Ways to stay active without having to set foot into that horrible place.

Dodge sucks. There is not enough space on this little blog to describe every way in which Dodge sucks. It’s small. It’s cramped. You’re always standing literally shoulder-to-shoulder with people. It’s hot. No machines are ever open, and there’s maybe one, maximum two, of each kind of machine. For a school community of 40,000, in addition to a neighborhood community of who knows how many, Dodge is hilariously inadequate. But unfortunately, it’s the best we’ve got.

There are plenty of reasons not to want to go to Dodge, whether you’re new to fitness and intimidated, or just claustrophobic. But staying active is an important aspect of staying healthy, so here are some ways even us anxious baddies can get a workout in without having to set foot in the Dodge Dungeon.

A note: If you’re a real bona fide gym bro, these workouts are probably not gonna cut it for you. This is for your average Joe that just wants to get the heart rate up occasionally.

  • Everyone says it, so I’ll say it again: we are lucky to live next to two of New Yorks best parks: Central Park and Riverside. So use them!
    • Central Park has great running/walking paths. If you go counterclockwise, you hit the big hill immediately, but after that, it’s very nice and gentle.
    • Going on a nice long walk down Central Park is a fun way to spend a day regardless of fitness goals.
    • Riverside has a bunch of stairs if you want to do uphill workouts. And a very simple workout is literally just running/jogging/walking to 96th and back, which is almost exactly two miles from 116th.
    • Another Riverside workout is running down to 72nd, getting your groceries from the 72nd Trader Joes, and taking the subway back up.
    • In fact, Bwog has compiled a whole bunch of running routes around the city and just in Riverside.
  • Another cardio option is using dorm gyms, if you’re lucky enough to live in or near a dorm with a gym.
    • EC has two, on the 8th and 16th floors.
    • 47 Claremont one in the basement
    • Broadway has one on the 4th floor
    • Carman has one in the basement
    • Harmony has one on the 2nd floor
    • McBain has one on the 4th floor
    • River has one in the basement
    • Ruggles has one in the basement
    • Woodbridge has one on the 1st floor
    • They are all pretty minimal though, don’t expect much
  • Make cardio a part of your routine.
    • Take the stairs! If you live anywhere below the 7th floor, you can do it! You somehow get up those Hamilton stairs, don’t you?
    • Always be a little late to class. Nothing like a powerwalk to wake you up in the mornings*
      • *This is only half joke…don’t be late to class but also…it does work…
  • If running or walking aren’t your thing, bike!
    • Bike rentals around Central Park are surprisingly cheap (check out Larry’s Freewheeling, right on Cathedral Parkway at the entrance to the park).
    • Scour Facebook marketplace, or Columbia Buy/Sell, and you can probably find a pretty cheap bike.
      • You can also get a training stand for it, and bike in your room.
  • Take a strategic PE class. Yeah, this requirement is annoying and goofy, but since you have to do it anyways, take advantage of it.
    • Any of the weightlifting classes get you a floor of D*dge to yourself.
    • Something like yoga or hiking can let you actually have fun working out.
  • On a similar note, join a club, sport, or dance group!
    • From ultimate frisbee to ballet to karate, people on this campus have a club for it. And for many of them, you don’t have to be good. Like at all. Just show up, and you’ll get better!
  • Do yoga. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but has the advantage of little to no materials required, and usually being open to all levels of fitness.
    • Look out for University Life events. They do random pop-up classes all the time, but also consistently yoga in Earl Hall from 7 to 8 pm on Thursdays. If anything, you can say you’ve been inside Earl Hall.
    • Columbia Art of Living also does free yoga classes, just sign up for their mailing list to stay in the know.
    • There are a lot of great yoga instructors for free on YouTube. Yoga with Adriene is a personal favorite, but there really are endless options to choose from. All you need is a mat and a bit of floor space in your room.
  • And on that note, check out YouTube for a wide variety of in-your-room workouts.
    • Chloe Ting is iconic and popular, if you’re into that kind of thing.
    • There are so many yoga channels, as mentioned above.
    • In general, any combination of “calisthenics” or “at home workout” will probably give you a bunch of options.
  • There are so many exercises you can do with no weights:
    • Everything to do with your core
    • Squats, lunges, calf raises
    • Push-ups, tricep dips, pull-ups if you can find a bar (or exposed pipe)
    • There are plenty more you can just google, the point is, you can do a pretty customizable full-body workout without any weights or machines. Sure, you may need more reps than if you had weights, but it’ll get the job done.
  • Finally, you can always cave and buy a gym membership at the 125th Planet Fitness or Crunch.
    • Definitely more expensive than free, and often still pretty crowded, but if weightlifting is important to you, both of those gyms are comfortably walkable distance from campus.

Sprinting via Bwarchives