Earlier this summer, I wrote about starting to work with a personal trainer who is majoring in exercise science at UNC. It is just as painful as I imagined it would be, but I have to give Lauren a shout-out, because she is truly fantastic and well-worth the $25/session (which is already way less than normal training rates thanks to a student discount program). She’s also been telling me about a number of other opportunities that the Student Rec center puts together that go beyond group fitness classes.
If you’re looking to get in shape, you might want to consider their twice-a-week boot camp (only $25 for TEN hard-core sessions – amazing deal!) or TRX suspension training (only $50 for ten hard-core sessions – still a deal!). Plus, they’re going to start a “Get to 5K” running initiative specifically designed for those intimidated by the prospect of being road race ready again. Fitness instructors will act as leaders and customize a workout plan to your needs and you’ll be grouped with other people who are in the same boat. At the end, you’ll all complete a 5k together and feel pretty warm & fuzzy about it!
I am really excited about this because about 15 years ago, I used to run 5k’s semi-quickly, but now, I need to ease my way back into having the cardiovascular strength to match what my legs are capable of accomplishing. The fastest I ever ran one was probably at about a 7 to 7.5 minute mile pace. Now, I would settle for finishing without walking, but I figure that’s better than staying at home and watching another episode of Real Housewives.
If you’re more of an outdoorsy type, there are also numerous excursions that allow you to go hike, canoe, kayak, camp, and rock climb – and if you’re not into joining a crew of students, they may also give you some ideas for where to go on your own. The Triangle also has a meet-up group that goes on weekly hiking adventures that encompass a broad range of difficulty levels, and for older folks, the Carrboro Century Center will transport you to the great outdoors and organize a leisurely day-trip through the forest. The cost is literally only a few dollars and they meet in the town hall parking lot. This couldn’t be more perfect for my car-less Mom, who is looking to go on some easy hikes with similar people.