4 Workout Classes in Downtown Charleston

4 Workout Classes in Downtown Charleston That You Have To Experience

If you hate the gym, these classes are for you.

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The gym can be many things, but most of the words that come to peoples mind when asked about the gym are not exactly pleasant ones. It can be intimidating if you are just starting out and don't know how to use machines or weights. I can not tell you how long it took me to gather the courage to even step foot in the squat rack section. I was clueless about weight lifting, and I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the extremely fit guys and girls who seemingly owned the area.

It also can be awkward to run into your peers or people you have been trying to avoid around campus. Take it from me, you can't hide very well behind a leg press machine. But most of all, it can be boring. For example, Monday: treadmill warm up and leg workout, Tuesday treadmill warmup and arm workout, Wednesday... well, you get it. So after a friend convinced me to attend what was my very first exercise class, my perspective on working out completely shifted. Having a fun, upbeat instructor who tells you what to do takes away a lot of stress, allowing you to just enjoy the workout.

Also, most classes incorporate phenomenal music playlists that are tailored to each section of the workout. And lastly, there is something very empowering about working out with a group of people. All of the participants motivate each other to complete the workout. Also, all of the studios I mention are in a walking distance of campus, making early morning sessions easier to attend. I encourage you to consider taking one of the classes so that you can have a blast while doing something to benefit yourself.

1. CHS Revolution: REV Ride

Let me begin by saying this cycling class is addictive and my favorite workout class in Charleston so far. I have gone back many times for the exciting atmosphere and amazing music remixes that make you feel like you're dancing your way through the spin session. The first time I went here I was nervous about the whole stationary bike situation. However, an instructor helped me set the bike for my height and arm length. One even stopped her workout momentarily to help me get my foot locked back in the pedal when it came unlatched during an intense segment. It is the perfect class if you're looking for a challenge and to have legs so sore you have to hobble to class the next day.

2. Pivotal Fitness: RedZone

When first signing up for a RedZone class one Sunday with a friend, we did not know what we were getting ourselves into. We clicked the "reserve" button for a 6am class the following day, completely underestimating how intense their HIIT circuit would actually be for an early Monday morning workout. It was one of the most challenging group classes that I've done, but we got through it and felt amazing afterwards. Beginning at one of the three sections, you cycle through weights, short sprint sessions, and rowing machines. You can attend this class even if you feel as though you have no idea what you're doing. The instructor is very attentive and makes sure everyone gets the help they need to make the workout effective. I would recommend this class if you're looking for a fun challenge.

3. Charleston Power Yoga: Hot Hip Hop Happy Hour

If you think that yoga can only be for the most serene of people or that it's a requirement to listen to nature sounds while holding poses for 15 minutes, then think again. This is a fast pace hot yoga class where hip hop remixes are the music of choice and the calm truly doesn't come until after the storm. The quaint studio located on upper King Street is a welcoming and accessible environment. By the end of this class you will have gotten in a good stretch, a good sweat, and some muscle work.

4. Still Soul Studio: Yin Yoga and Meditation

If you're in the mood to become more centered and participate in some more traditional yoga, Still Soul's Yin Yoga and Meditation class is the epitome of stress free. When I walked in to the studio, it was spa-like due to how soft everyone spoke and because it smelled like a mix of lavender and other calming scents. The room the class was held in was very dim, lit only by candles, and the instructor began by telling us how she had just gotten back from a Bali yoga retreat. That's how I knew I was in for the "zen" experience of a lifetime. While we did practice longer pose holds and the upbeat music was replaced with soft bells and chimes, I walked out of the class with my mind feeling more open and like some weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I would recommend this class to help you unwind at the end of a long day and stretch out your sore muscles from the previous class suggestions!

Remember, working out should not be the worst part of your day. You can find a way to exercise that you truly enjoy and want to keep coming back to... maybe it ends up being one of these classes!

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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If You've Ever Ran A Half-Marathon Then You've Probably Had These 18 Thoughts

There's so many thoughts during a half-marathon.

Loui
Loui
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Two weeks ago I ran my first ever half marathon. I've never run a race in my life before and I'm not really a runner so it was an interesting experience. Over the course of my training, I actually learned to enjoy running and I can say that I actually like it now.

This half marathon was really challenging but really rewarding. These are all the things that I was thinking about (there was probably a lot more, too) during those 13.1 miles.

1. "This is really easy but all these people are running way too fast."

2. "This is so much easier than a training run."

3. "Wow I already ran three miles."

4. "I need water."

5. *Casually sings Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn

6. "I'm getting really hungry. I hope there's muffins at the end."

7. "Dang, this is easy. I feel like I could run for forever."

8. "Okay, so we went six miles so 13 minus six is seven. We have seven miles to go." 

9. "The sun is so hot."

10. "I could use some more water."

11. "Would my group judge me if I walked at mile eight?"

12. "Why am I running again?"

13. "I'm on mile 10 so in 10 minutes I'll be on mile 11. This will totally go by fast."

14. "I'm still on mile 10."

15. "I'm still... on... mile.... 10... now mile 11."

16. "This is the longest run of my life."

17. "Oh great, now my calf is cramping." 

18. *When the run is over* "Man, I feel like I could do another one!"

Loui
Loui

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