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by Erin Morgan, student writer


People generally associate exercise and fitness with working out in a gym and paying for a membership. What people often overlook is the fact that one can get an effective, safe, and free workout without ever setting foot in a gym.

In recent years staying in shape and simply living healthier lives has become a much more important concern of college students. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the United States is the most overweight nation in the world, and one-third of U.S. adults are classified as overweight. With a recent explosion in the growth of fitness clubs, such as 24-Hour Fitness, it is becoming apparent that times could very well be changing. Commercial gyms have not yet reached the level of, say Starbucks, but you would definitely be hardpressed to find yourself out of range of a 24-Hour Fitness branch.

College students are one of many demographics embracing this new fitness trend. If you are a student at HPU, you might have noticed the occasional 24-Hour Fitness booth, complete with perfectly sculpted sales people, trying to pitch their “affordable” gym memberships. The typical college students are scraping change out from between the seat cushions to pay for parking and now they find themselves being pressed to pay a membership fee to allow them to exercise.

Here on O‘ahu, finding alternatives to going to the gym is easy. In other parts of the world, where cold weather is a factor, a physically capable people can get away with using gyms for their fitness regime. Living in a proverbial paradise, HPU students should have almost no excuse.

Sven Peltonin, New Jersey-state seasonal lifeguard, North Shore resident, and big-wave charger, is in what he considers the best shape of his life. His weekly exercise routine consists only of plyometric exercise. Plyometrics consists of moving your own body weight in order to build and tone muscles which also, because of its increased level of effort, provides an aerobic workout at the same time. Peltonin’s workout consists of pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, crunches, dips, soft-sand running, and occasional swims. Plyometric exercise is a simple, safe, and efficient way to keep fit without having to report to an indoor arena of dead weights, treadmills, and ego-boosting mirrors.

Adhering to a consistent routine, such as Peltonin’s, of two to four sets will often times have the average gym rat huffing and puffing. Slowly increasing the number of sets and running distance will have you building and toning muscle for noticeable results.

Most people avoid these exercises in the gym simply because they are harder than lifting weights. Peltonin also considers plyometrics a safer workout.

“ Most injuries sustained from working out come from lifting dead weight and tearing muscles,” Peltonin said. “Using your own body weight minimizes the chances of straining yourself,” he added.
Although Peltonin is not entirely against gym workouts, he finds them boring and repetitive.

“All the exercises available in the gym I can find a way to do in a natural environment,” he said.



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