Hulsey Wellness Center holds student-led exercise classes

Instructor Ashley Hunte teaching her Cardio Beat class in the aerobic room. Her students Valeria Izaguirre and Brittany Howard are improving their fitness by dancing to upbeat songs. Tuesday, March 1, 2022. (Photo by: Maiya Banks)
Instructor Ashley Hunte teaching her Cardio Beat class in the aerobic room. Her students Valeria Izaguirre and Brittany Howard are improving their fitness by dancing to upbeat songs. Tuesday, March 1, 2022. (Photo by: Maiya Banks)

Written by: Sierra Ureta

Hulsey Wellness Center is holding three student-led exercise classes this semester: Indoor Cycling, Cardio Beat and Core Strength and Stability.

Jack Wheeler, junior health science major, leads the Core Strength and Stability class every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. He said he enjoys having the class to help others improve their fitness, and he gets a good workout into his day as well. 

“The class is for stability and core strength,” Wheeler said. “Stability is the most underworked part for the majority of people.” 

He said the reason for it being underworked for most people is because they don’t know how to do core movements effectively. 

“We’ll do isometrics, which is just holding planks and different variations of that,” Wheeler said. “We also do IT (intermittent training), where you go to one station, work for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.” 

Junior management major Nicolas Rodriguez attends the core class directed by Wheeler. 

“I injured myself last year just by straining my back, so I went to the school nurse who told me that I was easily injured because I have a weak core,” Rodriguez said. “Then my friend, Jack, told me he has a core class and that I can come join and build my core. I enjoy the class because I get to do it with friends. And, afterwards I get in my cardio, and I feel really good because I did my workout.”

Another exercise class is Indoor Cycling, led by Katie Guild, junior health and physical education and recreation major. She said her favorite part of teaching the class every Monday from 5 to 5:40 p.m. is “getting to meet new people and the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a ride.” 

Guild said teaching an exercise class has expanded her career options. 

“It has given me another career option in group fitness classes, and it has also been a good leg workout [in which] I have learned a lot about spin workouts,” she said.

The Cardio Beat class involves aerobic dancing. Senior Spanish major Ashley Hunte currently leads the class, and she shared why she decided to take the job. 

“This is my fifth year being a student at Southern, and I started going to the Cardio Beat class when I was a freshman just dancing along, and I’ve stuck with it,” Hunte said. “Last year, the instructor graduated, so she said to me, ‘Hey, Ashley, you’ve been here the longest. You know … all the moves probably better than me. If you don’t teach it, the class dies. So if you’re willing, you have the job.’”

Hunte said she decided to take it on and has been teaching the class for the past year.

“I felt it would be a good way to be able to stay active, meet new people and to be able to keep the tradition going,” she said. 

Cardio Beat is a dancing class with some pop and Hispanic dance influences. Hunte incorporated some flamenco moves into the class since she learned flamenco when she studied abroad in Spain. 

“Sometimes people feel overwhelmed because they see everyone’s dancing at the same time, like, ‘How are they doing that?’ ‘How are they moving their arms like that?’ Or, ‘How are they doing these steps … all together?’ ‘I can’t dance.’ And I tell people, ‘I don’t care if you’re doing the chicken dance, everyone is learning.’ And I always encourage people to just put their own flair on it.”

Cardio Beat occurs every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m.

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