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Thursday August 21st 2014

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Learning to be Lean

Classes to Improve your Lifestyle
By Jennie McKeon

There are so many lessons you learn throughout your academic career that you immediately forget about. But what if you could take a class that motivates you to get active and lead a healthy lifestyle? Chances are those lessons would stick in your brain longer than anything you learned in Marine Biology.

At the University of West Florida, you can talk the talk and walk the walk. Although there is only one active class, it’s dedicated to the ever popular Zumba craze and super fun. For $50 you can attend 10 sessions. Classes are held Wednesdays from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. from Aug. 31 to Nov. 2.

“It’s fun and uplifting, and you get a great workout,” said Patti Spaniola, program director of Continuing Education. “There’s a core group that attends the sessions, so there’s a lot of camaraderie.”
To get you in the right mindset, UWF also offers online classes that help shape your wellness knowledge. To start off right, try “Anatomy and Physiology”, or if you feel up for the challenge, take “Anatomy and Physiology II”. The title that may catch your eye immediately is “Lose Weight and Keep it Off”. The comprehensive course helps you learn the difference between weight loss and weight
maintenance, how to exercise properly, stress management, how to manage the social elements of eating and much more. The “keep it off” part of that course will be easy if you take “Luscious, Low-Fat, Lightning Quick Meals” as well. The course teaches you how to reduce fat from recipes without reducing flavor. The class even includes tips for grocery shopping, menu preparation and food preparation.

“The online classes are convenient, and the price is great,” Spaniola said. “It’s fun to learn something new, and it’s not a big commitment. The classes allow you to get a taste of a new topic you might be interested in.”

All online classes have two upcoming sessions. The first starts Wednesday, Aug. 17 and ends Friday, Oct. 7. The second session begins Wednesday, Sept. 21 and ends Friday, Nov. 11. New lessons are released Wednesday and Friday, and each course is $99. You can sign up for any of the continuing education classes on the Inspiria Café course menu at uwf.edu, or you can call 473-7468.

At Pensacola State College, you can burn a good amount of calories just from looking at the course schedule. Since the Florida sun has been relentless, it’s only fitting that there are so many swimming classes.

“The popular classes are the water exercise at the shallow end of the pool and the early morning master swim classes,” said Katherine Miller, aquatic coordinator for PSC, in an e-mail interview. “We also offer ‘Aqua Jogging’ and Swim Lessons’.”

“Adult Swim Lessons” are held every Tuesday and Thursday until Aug. 4 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:25 p.m. “Aqua Jogging” is every Tuesday and Thursday until Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. to 10:55 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. to 7:25 p.m. “Aqua Jogging” is also offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday until Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 9:55 a.m. With permission you can try out any aquatics class offered for $5.

“So many people have discovered that they can move their muscles in the water easier than on land because of the buoyancy property of the water, thus getting the same benefits,” Miller said. “They get stronger, more flexible and more stable, and thus feel good about themselves. Exercise is the best thing you can do for your body to keep everything working, and exercise in the water is the best.”
If you’d prefer classes on dry land, you should try “Tai Chi for Health” offered every Tuesday until Aug. 9 from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., every Wednesday until Aug. 10 from 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. or every Thursday until Aug. 11 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Relieving stress and regular exercise involves much more than regular movement,” said Frances Yeo, recreation and leisure coordinator of continuing education for PSC, in an e-mail interview. “The opportunity to be involved with a class full of people that have similar goals inspires students to show up and stay involved.”

PSC also offers a course that is meant to sustain a healthy lifestyle. After a one-time fitness orientation, you can participate in the “Recreation Fitness Lab.” The lab allows you to use the PSC fitness center while exercise specialists are on duty, which gives you the chance to get some free personal training. They will also take your blood pressure or perform a body composition analysis if you wish.

To start the program you pay $97, which includes your Express Orientation to the L.I.F.E. Center and allows you to work out in the facilities for the remainder of the semester, which runs four months. After the initial payment you can pay the minimal fee of $75 for each additional semester, and this includes access to the indoor, heated swimming pool.

The Express Orientations are held Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“Participants seem to like this course because it’s a way to become healthy and stay healthy,” said La Rita Carter, L.I.F.E. Fitness Center Coordinator, in an e-mail interview. “Once participants start working out, the results speak for themselves, and it keeps them coming back.  Plus we offer a friendly, easy going, pleasant environment.”

To sign up or ask any questions about the L.I.F.E. Center, you can contact Carter at lcarter@pensacolastate.edu or 484-1310. For any questions about the continuing education classes you can contact  ce@pensacolastate.edu, or call 484-1797. A full list of continuing education courses is available at pensacolastate.edu.

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