Top 10 Ways to Tone Your Legs at UF

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With summer just around the corner, University of Florida students scurry around campus, hoping to get some extra steps to tone their legs for bathing suit season. Why not fit some workouts into your schedule to get your body looking as hot as the weather? Check out these top 10 workouts for a full-body experience that doesn’t keep you stuck inside. Whether you’re addicted to exercise or barely use your gym membership, these cost-effective and entertaining exercises will fit into your class schedule.

1. Run the Stadium

Known as the original “swamp,” Ben Hill Griffin Stadium seats over 88,000 people and gains fame and fortune daily since its inception in 1930. Tickets to sit in the stands sell out in a rapid flurry every season, but why not do squats in the stands? During school hours the doors to the stands stand wide open, making it the perfect location to tone your lower body by running up and down hundreds of flights of stairs. Your legs will feel like jelly for the next week, but you’ll climb your way to a kick-ass lower bod in no time.

2. Climb Every Flight of Stairs in Little Hall

Not all of us have time to fit four hours of stadiums into our schedule. If you crave a quick workout between classes, head to Little Hall. Little Hall will undoubtedly house one of your annoying gen-eds, so it’s a hard building to miss. Strap on your 20 lbs. of over priced textbooks and tackle its four double flights of stairs to burn off the bacon and egg croissants you ate for breakfast every day this week.

3. Work out at SouthWest Recreation Center

The first time I walked into SW rec, I was late to a yoga class and steaming about lack of parking. As soon as I stepped through the doors, I forgot all of my anger as the size and resources of the SW Rec overwhelmed me. This is free? I thought. “The staff and instructors are all really great and have always treated me really well!” UF Senior Samantha Burdo said. “There are two yoga instructors in particular I really like, Tori and Kira.” Ditch your pricey gym membership and enlist in yoga classes, cycle sessions and free training programs. You already pay for these resources with your tuition, so might as well take advantage of them.

4. Run Down Museum Road

Say goodbye to greasy treadmills and head down Museum Road, where the trail runs 2.5 miles from SW Rec to the Beatty towers. With nature’s breeze as your natural fan, swing around Lake Alice or head towards Century Tower. “It’s a really beautiful campus; there’s so many little routes to run down. I love to run by the bat houses and lake Alice on Hull road,” UF junior Melody Mullaly said. Don’t forget to reward yourself with a “green” smoothie from Freshens at the end of your 2.5-mile jog. A Gator’s need to keep their legs looking good all year long somehow.

5. Take Advantage of Lake Wauberg

Next time you have a Saturday off from homework, spend it at Lake Wauberg. Achieve those Michelle Obama arms by paddle boarding or kayaking on a serene lake. “I love to go to Lake Wauberg to relax and kayak,” UF freshman Hannah Eades said. “The ramps they have set up for boating are amazing.” Lake Wauburg activities include wakeboarding, boating, rock climbing, kayaking and water skiing. After working out with all those outdoor activities, your butt and legs will feel solid as a rock.

6. Take a Trip

If you’re dying to get out and see the Grand Canyon under a full moon or the snowy Swiss Alps take a Trip. Not just any trip, but a trip with Trip, UF’s club for outdoor social adventures. Go surfing in St. Augustine, rock climbing in Sandrock or backpacking in Linville Gorge. Forget your stressful school life, and sign up with a simple online registration process and get a full-body work out the natural way.

7. Bike to Class

Go green and get an energy boost before class by biking to campus. Though it’s tempting to drive to class when you live barely a mile from campus, the limited parking sends you searching for a space for 30 minutes and another 10 minutes running to class. Biking takes half the time, every time. “I don’t have the attention span to wait for the bus, so I started biking!” UF junior Ethan Baldwin said. Cut some pollution and gas expenses out of your life while you flex those thighs—just try not to get hit by those crazy, college drivers on your way.

8. Try the Outdoor Team Challenge Course

Up for a real challenge? Head out to Lake Wauberg and prepare yourself for one of their four outdoor team challenge courses. You’ll need more than just brute strength for these courses; bring a friend for backup in an intense race up suspended rock walls and hanging rope nets. Leave your fear of heights at home and use your core to balance yourself up in the trees while strengthening every muscle in your body.

9. Brace Yourself for Bootcamp

If you’re looking for an intense, full-body workout, spend an hour of your weekdays at Southwest Recreation’s Bootcamp. Work your way through an intricate combination of exercises and combine total body conditioning and core training to enhance your speed and agility with an active staff that will work every muscle in your body until you scream. Your legs and butt—and everybody complementing them—will thank you.

10. Swing Dancing Nights

The best workouts I’ve gotten on campus have been at the Friday night swing dancing club meetings at UF’s auditorium building. One late Friday night my best friends led me deep into the music building and we spent the night dancing nonstop. We learned solo moves and couples dances, swinging to the sounds of the roaring ’20s. I woke up with a smile on my face and an ache in every muscle of my body. UF senior Elijah Eggers said, “It’s definitely a lot of cardio, but you meet a lot of weird, cool people. Its social cardio!”

Savannah is a social butterfly who likes to socialize with her books and puppies more than real humans. She’s a junior at the University of Florida studying Anthropology and History and enjoys spending her free time rock climbing, doing yoga and writing.

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