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
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
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
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.