dance, Dance
These sessions require pre-registration. They also involve high energy and fast-paced dancing in short, easy to learn routines every week. Salsa, jive, tango, waltz (and more!) as you move along to your favourite old (and new) hits! No partner necessary as you get your cardio in for the day. If you are searching for a specific dance experience, the University of Toronto offers many dance classes such as Ballroom Dancing, Ballet, Salsa, Belly Dance, Latin, Hip-hop, K-Pop, and Jazz. Many of which have several variations available. Keep in mind that each individual session may recommend the appropriate shoes. Visit the drop-in schedule for more ideas on reaching your fitness goals.
Pilates I and II Mat Classes
Pilates focuses on properly aligning, stretching, and flexing your muscle groups. I recommend starting with the Pilates I sessions if you are looking to begin pilates training. Ultimately, these are excellent classes for improving posture, especially if you have pain in your back. Also, this may greatly improve your postural awareness. For Pilates II, they recommend having experience with Pilates I, so start at the beginning. Enhancing your endurance and sculpting your muscles is part of the goal in these sessions. So be ready for this excellent workout. Registration is required on the website before you go!
These fast-paced sessions involve hardcore cycling, but you are welcome to go at your own pace. You’ll be cycling in a group, of course, so look around and imagine you’re all on a team cycling up a hill. Bring a towel and your water bottle. These classes are hosted in the basement at Hart House, in the Fitness Room.
I hope you find something that will energize you and bring you closer to your fitness goals!