Did you make a New Year’s resolution to work out more in 2020 and then never start or give it up? The good news is that you still have two months on campus before classes end and summer begins. So take advantage of all that is available—from group classes at the campus rec centers to private trainers and free facilities—and get moving.
With the Group-X pass, U-M students can access each of the 29 fitness classes held on campus. From yoga and boot camp to cycling and swimming, the choices include classes with mysterious names like INSANITY (a high-level intensity workout) and PiYo (a Pilates/yoga combination class).
Try dancing to African and Caribbean music with AfroCaribBeats. Sign up for Splash Class, a low-intensity water workout that’s a mix of cardio and muscle strengthening but does not require swimming. If you fancy a combination of aerobics and dance moves set to the rhythms of merengue, hip-hop, mambo, and other music, try Zumba Step. Alternatively, if the idea of lying down with a blanket and small pillow and doing some calm breathing, stretching, and meditation appeals, Yoga Nidra (also known as Yoga Sleep) is your class.
Classes take place at the Central Campus Recreation Building (CCRB), Intramural Sports Building (IMSB), and North Campus Recreation Building (NCRB). Thanks to the online schedule, you can log in anytime you want to exercise and see all the classes happening that day with a description, time, and location.
It is too late to buy a $55 pass online for a Group-X winter semester 2020 membership—which gives you unlimited access to classes—but you can instead pay $8 for individual classes. You can also pay in person at the business offices at any of the rec centers. All sales are final.
Too busy to fit in a class, or simply prefer to exercise without a group? Group-X On-the-Go private fitness instructors will come to you, or you can meet with them at a U-M recreational facility. U-M trainer Daniel Eder, ’19, says the benefits are worth the added cost, particularly for someone who is new to training. He also aims for his clients to become self-sufficient. “We brainstorm what your goals are, what things have set you back in the past, and design a program that you can do on your own, beyond your session with me.” He follows the client’s needs and passion, whether running or swimming or just walking more often to class and regularly climbing the stairs. “It all adds up,” says Eder.
Personal trainers also lead group classes off-campus. You can arrange a Zumba class in your living room or a yoga class in your backyard. Request a customized class for your best friend’s birthday or guided meditation before exams. Group requests must be made at least three weeks in advance.
If you prefer to use a rec sports facility for a private group class, you must complete a Facility Rental Request form first and indicate you also want a Group-X On-the-Go class.
Trainers cost $50 an hour for a recurring series or $60 for a one-time session.
As a U-M student, you have free access to all facilities. The Intramural Sports Building has great offerings, including basketball, racquetball, table tennis, and wallyball (volleyball played on a racquetball court). Simply check out the equipment you need at the Recreation Sports Pro Shop. The ISMB also boasts 111 weight machines and 130 cardio machines.
Now that the weather is improving, the outdoor facilities on campus will open again. Elbel Field has drop-in activities around Frisbee, softball, sand volleyball, and football (weather permitting). Palmer Field has a full track and eight illuminated tennis courts. Some wacky spring intramural sports—including pickleball and inner tube water basketball—are starting up (though registration ends March 11). What, you may ask, is pickleball? It is a paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis.
Remember, you are never far from one of the three campus rec centers (CCRB, IMSB, NCRB). Along with Elbel and Palmer fields, check out the activities happening this spring on Mitchell Field, which is located between North Campus and U-M Hospital.
Part of your tuition goes to maintaining these facilities, so they are free for you to use. Some sports, however, have associated costs for court or equipment rentals. For more information, visit recsports.umich.edu.
Micheline Maynard is an author and journalist who was a Knight-Wallace Fellow in 1999-2000.