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Team in Training kills two evils with one running shoe. The Leukemia Society organizes teams of runners, walkers, cyclists, and triathletes who pledge money and commit time to train for a major marathon. The teams meet with a coach for four to six months, measuring each team member’s abilities and designing a regimen that fits best. In other words, you don’t have to be an expert cyclist or have five marathons under your belt to join. Each team member is asked to raise $1,500 by the time of the marathon to benefit research for leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. It’s a perfect way to get in the habit of exercising while raising money for cancer research. Learn more about Team in Training at two information meetings on Mon., Jan. 23 and Sat., Jan. 28 at the MUSC Wellness Center on Courtenay Street. Call 958-9185 for more information.
Take the Plunge
Swimming is one of the best exercises known to fight aging, but it’s January. Some might be brave enough to do the polar bear thing, but the rest of us will probably want to go to one of these local indoor, heated pools.
St. Andrews Family Fitness Plus, 1642 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. 763-3850. $10 pool day-pass. Mon-Thurs: 5 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun: 1-6 p.m.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Aquadome, 155 Jackson St. 724-7346. $1 pool day-pass. Mon.-Fri: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Sun.
College of Charleston Stern Center, corner of George and Coming streets. 953-5726. Open to students, guests, faculty, and alumni only.
MUSC Student Wellness Center, 45 Courtenay Dr. 792-7080. $10 pool day-pass. Mon.-Fri: 6 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sat: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sun: 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
It Hurts Less Than Running
When you think of low-impact exercise, don’t think gray-haired grannies covered in flowered swim caps. Think of burning calories, building muscle, and not lying on the couch with ice packs on your shins. Here’s a list of our favorite low-impact exercises proven to work without joint and bone strain.
• Yoga. Salute the sun, do the downward dog, and stretch and build muscles without getting shin splints.
• The recumbent bicycle. Perfect for those who like to relax, this bike lets you lie back and watch television or read while working those leg muscles.
• Water aerobics. The water adds resistance and lets you burn serious calories without the stress.
• Rollerblading. Granted, falling on your butt might be bad for your spine, but the gliding motion builds muscles with minimal stress.
• The elliptical trainer. The motions and calorie burning are reminiscent of running, but with less knee and shin pain. Perfect.
It can be ridiculously hard to get excited about exercising without someone there to motivate you. V Fitness can help with their team training classes, which add fun to working out (as much as possible). The first is “Boot Camp.” Trainers meet a group of 4-10 people in the grassy field in front of the Aquarium for a day of exercise that’s like fifth grade Field Day on steroids. The session incorporates medicine ball workouts, hula hoops, obstacle courses … maybe even a blue ribbon for the first-place winner. Don’t let the setup fool you, though, it is a very intense workout that uses all muscle groups. The “Bridge Class” meets with a trainer for a walk from V at Fountain Walk to the top of the new Ravenel Bridge and back, stopping along the way to do walking and sideways lunges, sprints, and pushups. The breathtaking view from the top should make this one worthwhile, and you’re sure to entertain passing drivers along the way. Both classes are seasonal, meeting in spring and fall only (to avoid getting chills or heat stroke). Both are available to V members or through guest passes. Call 723-3334 or visit