Wintertime workouts

Even with cold winter weather around the corner, there are still several ways to stay active.

Xiqing Wang, Staff Writer

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Photo by TJ Vore


Math teacher Laura Deffer teaches Jazzercise Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at Stanley Overland Park Jazzercise Center, at 4:30 p.m. Deffer said the different types of Jazzercise include strike class, core class, strength 60 class and an interval fusion class.

“Jazzercise is a great benefit to your overall health and well-being,” Deffer said. “You feel more energized after taking classes. You start to feel stronger, mentally and physically.”

Deffer said in addition to its health benefits, Jazzercise also provides a welcoming and fun atmosphere to work out in. She said Jazzercise is a good exercise because of its group format, where people are encouraged by their peers, can work at their own pace and see results based on the time and effort put into classes.

“It’s not an hour at the gym by yourself with your earbuds,” Deffer said. “It’s music pumping through the stereo, dancing with your friends for 60 minutes that feels like just a snap of your fingers.”

Deffer said people of all levels, age groups and body types are welcome in Jazzercise classes, from somebody who has rhythm to somebody who cannot find the beat.


Ice Skating

Ice skating is also an activity students can consider in order to stay active during the wintertime. Junior Lydia McMullen, a competitive ice skater, said health benefits of ice skating also include core strength and leg strength, as well as flexibility.

Not only does ice skating contain physical benefits, competitive skater and junior Alexis Fenton said ice skating also helps her relax.

“I’ve definitely gotten stronger physically,” Fenton said. “But it’s also a stress reliever to go out and skate. There’s been times when I’ve just been having such a crappy day, and I’ll get on the ice and it’ll go away…I love being on the ice.”

Fenton said even people who have never ice skated before could benefit from trying it out.

“Even just going for a public skate, if you’re skating around for an hour or so, you can definitely burn a lot of calories,” Fenton said. “And it’s fun while you do it as well.”

Fenton said beginning skaters should try to march, or walk, before trying to push off. She said keeping their arms spread would also allow skaters to maintain their balance.

McMullen said ice skating is an enjoyable activity for people of all ages, regardless of skill level or experience.

“Everyone could enjoy ice skating,” McMullen said. “Everyone can get something from it, whether you’re competitive or not or just having fun with friends and family.”

Kansas City Ice Center and Ice Pavilion (KCIC), Ice at Park Place, Line Creek Ice Arena and Crown Center Ice Terrace are some rinks that people can go to try out ice skating.


Photo by TJ Vore

Photo by TJ Vore

Personal Fitness Class

Michelle Pothoven teaches Personal Fitness here at BVNW. Personal Fitness is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have already taken General Physical Education. According to Pothoven, the goal of Personal Fitness is to explore different activities outside of a regular Physical Education class.

“We do any type of physical activity,” Pothoven said. “It could be going on a walk; it could be yoga. We take field trips to different places. There’s Jazzercise, kickboxing, circuits, spending type up in the fitness center and Pilates.”

Pothoven said despite the winter weather, there are still a lot of activities that people can do.

“I think a common activity that that people forget about is just going for a walk,” Pothoven said. “I know it’s cold outside, but you can still bundle up, and fresh air is so good.”

Pothoven said the biggest benefit she believes students gain from Personal Fitness is a change in attitude toward staying active.

“The biggest health benefit is that people realize that fitness can be fun,” Pothoven said. “It doesn’t have to be awful, it doesn’t have to be pushups and the mile, it can be doing anything-just going for a walk, going to a dance class, whatever you want it to be, as long as you do it.”

Senior Xavier Barwick also said his views on fitness changed from taking Personal Fitness. Barwick said he enjoys going to Personal Fitness because of the class atmosphere and the students taking the class.

“Everyone should do Personal Fitness,” Barwick said. “It’s a very chill, very fun class. Ms. Pothoven is an amazing teacher. Plus, you get to go on a lot of field trips, like Title Boxing and everywhere else we went.”

Pothoven said there are many fitness centers that offer student discounts, like Jazzercise or personal training at Twin Fitness or All In Sports. She said even people who do not want to pay money for a membership at a fitness club could still get a group of friends together and do something active during the winter.

“You can always come up with stuff…trash-ketball is always fun,” Pothoven said.



English teacher Sarah Beren attends yoga classes at Darling Yoga. Beren said she normally attends intermediate classes that have a certain amount of flow, or “Vinyasa,” where she can be active and move up and down throughout the exercise.

Beren said yoga is a different type of exercise than what people normally think of as a workout.

“It’s typically not a cardio workout,” Beren said. “We’ll get our heart rate up and then well slow it back down, but it’s a very different kind of workout. It’s core strength and flexibility.”

Beren said yoga can help students’ abilities to concentrate. In addition to this, Beren said high school students especially could see a change in mentalities after trying yoga.

“There’s a huge benefit to team sports, but yoga you do by yourself,” Beren said. “You depend on your own concentration, and I think that our students would improve in their mindsets in terms of controlling their own successes and owning their own failures.”

Beren said yoga is a practice that anybody could do. She said there are different types of yoga, with beginning classes, intermediate classes and advanced classes. Beren said people attend a variety of classes depending on what they want to work on or any health problems they might have.

“The differences between different types of yoga are the levels, but also what you’re looking for out of it.”

Darling Yoga, Core Energy Yoga, New day Yoga Studio and Yoga School of Therapeutics are some yoga studios where people can attend yoga classes.