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Fitness For All

BC Recreation Provides Alternative Fitness Options in Salsa, Jui-Jitsu, and Aquatics

Heights Staff

Published: Sunday, February 23, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 21:02

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Photos courtesy of BC Recreation


To many Boston College students, the “Plex” is simply a synonym for “overheated, unpleasant-looking building with an insufficient number of treadmills.” On cold, snowy winter days, when the prospect of outdoor activity may as well be impossible, some students lack the motivation to journey to the Plex in order to stay active. 

Particularly for those with a distaste for cardio machinery, conventional medicine balls, and waiting in aggressive lines, the choice to “Plex it” just might not seem worth it. Little do these students know of the unique, unconventional, and actually fun opportunities for fitness and activity that the underrated, underappreciated Plex offers. 

The very first thing that appears upon visiting BC’s “BC Campus Recreation” website is a headline banner in bold, BC-colored capital letters, reading “SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.” From “Aqua Bootcamp” to salsa dancing to rock climbing and ice skating classes, this mantra doesn’t lie. Truth be told, the Plex actually has a world to offer in terms of catering to all kinds of fitness preferences. 

For those adventurous, outdoorsy types who find indoor exercise claustrophobic and uninspiring, or for those simply looking to take advantage of beautiful New England, Campus Recreation’s new Outdoor Adventures Program is here for the taking. The Outdoor Adventures Program offers several day-long trips and clinics while also providing opportunities for various training and certificates such as Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder. 

Trips and clinics include snow shoeing in the Bluehill Mountains, cross country skiing in New Ipswich, N.H., rock climbing at Hammond Pond, or even paddleboard yoga in the Plex itself. Extended, more rigorous programs are offered as well, such as this year’s Southwest Spring Break rock climbing trip in St. George, Utah. “We travel to some of the most exciting parts of New England for adventures of a lifetime,” said Eli Crispell, the assistant director of the Outdoor Adventure Program (OA).

All of the outdoor adventures are open to beginners and people of all experience levels. “Our trips are predominantly staffed by our excellent student instructors,”  said Crispell, who explained that “student instructors go through an intensive training program and have a passion for taking others into the wilderness.” Individual programs range in price, requiring small fees usually around $15 to $20 with a BC ID. 

“In addition to the trips, the OA program has a top-notch rental program, offering high quality outdoor equipment to the BC community,” Crispell said. Interested in signing up for one of the OA programs? It’s as simple as stopping by the member services office at the Plex on your next trip over.    

Another underappreciated aspect of BC’s Plex is without a doubt the pool. For those aquatically inclined students out there looking for something outside of the realm of redundant freestyle laps, Campus Recreation offers a multitude of water activities, such as aqua jogging, aqua bootcamp, lifeguarding and CPR courses, and various private and group swim lessons. 

Both water fitness classes are described as “high-energy, low impact, and highly innovative.” Both are perfect for anyone with a joint discomfort or injury. Campus Recreation has also launched the motivating “swim incentive,” a goal to “swim the Boston Marathon course” before the actual marathon this April. 

Moving your “running shoe” icon as you swim the distances between each mile marker, you can keep track of your distance and email plexaqua@bc.edu every time you reach another mile. Word on the street is that the top two finishers will receive a pretty cool prize. Swim on, BC.

Salsa dancing and Jiu-Jitsu have also earned a place on the list of unique, fun, and motivating activities offered through BC Campus Recreation. Always wanted to try out martial arts? The beginner Jiu-Jitsu program gives students the opportunity to “learn how to out-maneuver their adversary by applying technique over speed, strength, and size.” 

For the more experienced martial arts students, the advanced Jiu-Jitsu class offers the opportunity to “develop mental and physical exercises that emphasize endurance, strength, coordination, and flexibility” in order to take their skills to the next level

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