cartoon woman in a wheelchair in a gym setting
Jamie Kim / Gavel Media

Group Fitness for Everyone: InclusivHIITy

Boston College’s fall semester has been anything but ordinary. The suggestion of spending time with friends outside has probably been tossed around now more than ever. Less people roam around the Gasson quad during their free time. Stokes South has yet to have a bustling line of students waiting for their caffeine fix from the Chocolate Bar. Yet, even with these noticeable changes, students have still been able to experience BC in a modified way. 

Take exercise for an example; instead of walking into the Margot Connell Recreation Center, students line up outside of the gym before their pre-scheduled workout time. Once they are inside, every student’s temperature is taken before they can exercise in a socially distant environment. Group fitness classes—an option that many undergraduates take advantage of—are still offered in a way that is considered safe and feasible. 

This year, the fitness class roster kept the classics like cardio kickboxing, Zumba, spin, and barre fitness. However, there is a recent addition that stands out from the rest. BC’s Council for Students with Disabilities (CSD) initiated a new group fitness class that encourages those with or without a disability to join in. InclusivHIITy, which has quite the clever play on words, is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class that runs for approximately one hour. 

Kristen Bayreuther, MCAS ‘23, is the main instructor for InclusivHIITy. After extensive Internet research on which workouts cater to those without lower-body mobility, she designed the class with exercises that provide a fun workout for people of all ability levels.

The class begins with a warm-up, which typically consists of a few 30-second exercises with 15-second rests in between them. Some of these include arm punches and arm circles. The next part involves conditioning sections that focus on arms and abs before ending with a stretching cool down routine. 

Since its launch this fall semester, InclusivHIITy has been offered in-person and virtually. If a student wants to attend the class in-person, they must pre-register for the session through the BC Campus Recreation website. For the virtual group fitness classes, members of the BC community can sign up on the same website and receive the links to join the live virtual classes being offered that month. While the fitness schedule has not been set in stone for next semester, Bayreuther expects InclusivHIITy to continue its virtual classes. 

As the pandemic continues, Bayreuther stresses how helpful it is for people to follow the virtual sessions if they are not comfortable with returning to the gym just yet. 

“Having those in your back pocket is a great idea. I have my yoga mat in my room and I can do a quick workout,” Bayreuther adds. 

With Thanksgiving and winter break just around the corner, and many students leaving campus, at-home workouts can be an effective way to get in daily exercise. In an effort to make them more accessible in dorms or at home, BC Recreation posts a variety of classes on their YouTube channel for people to follow at their leisure. To view InclusivHIITy’s first YouTube video, click here. You can also check out the BC Recreation YouTube page for more.

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