The COVID-19 social distancing and stay-at-home order has changed daily lives and routines for everyone. Without the gym environment or equipment to use, it can be challenging to work out regularly and stay motivated. Students now have the opportunity to partake in online activities to compensate for the loss of in-person education and campus shutting down.
Peytyn Eiesland, an advertising major, exercises from home because of the pandemic. She said, “You can get just as good of a workout [at home] if you can self-motivate; it has the same effect as the gym.”
Exercise is very important for your mental health as well as physical health. Physical activity has the potential to enhance students well-being and reduce stress and anxiety caused from school. Without the resources for students, there is no social interaction with classes being taught from home and being online.
Grace Carter, a Kent State student and registered yoga instructor, believes working out from home is effective, but different. Grace began offering a new meditation class called “Relax and Recharge” after she decided to find a way to stay active at home.
Classes take place on Tuesdays from 6:45-7:45 p.m. This class helps to relax, recharge and “fill your cup,” Carter said. This means to replenish emotional, mental and physical energy, almost like recharging batteries.
A virtual membership service, Group X, began at the start of the fall 2020 semester with a $40 charge for the academic term. The Beverly J. Warren Student Recreation and Wellness Center is now offering free memberships for the spring 2021 semester in the midst of the current pandemic and social isolation. Students from all Kent campuses are welcome to join for free.
Group X classes are instructor-led workouts designed to help participants reach their fitness goals. The classes cater to any level of fitness and offer a diverse range of styles like spinning, Zumba, yoga, kettlebells and aqua fitness.
“It wasn’t so much the exercise; it was the social interaction,” said Carter. “Overall, it’s hard to make that change, but worth it.”
Virtual fitness classes will not only help students stay healthy but will improve their mental health, which is a major key to success in school and life. “We are all rolling with it,” Carter said.
Maranda Stender, an interior design student, suggests others to “try and find something that will be good for your health, mentally and physically.”
“The challenge for us is how do we still provide opportunity for our students and staff?” said Jim Kraus, a marketing coordinator for Recreational Services. “It’s not just about fitness; there’s a social aspect to it.”
A new program starting Feb. 3 called “Flashes Rise Above” takes place on Wednesday nights from 7-8 p.m. Flashes Rise Above is Kent State’s Wellness and Recreational Services way of offering support and resources for students to help cope with the current pandemic. Events are hosted by members of the campus community to ensure students are equipped with the resources to handle life’s challenges. This program is also virtual and free for all Kent State students from any campus.
Camryn Kocher is a student life reporter. Contact her at [email protected].