Zumba Fright Night: Dance if you Dare


Campus Recreation took Zumba’s tagline of “exercise in disguise” to a whole new level with Zumba Fright Night on October 9.

Students entered what they knew as Gym 3 in Burdick Hall but were instead transported into a Halloween party filled with treats, strobe lights, and costumes.

As they walked in, participants were able to trick or treat at a table full of healthy Halloween snacks like popcorn, pretzels, and apple cider.


This event had two instructors, Jessica Ricks and Kristen Thomas who was dressed up as a luau girl. For one hour, they guided participants in ghoulish choreography to popular Halloween songs like Thriller and This is Halloween.

Amy Baldwin, a participant at Zumba Fright Night and senior at Towson University, brought her tiara to the dance party. “The songs were so fun,” said Amy Baldwin. “I thought they were good to dance to.”

“Dancing with everybody and seeing everybody get into it is always my favorite part about every class,” said Ricks.


The Latin-inspired workout has reached 15 million participants in 180 countries. Zumba classes are so popular because they don’t require any previous practice or skill. As long as you follow along with the instructor and keep moving, you will end the class with an elevated heart rate and a full body workout under your belt.

“Fitness is a really important part of being healthy,” said Thomas. “If you can find something fitness related that you enjoy then it won’t seem like a chore…it’s a win-win.” Zumba classes are the perfect solution for students who don’t think exercising can be enjoyable.

“I’m not really that big of a gym goer,” Baldwin said. “I like to do things like going out and hiking and dancing. The only way I’ll work out is if it’s fun.”

“That’s what I really like about Zumba, that it’s fun,” said Ricks. “You don’t even feel like you’re working out.”


Because Zumba is such a fun way to hit the gym, participants keep coming back. Both Ricks and Thomas said that they started doing Zumba their freshman year and haven’t stopped since. Thomas had never taken a Zumba before until she came to Towson but tried Campus Recreation’s class. “I started going to as many Zumba classes here as I could and I just got addicted,” Thomas said.

You can get addicted too! Join us for regular Zumba classes on Tuesdays from 5-5:50 p.m. in Gym 3, Wednesdays from 8-8:50 p.m. on the Gym 1 Mezzanine, Thursdays 7-7:50 p.m. on the Gym 1 Mezzanine, and Fridays from 1-1:50 p.m. on the Gym 1 Mezzanine.



lead strong 3

Congratulations on your accomplishment! The Lead Strong Half Marathon was a success! You should all feel very proud of what you did this weekend.

Despite its ups and downs the event was fun, organized and the weather was great! What more could you ask for? It was wonderful to see so many people come out to run the race for Maggie’s Light.

lead strong

I hope that all of you realize how much work TU CRS puts in to this event. We apologize for the discrepancies that occurred on race day, but that is how we learn and make the event better. Hopefully you will come out next year and see how much better the race is after receiving your feedback.

lead strong 2

I want to thank those of you who followed the Lead Strong Blog during your last few months training. I hope that you continue to run races throughout the summer and continue to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Have a great summer!

Day Before Race Day

For my last post before the race I wanted to just briefly talk about warming up. If you are a veteran runner then you probably already understand the importance of warming up and stretching before the run begins. If this is your first race I am telling you now that warm ups are crucial.

warm up


Warm ups create blood flow through your muscles and increased blood supply. Increase blood flow and supply makes your muscles more flexible and less prone to injury. You want to do everything in your power to prevent injury.

What should I do?

You should start with a walk and light jog (maybe in place). Make sure to warm up your muscles before you stretch them. You can refer to previous blogs for some stretches. Incorporate dynamic stretches such as lunges and squats with skipping, high knees and butt kicks to get your heart rate up, while at the same time warming up your muscles. Click here to look at the previous post on hamstring stretches. If your legs are sore refer to the previous post about stretches for sore legs by clicking here.


What about when the race starts?

For experienced runners it may not be difficult to go head first into the race, but for beginners I have a suggestion. Use the first mile or two to ease into the run. If you go all out in the first few strides you will quickly run out of energy. Conserve your energy!

When I ran races I started out slow and turned it into a game. I would job one mile and pick up my pace for the next. Figure out what works for you and go with it. I hope you all are looking forward to Lead Strong!

All of us at TU Campus Recreation are really excited for the race to happen and to see everyone that comes out!

See you tomorrow!

Last Minute Tips

Lead Strong is quickly approaching. We are now only 3 days away! With that said I would like to offer you a few more last minute tips in preparation for Saturday.

Drink Water! It’s important to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated doesn’t mean drinking any type of liquid it means drinking the right amount of water every day (8-10ozs).

Eat the right food. Do not take the night before the race to try that new sushi place with you friends. Have a carb based meal like pasta or potatoes with veggies. And you should probably have some toast and a banana or maybe oatmeal the morning of the race.oatmeal


Pick clothes the night before. It is an early morning and if you aren’t good at getting yourself together quickly it might be a good idea to lay your clothes out the night before. Otherwise you may find yourself wearing the wrong shorts or shoes and that can throw your run off.

Use music. Make a motivational playlist. Don’t listen to it until the day of the half marathon that way the music is fresh and will keep you entertained and motivated. You are allowed to use headphones and iPods (or whatever you use) on the course. Just make sure that you are listening for course discussion.


Get enough sleep. You want to have good energy and be ready to run bright and early. Wind down early in the evening, so that you have an easier time falling asleep.


Relax! Don’t stress about the half marathon. It’s just for fun! So stop worrying about how fast you need to run, or what other people might think. I guarantee everyone is in their own zone.  So try to relax and just enjoy the awesome weather.

3 days away! Happy training!

Race Day Anxiety

With only 5 days left until the half marathon some of you may be getting jittery. Pre-race anxiety is normal. It’s just like butterflies before a test or big presentation. Fortunately, there are some things that can help with that anxiety.


1 – stop thinking about the race! This may be difficult because you are still training, but start to think of your training as simply exercise and not a training plan. Hopefully you will continue to exercise post-race. Instead think about the things coming up. For those of you graduating you can focus on your graduation date.

2 – relax! Running is a stress reliever; it’s not supposed to add stress. So try to think of the half marathon as a relaxing jog. There is no pressure to compete. This race is just for fun!

3 – don’t count your time. You have three hours to finish this race, so I guarantee you will make it. Counting time is like watching a pot of water while you wait for it to boil. The more you pay attention to your time, the longer the race is going to feel. Instead, try to enjoy the scenic route.

4 – set realistic expectations. This is half marathon for charity, not an Olympic race. The more realistic you remain the less pressure you will feel.

5 – have fun! Like I said before, this is not an Olympic race. It’s for charity. Many of you are running it with friends, so enjoy that time and have fun!


For some more pre-race tips click here.

5 days out! Happy Training!

Yoga for Runners

Hello all! You are quickly approaching the Lead Strong Half Marathon. We are one week away and your bodies, while they have adjusted during training, are probably hurting from the extra exercise.

We have created a yoga video that specifically targets problem areas for runners. Marissa Walch is a registered yoga instructor with hundreds of hours of yoga under her belt. She understands how the body works and created this video just for runners who are training. Please keep in mind that the video only shows stretches for one side of the body, so you can watch it again to complete the other side. In addition, she moves a bit faster than in a typical yoga class, so it’s okay to slow down the movement and pause the video while you stretch.

Hopefully this video will help with any pain you may be experiencing as a result of your training.

One week away! Happy training!

Yummy Summer Recipes

As the weather is getting warmer I hope you all are finding training to be a lot more fun. You don’t have to bundle up when you go outside to run. Another positive about warmer weather is summer food! I don’t know about you, but my favorite foods in the summer are salads and turkey burgers. So I am dedicating this post to two really awesome recipes.

Turkey Burger


  • 1 pound ground turkey, the fattier, the better (we used 96/4)
  • 3/4 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • A couple cranks fresh ground black pepper
  • Oil for brushing patties and buns (we used grapeseed)
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Handful of fresh sprouts
  • Mayonnaise (or spicy mayonnaise—equal parts mayo and Sriracha sauce)


  1. Use your hands to just combine turkey, rosemary, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Form into four patties, 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Brush the insides of the buns with oil, then both sides of the patties.
  3. Heat a grill pan to medium to medium-high heat. Cook each patty for   about four minutes on each side. (You’ll know to flip when the bottom half of the patty has turned from pink to light brown.) You can test doneness using a food thermometer in the center of each patty. They should be cooked to 165°F. (DON’T cut in half to check doneness—you’ll lose the juices.)
  4. Place buns on the pan, insides facing down. Remove when browned (takes about 30 seconds).
  5. Layer mayonnaise on the buns, then top with burger, avocado, and sprouts. Serves 4.


You can find the full recipe by clicking here.

Stone Fruit Salad with Toasted Almonds


  • 1 cup riesling or other sweet white wine
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 3 plums, sliced
  • 2 peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 2 nectarines, peeled and sliced
  • 2 apricots, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup pitted fresh cherries, halved
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted


  1. Heat wine in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. To serve salad, toss salad greens and fruit with dressing. Sprinkle with goat cheese and sliced almonds. Serve immediately.


For the full recipe click here.

Not only are these yummy summer recipes, but they are healthy choices. If you are feeling adventurous try these recipes that fit into your training plan.

Happy training!