Bring the fun back into fitness with these 5 workouts

There are many ways for students to stay active without the pressure of getting into the routine of going to the gym. Staying active releases stress, improves mental health and builds relationships with those who have the same interests. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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Do you ever get bored of doing the same workouts day in and day out? In southern Utah, there are countless opportunities for different types of activities that can double as fun and exercise. 

As it is a new year and keeping New Year’s resolutions can be hard, a good way to stick with those resolutions would be to do something that you enjoy. Roughly 95% of New Year’s resolutions are exercise-related, and around 43% of people give up on those goals by the end of January.

Susan Hart, a professor of exercise science, said one of the most important things in participating in unique exercises and enjoying it is the social aspects. Not only is it good to work with the team and people around you, but it also allows you to find a sense of community with those who have similar interests as you.

Paddle board fitness

Utah Tech University has many exercise classes for its students including paddle board yoga and paddle board fitness. This activity is offered at the Human Performance Center pool. It’s also often offered around the world, especially at vacation destinations that are near the ocean.

The way it works is a group of paddle boards are anchored down in a pool, ocean or lake, and the participants climb on top of the board and exercise their muscles and balance skills.

Compared to other kinds of yoga, this one is unique because your balance and core strength is put to the test. Participants are instructed to hold positions both upside down and right side up. Keeping track of your breathing and focus is a key part of being successful with these excersises.

Utah Tech offers this most often in the springtime when the weather is warmer and students want to cool off in the Human Performance Center pool.


Biking is a growing activity in St. George, but the weather is oftentimes unpredictable. Participating in spin classes or stationary bike classes is an alternative to biking outside. Usually, these classes consist of lights, music and cheering. 

Utah Tech offers weekly drop-in spin classes in the HPC. These classes are full of music and energy from both the instructor and the participants.

Off campus, there is The Hype cycling studio where classes are offered daily. 

This form of exercise is not just cardio but a full-body workout. From your legs spinning and pushing the pedals to your arms doing push-ups and lifting light dumbbells out in front of you, about every inch of your body is working hard.


Across St. George, there are about 21 pickleball courts available for the public to use. Pickleball is becoming one of the more popular games for older and younger generations to play. Since two or more players are needed to play this game, it allows for socialization.

Hart said this game is popular because it is easier to pick up and understand than other sports like tennis, football and basketball.

Since the paddle in pickleball does not have strings and the ball is softer, it is easier to swing and lessens the impact. It puts less strain on players’ arm muscles and tendons. The court is smaller than a tennis court, reducing the required running. This allows the player to move around quicker and often makes the game last longer.

Each game is unique and unpredictable, making it less repetitive than other exercising techniques.

Rock Climbing

Utah Tech offers an opportunity for students to enjoy the indoor rock climbing wall in the HPC on campus.

The university also gives its students the chance to join the Competitive Rock Climbing Club and face off against each other to make it to the top of the wall.

Skye Jones, a junior media studies major from Heber City, said the club will be participating in six competitions throughout this semester.

Rock climbing has many mental and physical benefits. You are constantly using every part of your body to support yourself as you climb, which requires the same amount of energy as running an eight to 11-minute mile and improves your cardiorespiratory health.

It is also good for your muscles as you are lifting your entire body weight up with your legs, arms and core.

Jones said: “I’ve found that my hands have gotten a lot stronger, and I have better grip. It’s crazy the changes I’ve seen.”


There are multiple opportunities to participate in dancing at Utah Tech. There is the dance team, cheer, dance classes, clubs and high fitness classes.

High fit is a unique way to dance. It is a workout that both tones muscle and works on your cardio. As the music plays, the participant has the chance to do exercises like burpees, jumps, intricate steps and stretches that match the pace of the songs.

High fit helps with heart and lung performance. Since it is a higher-intensity cardio workout, your heart is pumping for longer and your breathing deeper for longer periods of time. The different levels of high fit allow for the participant to modify the movement in ways that suit their bodies and needs most. 

Millie Ice, a junior elementary education major and high fitness instructor from Loa, said: “The hardest part about high fitness is getting through the pushes; however, it is very rewarding. There are some songs that have burpees and tuck jumps which can be very draining, but these can also make you feel powerful in the end.”

The university offers different opportunities for its students to stay active and get involved. There are also places for students to use their student ID cards to rent and use materials and tools to play sports such as pickleball, football, rock climbing and much more.

So if you’re invested in keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions, try out some new ways to exercise and stay active. You may find that you enjoy one of these activities more than lifting weights or running on a treadmill.