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Have Your Heard About Zumba?

On September 27, 2010

Aside from it being one of the many different group fitness classes, free to Northeastern students, Zumba is an aerobics program that incorporates international dance. "Most people assume group fitness classes are filled with only girls but that's not true," said group Nipun Patel, fitness instructor. "There are people with a wide variety of fitness levels in many of the classes I teach."

After mentioning the varying fitness levels, Patel also added that group fitness classes are a good way to meet people. Tabitha Delal, senior, accounting major, took her first group fitness class since she has been a student at NEIU.

"I always wanted to come to a group fitness class here at Northeastern, but I never ended up going until now," Delal said. "I have some time so I decided to finally get over here." Delal attended Patel's rock bottom and abs class on Wednesday, Sept. 8 in studio one, located in the physical education complex.

"I feel like my legs are going to fall off," Delal said about halfway through the class. "I feel like I'm in boot camp!". Patel incorporated many props including dumbbells, bosu balls, medicine balls and mats and, although he could have stayed in studio one the whole class, he decided to use all of his resources.

The class came out of the studio and used the hallway, the racquetball court, the stairs and the track, for a change of scenery. As entertained as the small class of eight seemed to be, it was only a class of eight students. And of the eight students, two of them also teach other group fitness classes. "We just come to support each other and get a workout in," said

Jessie Sanchez, fitness instructor.

"It's a good learning experience, if I want to teach more classes," said Lucy Okaz, senior social work major and group fitness instructor . Patel is certified to teach all of the group fitness classes at NEIU except for Zumba. But Patel knows, as well as anyone, that some people just don't like group fitness classes for one reason or another. NEIU accommodates those people as well. NEIU has a main gymnasium consisting of three newly refinished basketball courts and an auxiliary gym with two courts and a climbing wall. The climbing wall is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the gyms, NEIU has a 1/6 mile indoor track, four racquetball courts, a fitness center with strength and cardio equipment with a stereo and four televisions, six outdoor tennis courts and an eight lane, 25-yard swimming pool with a 14 foot diving well.

In addition to all of the equipment and group fitness classes available to students, there are also personal trainers on hand to help students develop a workout plan tailored to fit their fitness needs. Each NEIU student is allowed three free sessions and, if more are desired, they are offered to students at a discounted rate.

If personal training, group fitness classes or working out alone aren't good enough then maybe intramurals are. This fall there are plenty of intramural sports being offered including seven on seven flag football.

Even though there are so many resources available to NEIU students, many of them decide not to take advantage of them.

Perhaps students don't realize that a part of their tuition goes toward keeping the physical education building up and running (about $3.20 per credit hour), so spending money on a gym membership could be considered overkill.

"I never use it because I belong to a different health club that is nicer," said Maryamm Solomos, an undeclared freshman.

Christina Paz, a junior biology major said, "I don't use it because I have a membership to Xsport Fitness and I really don't know much about what's offered here."

Cris Castro, a senior biology doesn't use the facilities either.

"I have no reason or need to work out or play sports inside the physical education building. I'm sure I'd use it if I had a reason."

One student said she wasn't even really sure where the physical education building was located.

Whatever the reasons, there are many students who don't take advantage of the physical education complex and they're, literally, paying for it.

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