Even with access to the BYU-Hawaii Fitness Center, some students said they prefer to exercise outside of the gym doing yoga or running. The appeal for these two workouts comes from being able to do them no matter where you are or what resources you have.
Nelson Loveridge, a junior from California studying exercise and sports science, said he prefers to exercise outside as often as possible. Two of his favorite ways to exercise are through yoga and surfing. Loveridge has been practicing yoga for about three years and said he has seen great improvements in his overall strength and well-being.
“I began practicing yoga about six months before I left on my mission. I started out by practicing Bikram Yoga, which is a Hatha practice performed in a highly heated room. On my mission, I would choose a focus two to three times a week and try to teach my companion a few postures.”
Since returning from his mission and being in school, Loveridge said he has not practiced yoga at a studio. Instead, he said he uses his knowledge to practice in ways that best fit his lifestyle.
“One of my favorite workouts is to wake up early in the morning and go for a nice long run. After my run, I like to stop off at a beach park and do several yoga postures there. I stick mostly to the Bikram postures that I have been doing for many years.
“I have also added a few others that I have learned from YouTube videos or other yoga classes. The postures that I do depend on how I am feeling or what area of my body I would like to target. Yoga has really helped me improve my balance, core, and strength in my hips,” he said.
Loveridge said yoga can often seem daunting at first or can turn people away because it is expensive to practice at a studio. However, he said yoga is for anyone who makes an effort to begin.
“Yoga can really be tailored to anyone with any level of expertise. Here at [BYUH], we have the awesome resource of the Educational Outreach yoga classes. They are affordable and really helpful. I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to practice yoga more consistently,” he said.
Madison Thompson, a freshman from Utah with an undecided major, said her favorite way to get exercise is through running. Thompson has only been at BYUH for one semester but said she has enjoyed getting to know Laie by running through it.
“I love running on the trail system here. It is fun to get to see the fields and mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. I also often try make running past the temple part of my runs no matter where I am because it reminds me of who I am and God's plan for me,” she said.
Running can seem intimidating at first, said Thompson, and the hardest part is usually just getting started. “I started later in life than most [runners]. When it comes to running, I honestly just suggest taking small steps.
“Remember that it isn't going to feel good at first. Running is super uncomfortable until you practice and practice. The more you run, the easier it gets! Try to run three to five times a week at least and you will see improvement,” she said.
Both Loveridge and Thompson agree that one of the best parts about exercising outside of the gym is the opportunity to spend time enjoying the outdoors, especially in Hawaii.
According to an article in the Honolulu Magazine written by Chris Fleck, an adjunct professor at Hawaii Pacific University, the city of Honolulu has also expounded on the idea of exercising outdoors by erecting several open-air exercise stations.
He said in the article, “I’m not knocking the value of a gym membership, but, if you’re looking for an open-air alternative, the park is a pristine place for a hearty or light workout.”
Fleck said exercise park locations include; Kapiolani Park, Moana Beach Park, and Manoa District Park.