By Blake Dickinson, Contributor
There’s a lot more than just weights and treadmills within the walls of HPER. The amount of classes offered in the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation building surprises most students. They cover a wide variety of activities that appeal to the future fitness professional as well as the casually active student.
Most classes are offered for one credit, which is a relatively small time commitment for students needing to fill their semester course load. They are also cost efficient for anyone simply wanting to learn more about a sport or athletic activity.
The actual sports classes that are offered are often taught by UNO coaches who have extensive experience and skill in the activity. Many of the course descriptions for these classes say that they are, “designed to develop the fundamental skills and knowledge” for the sport.
Classes in this category include golf, tennis, basketball, track and field and volleyball. Also offered is “net sports” which includes tennis, badmitton, pickleball and table tennis.
These classes won’t make you an expert in any sport, as they meet for only 50 minutes once or twice a week, but they will give you a solid background on the fundamental skills and strategies to playing each game.
Class sizes range from 20-50, so there will likely always be people at similarly low or high levels of skill in each class.
For many students, these classes allow them to access the rooms and features of the HPER building such as the putting range, archery room or squash and raquetball courts on the first floor that they may not have previously known existed.
For any students looking to improve their fitness, there are several classes geared towards personal strength and endurance development. For beginners, classes such as low-impact aerobics, walking/jogging and swim conditioning are offered. Students with a little more experience in fitness might enjoy aerobic dance/weight training, power yoga or cross-training.
There are classes for dancers, hip-hop enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers and anyone wanting to learn more about self-defense. These classes utilize every aspect of the HPER building, which is in its fifth year of use since being remodeled. From the swimming pool to the rock climbing walls to the Outdoor Venture Center, there is something available to each class.
For some UNO athletes, these classes can be an excellent supplement to the training they are already doing with their teams. For Junior track and cross country runner Avery Schmidt, taking these kinds of classes has helped her build strength in areas that just running or normal weight training didn’t provide.
“The yoga class that I took last year helped increase my flexibility and decrease my stress levels,” she said, “In weight training, flexibility isn’t stressed as much even though it can be just as important. It’s helped me stay injury-free.”
Althought taking various exercise classes is required for her Excercise Science degree, she feels that she is now much more inclined to take the extra classes due to how much she enjoyed the first one. Schmidt is enrolled in HPER’s hip-hop class for the spring semester.
As mostly beginner-level classes, students typically don’t need to worry about overexerting themselve; however, needing a shower afterwards is almost guaranteed. Some classes do offer a minimal amount of homework, but the majority of the work is done during the class meeting.
Some advanced classes, such as Ballet II, require taking their beginner versions first as prerequisites. For all swimming classes, students must be able to continuously swim for 25 yards, as the classes are not geared towards teaching how to swim, but how to swim more efficiently. The scuba class that is offered requires more extensive prerequisite skills.
For more information about these and other classes, the UNO course catalog can be accessed through unomaha.edu, or a class search can be done through each student’s MavLink account. Advisors within each college will be able to assist in deciding which classes will work towards certain degrees.