Back to School 2008 | Work It, Girl!: Keeping fit in tight spaces. 

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No need to sign your life away buying a pass to Gold’s Gym. Students can work out without the big fancy machines and rubber floors, in the small spaces they may have. Hey, at least you aren’t paying 30 bones a month to have a gym pass and never go.

Cardio
This may sound like an oxymoron doing cardio indoors, without a treadmill or elliptical machine. But cardio is entirely possible in the comfort of your dorm room; you don’t even have to run in place, unless you really want to.

Run ladders: Those junior high gym teachers had it right: Segment your room off between your and your roommate’s beds. Run to the first, stop, then back. Run to the second, stop, then back. Repeat with as many stops as you can fit in your room. You could also do ladders down the long hallways of your building.

Jump rope: If your ceilings are high enough to sustain a jump, jumping rope is a great way to do cardio.

Stairs: You can run stairs in your building to get your cardio on.

Jumping jacks: Really, they work. Just try not to hit anything.

Strength training
Building muscle indoors is easier than you think. Without the hassle of figuring out the machines at the gym, get some simple hand weights (some schools’ health centers have hand weights available to check out for free) and follow these simple exercises.

Bicep curls: Just like you see in the movies.

Push-ups: No weights? No problem, military style push-ups give the same results.

Chair dips: Still don’t have weights? Assuming you have a desk chair, place you hands on the seat with your back to the chair, not sitting on it and lift yourself up and down. Works best with chairs that don’t have wheels, but who knows, it may add an extra element of difficulty to your work out.

Abs
It’s true, you never needed a gym to do abs. But the old fashioned sit-up is a tired practice. Investing in a fitness ball can help your balance and your six pack.

Gymnastic sit-ups: Take a seat on the floor, making sure none of your limbs are touching the carpet. Stretch your body out while having only your tush on the ground. Bring it all back in and repeat.

Sit-ups: Lie on your fitness ball and do sit ups. At least, this way, your back doesn’t get tight.

Surf the Internet: Instead of using your desk chair, use the fitness ball as your seat. Balance yourself, focus on your core and you can work your abs out while on MySpace.

Still missing the gym?
Many schools offer free or cheap gym services to students, so you can save that green to buy sweet sweatbands and striped tube socks to complete your workout look.

University of Utah Field House Free to current students, the field house at the U is a complete gym with a cardio theater, jogging track and weights. Before you go, print out the membership application from Web.Utah.Edu/CampusRec, and you will be set for free workouts all semester.

Salt Lake Community College Lifetime Activities Center Free to registered students with a current ID card. Complete gym, basketball courts, and swimming pool. Current students can use health facilities on any campus free. Detailed information at SLCC.edu/lac

Westminster College Dolores Doré Eccles Health, Wellness and Athletic Center Students can use the gym facilities for a fee of $50 per semester or pay a monthly rate. Go to the gym during operation hours to fill out a registration form and get a new ID. More info at WestminsterCollege.Edu/fwrd.

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Jennie Nicholls

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