Nia Exercise Program: Non-Impact Workout Making an Impactful Difference

Photo Courtesy of UNO Athletics
Photo Courtesy of UNO Athletics

Megan Wade

Common New Year’s resolutions include staying fit or working out more during the coming year. That can be difficult for students with an injury, a busy class schedule or students who don’t like to run. However, one class at HPER offers University of Nebraska at Omaha students a fun, low impact exercise that can fit into any busy schedule.

“Nia is a mind-body conditioning program that incorporates the martial arts, dance arts and healing arts into a 60-minute cardio-dance workout,” UNO student and Nia teacher Grace Kolbo said. “Nia promotes non-impact, functional and joyful movement.”

Kolbo, who is a third year vocal performance major, was looking for an exercise class to join after an injury.

“I had been instructed by a doctor to only do non-impact exercise, and I did not feel satisfied by doing only yoga and pilates,” Kolbo said. “I really missed the cardio aspect of exercise and that’s when I decided to try Nia.”
Realizing there is only one other instructor in Omaha, Kolbo recognized the need for another Nia class. She wrote in for one of UNO’s FUSE grants. She received the grant, and used it to become certified to teach Nia to other students.

“Last semester I had over thirty music students, both male and female, try Nia and there was someone new to the class each week,” Kolbo said. “This semester, I have had great attendance, and positive feedback from students.”

Kolbo has also received positive feedback from the administration at HPER.

“I think Nia is a good addition. It has a unique style compared to the traditional group exercise classes,” HPER assistant director of fitness programs Skyler Brooke said, “Our numbers for the class have been outstanding and evaluations have been great.”

Students agree Nia offers a unique workout experience.

“This is nothing like any of my other music courses. It’s completely boundary free and an expressive way to learn about your body,” freshman Jake Senff said. “There may not be a chalkboard and syllabus, but you would be surprised how much you learn if you allow yourself the opportunity.”

Fellow Nia student Ben Jordan agrees Nia has given him the opportunity to learn more about himself while getting in a workout.

“I have been looking for an aerobic class to get fit and in shape with, and I didn’t want to do the martial arts classes offered. I’ve found something that’s easy, adaptable to my needs and works with my schedule and coordination,” Jordan said. “It tones my mind, tunes my body and leaves me more mentally sharp and emotionally well. While there is structure, it isn’t complicated, and it’s completely about having fun and building up cardio-health while we’re at it.”

Along with the great cardio work out, Jessica Gammons, a fellow music major of Kolbo’s, said one of her favorite parts of the class is how safe and peaceful of an environment it creates.

“My favorite part of Nia is the judgment free zone provided that allows for your creative energy to flow freely,” Senff said. “A lot of the movements we do are silly, that’s what makes them and the class fun.”

Nia classes are offered Mondays at 5:15 p.m. and Thursdays at 12 p.m.

“Nia offers something for everyone,” Kolbo said. “Please come and experience Nia for yourself.”


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