By Marie Goldstein, Staff Writer

As college students, we are busy from morning to night with schoolwork and other activities that make it easy for us to skip the gym and make up excuses. However, after freshmen year we realize that the freshmen 15 is no joke and we quickly get our bodies into shape. Boston has various opportunities to help students get in shape. Here are the top five favorite workouts for college students:

1. Running:

In Boston, we are lucky to have beautiful and lengthy running trails nested within our city. A student favorite is the Charles River esplanade. Students take a break from studying indoors by running along a beautiful river. Workout stations are next to the track that students can stop at to tone their body. In the winter, it is easy to continue running either on a treadmill or the indoor track at FitRec. Running is one of the few exercises that work out every muscle in the body.

College of Arts and Sciences junior Emily Brennan runs at least once a day:

“Running is a good exercise because it not only improves heart health and builds endurance it is a good source of stress relief and emotional catharsis,” she said.

2. Yoga:

Yoga is an amazing stress reliever! Yoga not only physically makes you fit, but it helps your mind stay active. It removes you from the busy streets of Boston, the piles of homework on your desk and that boy or girl who has been pulling on your heart for weeks. Yoga also leaves little room for excuses because people of all body types can participate; yoga will help tone your body and serve as light cardio as well.

3. Swimming:

If you have ever stepped inside FitRec you would know that there is really no better place to swim! Swimming is another exercise that serves as both body toning and cardio, as well as being a fun activity! Grab a friend and head down to the pool, get competitive with each other or work on personal goals.

4. Zumba

This African inspired dance craze is one of the best workouts. The atmosphere in these classes is high-energy, friendly and judgment-free. You may get so caught up in the action that it won’t even feel like a fitness class anymore, until you wake up the next morning and you can’t walk. Every Zumba class is different and will never fail to surprise you. One Zumba class can burn up to over 1,000 calories. I know I would rather dance around looking like an idiot than stay on the elliptical for three hours. CAS senior Samantha Andrews said, “Zumba is a great way to work out because you get to dance to wicked awesome music and nobody judges you. Its so much fun you don’t realize you are working out.” Warning: Your abs may get the most exercise, from laughing.

5. Spin Class

I like to call this exercise the “Devils Gift.” When you are riding that stationary bike you feel like you are dying, but afterwards it feels great. Taking a 60-minute morning class gets your brain and body started for the day. This is another high energy class where the atmosphere is enough to get you excited and anxious to get in shape. This is one of those exercises that are dreadfully addicting. If you are looking for a weight-loss exercise this is the one for you. Most importantly, wait until you see how awesome your legs look in your stilettos next weekend.