By Jana Kaplan Staff Writer
The holiday season is just beginning, and while it’s hard to resist second helping of pumpkin pie, there are ways you can have your cake and eat it too! Hit up Hofstra’s fitness center. Whether you like to break it down in Zumba or run a mile on the track, there are tons of options to stay fit and to not let the holidays get the best of you. Pat Montagano, the senior assistant dean of students and director of recreation/intramural sports, has noticed an increase in gym use since last year’s renovation. She sees “a lot more people using it frequently, day to day.” Many students try to avoid the dreaded “freshman fifteen,” and others remain fit even as upperclassmen. While Montagano says that there are particularly high rates of gym attendance during Spring Break, the fall and winter months still attract the crowds as students are trying to avoid the weight gain before and after they head home for some good old comfort food. Group exercise classes are a great way to stay in shape while having fun with friends. If you’re new to working out, Montagano recommends taking a class that you’re interested in. For junior education major Adrienne Kravitz, that’s spin. She loves the class, not only because it offers a great workout, but because “the teacher is really energetic” as well. She likes this “fun, exciting way” to get her cardio in, and the good music helps keep everyone on track, as the hour flies by. Basically, Kravitz says, it makes you “feel great afterward.” The classes are offered every weekday. For those who don’t think they can handle the fast-paced cycling, there are yoga and Zumba classes available as well. Beside the variety of classes offered, Montagano says the most important thing to do is make sure you get a good workout no matter where you go. “The key is to stay active and go to the gym,” she says. “Take a long walk. Take a jog. Just get outside; this is the time of the year where people tend to overindulge.” Students who are staying on campus during winter break needn’t worry about workout times. The fitness center remains on a regular schedule throughout December and January. During the holidays, people tend to eat more, which leads to an expanding waistline and bad habits as they slip into a food coma. The next thing you know, the gym is being left for another day... or another week. No matter where you end up during the holidays, be sure to keep moving before, during, and after. Play a game of football, join your little cousins in the backyard, or just help move your grandma’s luggage into the guest room. There are tons of ways to stay active, so even if you’re across the country, hit up a local gym and rest assured that Hofstra’s gym will be waiting for you (and your food baby) with open arms.