The World of Exercise Outside of “The Gym”

Lydia Libby


With the holiday season coming up in just a few short weeks, most students are thrilled about all the food they will eat. All of that holiday food usually means the dreaded New Year’s resolution: going to the gym. We all know going to the gym can sometimes be uncomfortable, and is typically the reason why the average person’s resolution falls short. At the gym, you are out in the open surrounded by people of different strengths than you, and it can be intimidating.

On campus SMCC offers free access to a gym, but even then there are still people that can make the gym experience intimidating. As alternatives to working out and being healthy, students should be informed about local dance studios, yoga studios, and rock gyms whose environments are more welcoming than the average gym.

Some dance studios can offer that competitive edge that can ease on that added pressure that a gym would give. However, Collective Motion Arts Center in Saco, Maine offers a wide variety of options that suit individual dancer’s needs. Owner Jennifer Bourgeault started Collective Motion in 2006. Since then, Bourgeault has created a relaxed and positive environment for young dancers who just want to learn the art of dance and get some exercise.

Classes offered include ballet, jazz, modern, pointe, hip-hop, ballet barre, and zumba. Collective Motion provides multiple experience levels for their classes, that way dancers are dancing with people at their level and are comfortable. SMCC does not offer dance classes, and Collective Motion gives an experience that most inexperienced dancer, or even experienced dancer can feel comfortable and not feel like they are being judged or having to feel pressure.

If dance is not for you? Maybe try to take a yoga class! Not far from SMCCs campus on Broadway, there is a yoga studio called Greener Postures. Greener Postures is a heated yoga studio, where people of any experience level can go into the Yin and Vinyasa Flow yoga sessions.

Yin yoga is a technique where you are on the ground for most of the session in various positions. In those positions, Yin yoga has you stay still throughout that position, and then slowly having you move into the next position. Yin yoga is much easier than Vinyasa yoga because it is slower, and beginners are able to get acclimated to the world of yoga. Once you are in the groove of yoga, Vinyasa yoga is the next step.

Vinyasa yoga is a series of yoga poses that is at a steady, but constantly moving pace. Vinyasa is more of a workout than Yin yoga, and allows for relaxation and exercise. Many men and women attend Greener Postures, so guys should feel fine joining a class! As people advance in their skill in yoga, Greener Postures offers advanced classes at different times during the week. They are even open on the weekend, so for those who work, or have a tiring school week, yoga is the perfect way to find peace and a workout.

Peace may not be what you are looking for, but the gym can still be intimidating. Which is why Salt Pump, a rock climbing gym in Scarborough, Maine is the ideal workout for busybodies who constantly want to be moving in a more gender-neutral environment. Salt Pump offers auto belaying, and has instructors who will belay for you. Belaying is the person helping you move the rope as you climb the rock walls, and if you are more the shy type, auto belaying can be useful because you can climb at your own pace.

Salt Pump offers climbing classes to teach their climbers the proper way to climb the rock walls, and there are programs that teach you to belay others without an instructor or auto belayer. Salt Pump is opened to all ages and experience levels, and provides a stress free place to find exercise.

So with dancing, yoga, and rock climbing, students are able to escape SMCC to find a workout that is not just going to a gym. The positive atmospheres that dance, yoga, and rock climbing studios offer can be conducive to keeping your resolution on track. When people are comfortable with their workout, it becomes part of a routine and it keeps us staying active and healthy.

As students we all know how hard it is when you miss class, and by staying active you maintain a healthy lifestyle that wards away sickness. Gym alternatives are a great way to enhance student success at SMCC, and for the rest of our lives. Positive bodies and minds are the most important part of finding the energy to learn- which we all know can be challenging when we have to wake up for class!



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