Healthy Ways To Stay Active On Campus

By Brittany Fleck, USC Student, Be Well Blogger

Our campus is not just beautiful; it is useful and conducive for a healthy lifestyle. Though we don’t have hills to run up and down, there is a plethora of ways to workout by staying inside the USC bubble.

For those of you who are runners out there, I have two favorite running trails in the USC area. If you aren’t trying to run into your philosophy professor or that boy from last weekend, the Staples center run is a good option. Measuring 1.7 miles from my home at Troy Hall, this run is one that always leaves me feeling rejuvenated and empowered. Take Fig the entire way. Not only will you get a great taste of life surrounding campus, but you may get winked and or whistled at by a handful of middle aged men. Granted, I have never really felt unsafe while doing this run, but taking a running buddy with you is always a good idea. Running there and home is a little over 3 miles and a very great way to start your day off.

Another running trail I love is the classic campus loop. I am not a huge fan of track running, so doing the campus loop is a great way to be able to track your progress in terms of looping from start to stop, but it also is a change of environment. What makes running on the track so frustrating for me is that you continually see the same thing. The campus loop is 2.2 miles with a changing view! Do it one direction, and then change your direction to go the other way if you are looking to try a longer run.

For those of you who are not running gurus, the track has a great grassy area around it that is perfect for personal workouts. Download the NIKE Training Club App for endless exercises that focus on target muscles like abs, legs, butt and arms. FitStar is another great one. Free as well, it acts similarly to a personal trainer coach, adapting its exercise routines to match your physical capability, so the workouts are challenging without being too difficult. MapMyRun is also great for runners to track their runs and also follow other people’s runs.

The track also has stairs on the side of it that you can use to run up and down. Make your sprints range from hard to easy by starting with 30 steps slow, medium and then fast. Don’t just run up and down the stairs, but try hopping or switching from one foot to the other. Running up stairs brings even more benefits because the body is constantly being lifted upward with each step; it engages more leg muscles than running and even improves your vertical jump.

In addition to the stairs, the track has some great new bar equipment to work on pull-ups and increase maximum arm strength…also who doesn’t love playing on monkey bars?! Staying fit is easier than ever!

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