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Archive | February, 2013

Love: Mount Union Style

Posted on 20 February 2013 by Harley Marsh

Last week Mount students and faculty showed love not just for loved ones on Valentine’s Day, but for their school. Tuesday, February 12 the Mount Union Office of Marketing put together an “I Heart Mount” photo booth in HPCC from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Many students and faculty were able to get their picture taken using some of the many props provided by the Office of Marketing, and then that picture was later posted on Mount’s Facebook page. A winner was then chosen by MUCAW for the best picture.  From Monday to Thursday, students were also asked to tweet #IHeartMount and why, and the winning tweet was also chosen by MUCAW. Both winners would receive a “purple raider gift basket.”

Many students participated in both events. Senior and Office of Marketing student worker Megan Smith commented that because it’s Valentine’s Day, “we wanted to remind people there are things about school to be thankful for.” Many may have been without a date for Valentine’s Day, but at least they could express their love for Mount Union and feel appreciated in return. Megan added, “Everyone who takes pictures gets a valentine and a lollipop.”

All pictures taken on Tuesday are available on Mount Union’s official Facebook page, and all tweets with the #IHeartMount can be found on Mount Union’s official twitter @mountunion. Winners were announced on Valentine’s Day.  The winning photo featured Mary Mahoney, Jenny Gamertsfelder, and Daryn Herman. The winning tweet was Presley Mays, “I love how Mount has become my home. The people here are a true family. I couldn’t be happier. Dream come true #IheartMount”

Around 100 photos were taken, though a few were of the Office of Marketing staff.  Everyone had a great time trying on glasses, hats, and beads, and holding mustaches, hearts, and signs they were able to write on in chalk. Congratulations to the winners and remember to participate in upcoming Mount Union events and show your Raider Pride.

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Safe Heaven is a safe bet for any romantic date

Posted on 20 February 2013 by Bailey Miller

Nobody can deliver a romantic love story quite like best-selling author Nicholas Sparks can.  His novels and their movie counterparts have brought us some of the greatest love stories of all time.  The latest of Sparks’ novel to film adaptations, Safe Haven, is no exception.

The film stars Julianne Hough as Katie, a young women who travels to the sleepy North Carolina beach town of Southport from Boston, desperate to escape demons from her past, and reluctant to make close ties with the residents.  Katie soon takes up residence in Southport, and forms a friendship with her single neighbor, Jo (Cobie Smulders), who urges her to open up to the residents of the town. Events soon cause her to let down her guard, and meet Alex, a widowed, kind hearted shop owner who is played by Josh Duhamel.  As Katie begins to put down roots in the town, she becomes increasingly close to Alex and his two children.  As love blossoms between the two, Katie still struggles with the dark secret from her past that haunts her constantly, and is the reason she took refuge in the secluded safe haven of Southport.  As her past threatens to catch up with her, and shatter the life she has started in Southport, Katie realizes that she must make a choice; a choice between living a life of safety, or to continue to run from her past.  With the relationships and security Katie has found in Southport, she soon realizes that only love is the true safe haven.

The film was directed by Swedish director Lasse Hallström, and currently is receiving mixed reviews from critics.  Currently, the film has received a 12% rating on from critics, with 71% positive audience response.  As the eighth film adaptation from Sparks’, it is possible the love story formula that he has perfected, is beginning to lack originality. Safe Haven has its own fair share of high points.  The casting of fresh faces such as Hough and Duhamel is pleasing to contemporary audiences and their chemistry onscreen meshes together nicely.  In addition, the unexpected twist at the end of the film will leave audiences talking about the film long after the credits roll.

The main issue with Safe Haven, aside from the exaggerated melodrama that comes with the typical romantic film, is most definitely the lack of originality present in the film.  On the surface the film appears to be a typical Nicholas Sparks adaptation, and the film is simply just that.  The setting, situations the characters are placed in, and the dramatic events are all quite reminiscent of previous Sparks fare, and could leave audiences feeling like they have already seen this kind of film–and they most likely have.

Nevertheless, audiences wishing to indulge in a bit of romance, some eye-candy, landscape shots of North Carolina and a slight air of mystery for 150 minutes will find what they are looking for in Safe Haven, and will leave the theater to go purchase the novel counterpart as well.

Safe Haven is currently showing at Cinemark Carnation Cinema 5.  Show times for the week are 10:20 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 7:10 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.

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Studying Abroad

Posted on 13 February 2013 by Megan Shadrach

The University of Mount Union sends about 60 students a year to study abroad in 28 different countries around the world.  These students return with experiences and memories to last a lifetime.

It’s time to take a closer look at what drove these exceptional students to leave their comfort zone and become cultivated into another country.  Senior Kelly Arko studied abroad on two separate occasions.  “I knew it would be an amazing opportunity to break out of my shell and experience something that not a lot of people get the chance to do,” said Arko. “I loved the idea of living in a different country for an extended time; it’s more than just a vacation, so you get the chance to become a part of the environment and experience it as a resident rather than a tourist.”

Students choose to study abroad for many different reasons.  Junior Alyssa Greenwell studied abroad for the opportunity to see the world and to be able to live and interact with different cultures. “I can’t even put into words how truly great it was because there are no words that will do it justice,” said Greenwell when explaining her overall experience while studying in London this past summer.

Senior Alicia Switzer chose to study abroad to take a specific course, Intercultural Communication. “What better way to learn about it than taking this course abroad,” said Switzer. Regardless of their reasons to leave, they all seem to return with the similar life changing experiences.

Senior Sydney Mihailoff had a rough start. However, after being lost in India alone, and experiencing major culture shock, Mihailoff said, “I wouldn’t change going there for anything.”

Adjusting to a different language can be challenging, according to study abroad students.  Many of the students implied that this challenge made their experience fun.  Senior Zak Suhar explained that his Spanish host family knew very little English, which left him with the challenge of speaking Spanish every day.

Junior Katlin Gainer, who studied in Pau, France, described her experience as eye opening.  “I saw the Eiffel Tower, climbed the Pyrenees Mountains, walked down the Champs d’Elysées, bought a chocolatine from a bakery before class, and enjoyed the language of a completely different culture,” said Gainer.  “How many 20 year olds can say that?”

Studying abroad takes students out of their comfort zone and forces them to adjust to a new and different culture.  “Despite being uncomfortable, I had to accept the culture for being different and make the best of those differences” said Switzer.  “I had to learn to laugh at frustrating things.”

Suhar described his experience abroad as life motivating. “I learned to be more independent, live completely on my own, combat a language barrier, how to budget travel, how to overcome my fears, and how to simply enjoy what had to be offered.”

Studying abroad gave Greenwell the confidence to know that she can do anything she sets her mind to. Mihailoff agreed and said, “You really get to know how strong you really can be.”

Gainer encourages other students to take advantage of this opportunity, “It is an amazing experience that you may never get the chance to do for the rest of your life, and it allows you to discover things about yourself you didn’t even know.”

All of these students agreed that they highly recommend studying abroad to any Mount Union student.  The best advice they have to offer students is to conquer your fear and to keep a positive attitude and an open mind.

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Girls ready for domination

Posted on 13 February 2013 by Nyejel Thomas

The Mount Union women’s basketball program is primed for another deep run in the playoffs this year.

Improving each and every year, they have put together quite a string of success (16-9 in 2009, 26-5  in 2010, 26-4 in 2011).

Going 28-2 last year, with their only two losses coming at the hands of Otterbein early in the season and in the NCAA Tournament to eventual national champions Illinois Wesleyan, the Lady Raiders are driven and focused this year under the direction of head coach Suzy Venet.

“Every second counts. We lost on the buzzer last season and we have to play every position out.  It was a heart wrenching loss for our seniors and our team, but life goes on. The sun came up the next day and we still have to live another day,” said Venet. “I won’t let them lose focus.  They’ll get an earful from me if I think we do and we’ll start running sprints,” she added.

The team is ranked sixth in the nation and has started the season off right with a 2-0 start. Of these two wins, they beat last year’s National Champion and currently ranked fifth in the nation team, Illinois Wesleyan, 73-68.

The team is very balanced and experienced this year. All-American Point Guard Senior Rosa LaMattina, Senior Tierney Allen, Sophomore Nancy Osborne, Senior Marybeth Leitch and Senior Center Brittany Kilgore, returning from injury, round out the starting five.

With Kilgore, and the arrival of up and coming Sophomore Aly Daniel, who will be coming off the bench for the Lady Raiders, the team will be able to take control.

“We need Brittany and Aly to control the boards and make up for our two 1,000 point scorers we lost last year. I think, with that combo, we may have the best two centers in the OAC” said Coach Venet.

Their bench consists of many players who can provide immediate spark upon entering the game. Freshman Annie Bova will receive some solid playing time to add to the young talent for the future. Seniors Maggie Miller, Kensie Kemble, Junior Amanda Turner, and Sophomore Chandler Moore bring much experience to the team.

The Lady Raiders’ playing style this year will be a fast paced, up-tempo offense that will push the ball on fast breaks.

“Our offense starts on defense,” said Coach Venet, “but it’s our goal to score 72 points per game. We’re going to play a pressing, unselfish style of basketball,” she added.

That unselfishness is cultivated by the team’s chemistry. Coach Venet says that it makes her job easy when all of the players are on the same page. She added that team chemistry is paramount to women’s athletics, and is something that needs to be worked on throughout the season.

The Lady Raiders are picked to finish first in the OAC once again. The team’s goal, as well as the expectation on campus, is well known. The bar is set high, but with the talent on this team, it is more than an attainable goal.

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New site on the block

Posted on 13 February 2013 by Dynamo Staff

by. Andria Lyons

Facebook and Twitter better step aside because there is a new social media site on the block. Pinterest has put a new spin on social media by making their site more than just comments provided by other users. Pinterest has made its mark and is moving up the social networking ladder.

Essentially, Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board for sharing images. This site allows its users to surf through thousands of pictures that will then link them to the website from which the pictures came. When a user is interested in a specific site, they “pin” the picture to one of their own category boards.

Who is Pinterest targeting? While Facebook and Twitter focus on the age demographic, Pinterest takes its targeting strategies to a different demographic. Gender. According to, a site dedicated to social media research, Pinterest is female-dominated with 68.2% of its users being women.

While Pinterest contains 33 different topics to choose from, Food & Drink, Women’s Fashion and Weddings are among the most popular in regard to pinned items. “It has a bunch of different, creative ideas that I wouldn’t necessarily think of on my own and they’re all in one place,” said Senior Katie White.

From recipes, to wedding invitations, to the latest fashions, Pinterest covers all areas that women may want to seek out new ideas on. “Oh my gosh, I love Pinterest. I’m on it every day!” said Junior Sarah Herman. Sarah was not the only person to react this way when Pinterest was brought up. The Washington Post actually printed an article that called Pinterest “digital crack for women.”

With the Pinterest App for smart phones, women can be found “pinning” just about anywhere. “I go on Pinterest all the time because it’s always with me. I’m on it in class, in my room while I’m attempting to do homework, and when I’m just bored and have some time to spare,” said Junior Abbey Chandler.

Pinterest’s focus on women of all ages has created a longer lifespan for the site. “I look at the clothes and cooking stuff. When I’m older, though, I will probably use the home décor sites more. I look at it now, but it doesn’t apply to me as much as it will later,” said Junior Amanda Peters. Women are not only pinning things that apply to them now, but also things that may apply to them in the future as well.

Pinterest’s ability to constantly upload new pictures and websites will also help the site’s lifespan. “I think Pinterest will last a long time because it will always be able to keep up with whatever trends are happening. It’s not something that will fade away when the trends fade away,” said Peters.

Pinterest has actually passed Facebook statistics in regard to how long the average user is accessing the site. Pinterest users spend an average of 15.8 minutes on the site at a time, while Facebook averages 12.1 minutes, according to Pinterest has shown great progress since its launch in 2010 and has become the place to go when creativity is needed. “My room is filled with ‘Pinterest Projects’ and Pinterest is always the first place I go when looking for a new recipe to try,” said Chandler.

The Pinterest site has created a digital outlet for women to share their interests and ideas with women just like them. It is a place filled with new recipes, organizational tips, beautiful quotes and so much more.

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Up ’til Dawn

Posted on 13 February 2013 by Megan Shadrach

By: Megan Shadrach

The students of Mount Union came together Wednesday evening to write letters for the Up ‘til Dawn fundraiser in Campus Grounds.

The Up ‘til Dawn organization works directly with the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to raise funds and awareness.  The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened in 1962 and has been changing lives across the world ever since.

“Up ‘til Dawn is a program, ran through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, that partners with college campuses all across the United States for research and anything else they need funds for,” said co-sponsorship chair Jessica Jamison.

This is the fifth year that Mount Union has sponsored a letter writing event on campus for the Up ‘til Dawn organization.  The program works by providing letters and envelopes for students to fill out and send to friends and family members who may be willing to donate to St. Jude’s.  The goal of the fundraiser is to raise $100,000. Executive Director Danielle Porter said that it is good to “shoot for the highest we can.” Last year, Mount Union raised about $54,000 for St. Jude’s.

“No family gets turned away for inability to pay,” said Jamison. “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital costs $1.8 million to run each and every day.”

Before the event began there were about 370 students registered to write letters.  More students continued to sign up as the event went on.  Students who wrote 25 or more letters received a free Up ‘til Dawn t-shirt.

“Even though we are a small campus, we are always ranked in the top 10 of the country because of the amount of money we raise,” said Co-Sponsor Chair Alyssa Betro. Last year, Mount Union outraised larger schools such as Akron and Ohio University. Porter said, “It is good to be competitive, yet all of the money goes to the same cause.” Porter explained that any amount of money raised is important.

“St. Jude’s Hospital is a research hospital,” said Porter. “This means that their information and research results are shared with people around the world.” The money that is raised at Mount Union goes farther than just the individuals it helps, but betters cancer research around the globe.

Junior Chris Colby wrote letters to relatives and close family friends. Colby’s personal goal is to raise $200 within the 25 letters he wrote.  He wrote letters in memory of his aunt, who passed away from cancer.

For Junior Dillon Bright, writing letters also hit home. “I selected to send letters to people that I know will absolutely donate to St. Jude’s,” said Bright. “After going to St. Jude’s last year and meeting some of the children, I wanted to write as many letters as I could.”

Senior Alayna Mucci said she continues to write letters every year because she raised more than she expected during her freshman year. Mucci hopes to help raise $500 this year. Mucci said, “I think the letters give awareness of children’s cancer and the hospital.”

The letter writing event is the main event that Up ‘til Dawn holds on Mount Union’s campus.  There will be an official ‘Finale Event’ in March to reveal how much money the letters raised.  This event will include a picture booth, tie-dye t-shirts, a guest speaker and refreshments.  To make a donation to St. Jude’s log on to today!

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Ryan Collins speaks to Mount Union’s PRSSA chapter

Posted on 13 February 2013 by Megan Shadrach

Mount Union’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter invited a student guest speaker from Kent State University to speak on campus Wednesday night.

Ryan Collins is senior public relations major at Kent State University. Collins came to Mount Union’s campus to share personal advice and tips on how to be a successful student. Collins has had several internships and studied abroad in Italy. He is currently Kent State’s PRSSA online media manager; in which he is responsible for their website, Twitter account and photography.

Collins first tip for success was to “take every advantage to study abroad.”  A study abroad experience can add a lot to a resume. “Employers will love it,” said Collins. Studying abroad shows independence and initiative to potential employers.  It is important to be able to understand another culture that is different than your own, according to Collins. “You can go out and learn something new every single day,” he added.

Collins second tip was to become a “rock star student” by finding a niche within the organizations students are involved with. He explained that it was important for students to find something they are good at and enjoy doing. Being passionate about PR will help students land spots in internships. Collins advised students to have at least two internships before graduating and to network with professionals whenever possible.

The third tip for success that Collins gave was extending online media and making a “personal brand.” Creating a blog and expanding writing skills will provide students with work to show potential employers. Collins advised students to “write when you feel passionate.” Blogs are a great way to reach out to potential employers and show them what you’re made of.

Mount Union’s PRSSA chapter had Collins visit as a kick-off event for the year. This organization holds bi-weekly meetings and is planning some larger events within the upcoming month. PRSSA is an active organization on campus that is always welcoming new members. For more information on how to join PRSSA, e-mail President Hannah Shaffer or Vice President Sarah Kelly.

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Country line dance club proves popular with UMU students

Posted on 13 February 2013 by Jennifer Book

It’s Wednesday night and cars are packing the gravel parking lot.  The small barn-like brown building is lit with a variety of bright neon signs.  The sounds of a banjo escape from the windows and doors and as you enter loud country music is playing from the huge speakers in the front of the room. The dance floor is packed with people in camouflage, flannel, sundresses and cowboy boots.

This is the Dusty Armadillo, a popular country line dance club located in nearby Rootstown.  The Dusty is best known at Mount Union for its Wednesday night College ID night, where all patrons who show a college ID get into the club at a discounted price of five dollars, and all college students over the age of 21 get in for free after 8 p.m.

Students who have never been to The Dusty can find an easy description of it from a regular patron of the club, junior Amanda Perillo, “It’s a big barn in the middle of nowhere full of fun-loving rednecks like me!”

The Dusty is most popular with students who love country music and dancing, like junior Julie Russell.  “The Dusty combines the two things I love the most, dancing and country music,” said Russell, who attends College ID Night every week. “The rest of my week is spent on school, homework, my job and sorority, so The Dusty allows me to relax for one night a week.”

The Dusty is known throughout the region as the best place to go to country line dance.  It is popular with students who go to other schools such as Kent State and Akron, but is also known in the world of country music, with popular country music television network Great American Country (GAC) naming The Dusty the best country club in the state of Ohio.

Students who would want to go to the Dusty, but are afraid to because they do not know any of the line dances can fear no more, before every College ID Night starts, there are dance lessons that people can take before the club open that are only five dollars. “Everyone is there to have fun,” Russell said. “People are friendly and love to help beginners learn the dances during the night.”  The dances range from fast to slow, with some of the faster songs being harder dances, but most dances are easy to pick up after watching for a few seconds.

However, The Dusty is not just a dance club, it also happens to be one of the most popular country music concert venues in the region, with many acts that are just getting started in the business heading to The Dusty to show their stuff.  “I recently saw Florida Georgia Line at the Dusty,” said sophomore Taylor Crossman. “Being on a college budget, it’s hard to see concerts, especially acts you know and love!” Crossman only paid 10 dollars to see the popular new duo, “It was inexpensive, and not overly crowded because they only sell so many tickets.”

For students who are not fans of country music, they can still find something they love at The Dusty Armadillo. “They occasionally have Top 40 or songs you would hear at South Beach that play for the night.” said Russell. The Dusty also has teen nights, where students who are under 21 can get in for a discounted price “I went with my older sister when I was 14 and that’s when I fell in love with the Dusty.” said Perillo.

With something to offer for all Mount Union students, The Dusty Armadillo could be just the thing to make student’s school week a lot more exciting.

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Posted on 13 February 2013 by Samantha Sanson

Education, health and wellness are important parts of everyday life at the University of Mount Union. To encourage this, students are offered a variety of intramural sports to participate in each semester.

Competitions are held Monday through Thursday evenings at the MAAC between teams formed by students. Faculty and staff are also able to participate in intramural programs throughout the year.

Each semester, different sports are available for student involvement. According to Dan MacDuffie, the Director of Recreation and Wellness, flag football, sand volleyball, dodgeball, and two verses two basketball are options during the fall semester.  Championship contests occur at the end of each event.

During the spring semester, students can play five versus five basketball, softball, indoor soccer, and indoor volleyball.

Foster Eberly, a senior, has participated in intramural football as well as the five versus five basketball in the past. “Usually the fraternities get together teams as well as retired athletes,” said Eberly. As a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, he has been a part of teams with some of his brothers.

Completing his practicum hours for Sport Business, senior Cameron Baradziej helps with intramurals weekly. He said that football and volleyball have just finished; therefore dodgeball and two versus two men’s and women’s basketball are about to begin. The intramural events last for about a month or a little longer.

Matt Parnell, Assistant Director of Recreation and Wellness, works with the intramural program throughout the school year. “The most popular sports based on participation is basketball, flag football, sand volleyball and indoor volleyball,” he said.

Sororities participate in intramurals as well. Junior Cassie Siskovic, a sister of Alpha Zi Delta, partakes in sports with other sorority members. “We do everything! Basketball, water polo, indoor volleyball the whole nine yards!” she said.

Other intramural activities offered at Mount Union are badminton, quidditch, ultimate frisbee club, bowling club, and the newest addition, pickleball.  According to the USA Pickleball Association, this game is played on a badminton court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. It is played with a plastic baseball, similar to a wiffle ball, and a paddle. Essentially, the game is a combination of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton.

Pickleball is becoming popular among all age groups within other areas of the country. For instance, students at the University of the Ozarks recently learned about the game, as well as senior citizens at the Monroe Sports Center in New Jersey.

To play pickleball, Mount Union students have access to nets in the field house every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

All students are able to partake in any intramural sport. A new system has been integrated this year, allowing recreation accounts to be created through IM Leagues. This site allows students to add teams to a particular sport, and view the game schedule by day, week, month, or the entire season. To utilize this feature, go to

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Let’s get physical

Posted on 13 February 2013 by Dynamo Staff

by Andria Lyons

Names like Richard Simmons, Suzanne Somers, and Jane Fonda may not ring a bell to the college-aged individual, but I bet their parents have heard of them. To help anyone under the age of 25 figures out what these three people are famous for, one can compare them to today’s Sean T., Tony Horton, or Jillian Michaels.

Workout videos became very popular in the 1980s. Most of these ‘80s workout videos focused on an aerobic dance routine targeted at women who couldn’t make it to the gym everyday. Today, workout videos have made their way back into homes with a slightly different type of workout, but with the same benefits that they held in the 1980s.

Videos like P90X, Insanity, and Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred, focus on both strength training and cardio. As most of the instructors explain, a mixture of both is necessary to see the positive results many are seeking.

Although there is a broad age-range of people who use these workout videos, many college students have found themselves caught up in the competitiveness of them.  Junior, Meg Morrison, has completed the full sixty days of Insanity and is currently starting the series over again. “I usually just do my own thing with working out, but after Katie Dreger, who is a Beachbody Coach, introduced me to Insanity, it became the exception,” said Morrison.

Morrison now uses Insanity as her primary source of exercise because it has worked so well for her. Senior Corrie Miller said she likes to use different workout videos to mix up her workout routines instead of just running on a treadmill all the time.

The University of Mount Union recently added new wellness courses for students due to the elimination of the formerly required Health and Wellness class. One of the newest classes, taught by Leigh Ann Swartz, Mount Union’s volleyball coach, is called “Exploring Extreme Fitness of Pop Culture.”

This course uses many of the modern workout videos previously mentioned to give students a large variety of fitness options. “It’s where the current industry is,” said Swartz. “It’s not just an emphasis on cardio or an emphasis on strength; it’s on both. This will encourage students to learn exercises they can do on their own with minimal equipment even after the class is over.”

One of Swartz’ students, Danielle Seidel, said she likes the workout videos because they provide her with a “more structured workout.” With Sean T of Insanity and Tony Horton of P90X doing the workout right along with the viewer, the motivation and structure are very important assets to this type of workout. “Many programs provide a schedule to follow. When a person is provided with a schedule, it gives them a sense of commitment,” said Beachbody coach, Katie Dreger.

Convenience plays another huge role in the latest workout video Obsession. Many adults work all day long and can’t find time to make it to the gym, and many students go from class, to work, to meetings, and still have piles of homework left to do. With workout videos, the gym is right there in your home, or dorm room, or apartment. “These videos allow people to work out on their own at home and since there are people participating in the video, they don’t feel like they are alone doing the workout,” said junior, Alex Kovalik.

This revitalized type of workout has taken the fitness world by storm. The mix of cardio and strength training, along with the convenience factor has made workout videos a great investment. Anyone who has trouble making it to the gym, needs more variety in their typical routine, or just love having celebrity fitness experts scream at them through their television, should seek out a workout video that fits them best.

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