Get on your feet!

Story by Taylor Kuether


 Next time you just can’t bear the thought of going for another run on your same old route or hitting the gym to lift your usual weights, try a group exercise class at McPhee Center or Zorn Arena. They’re fun, popular, and above all, motivating.


“There’s lots of energy because so many people come to the classes,” Meagan Madden, a cycling instructor and junior business major said, “It’s just a good workout environment.”


And the effects are just as good: “It’s a great total body workout,” she said  “No matter what class you go to, you’re (working) your abs, your glutes, your legs,
your arms.”


Madden said she has been attending group exercise classes since her freshman year and started teaching cycling classes last year.


“Cycling’s my favorite,” she said, “I just fell in love with it because it’s such a great total body workout and it’s only an hour long.”


Like Madden, the class instructors love what they do, and it shows.


“The group exercise instructors are amazing,” Brittany Matti, Wellness Coordinator at the University Recreation and Sports Facilities said “Each one of them has a true passion for their position and put in a lot of time preparing and practicing these fun, exciting classes.”


Elle Fox, a sophomore marketing major, has been attending group exercise classes since her
freshman year.


“I love that they’re student run,” Fox said, “Because then mostly students are going to them and you can talk to the instructor and ask questions.”


Cycling is just one of many classes offered all times of day to suit every busy schedule.


“The Group Exercise program here on campus is very diverse,” Matti said. “There is a class for anyone and everyone on
the schedule.”


Classes are offered at 6 a.m., 12 p.m., and from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and several classes are offered throughout the weekend as well.


Options include PiYo, an energizing blend of pilates and yoga, cardio kick, an intense kickboxing cardio routine, Zumba, a popular Latin dance workout, and
many more.


Group exercise classes are not just healthy for your body, but UW-Eau Claire’s cycling classes are healthy for the environment, too.


“Our indoor cycling bikes are equipped with Green Revolution Generators,” Matti said, “As you cycle, you are producing energy that is put directly back into the UW’s Power Grid.”


The program was made possible through campus Recreation and the Student Senate Sustainability Fund, Matti said. “This program supports the campus ­— wide sustainability efforts.”


Along with helping to grow a sustainable school, Madden said she’d like to see the classes themselves grow this year.


“It’s a great free workout and it’s on campus,” Madden said. “Tuition goes to fund our program, and we have classes at all times, morning, noon, and at night, so it would be really great to see the campus get involved and support us.”


Newcomers and people of all athletic ability are encouraged to attend,
added Madden.


Matti echoed Madden’s sentiment, citing multiple reasons to try group exercise.


“(Group exercise classes) provide students the opportunity to socialize with their friends, improve their level of personal fitness, de-stress from a long day of classes, (and) reduce their carbon footprint (through cycling classes),” Matti said. “There are so many wellness benefits from participating
in this program.”