masked friends going for a walk together on the Quad with a "Be Safe" sign in the background #IveGotYouCovered

Staying Active on Campus During COVID-19

As our world was turned upside down nearly six months ago, exercise was something that seemed inconceivable. In light of these events, I would need to establish a new routine. With governors declaring stay-at home orders, it became apparent that going to the gym would be out of question. So I had to make use of whatever equipment I owned. Throughout quarantine, I explored various forms of exercise. Listed below are some that I have incorporated into my daily routine on campus. I hope the following list offers ideas for you to do the same.  

Walks Outside 

Walking (while still wearing a mask) for thirty minutes or more each day is a great way to improve your overall health. Benefits of walking include increases in cardiovascular fitness, strengthened bones, reduction of excess body fat, and boosted endurance. 

Fun places to walk to are Alma Mater, the Arboretum, Green St, the Quad, State Farm Center, and Grange Grove. 

I often begin each day with a forty-five minute walk as a way to feel refreshed and energized. Additionally, wearing a fitness watch offers motivation, as it measures steps throughout the day and regulates exercise routines. 

Runs

Running is another exercise that is accessible on campus. There are plenty of trails to run on; the Cross Country path is one of my favorites. Running boosts your metabolism, burns fat, defines muscles, and releases endorphins.

Attending classes via zoom often means that students will be inside at desks all day. Running around campus will get your legs moving and help decrease stress levels. The vastness of the University of Illinois ensures you can discover something new each run.

Downloading a running app with friends allocates for more motivation.    

Yoga 

Yoga is an activity that helps relieve stress and tension through breathing exercises. After sitting all day, performing yoga will stretch your muscles out. It is also an advantageous way to relax, to clear one’s mind, and to connect with ourselves.

A simple YouTube search will deliver hundreds of virtual yoga classes, ranging from simple stretch routines to seventy-five minute classes. My favorite classes are led by Ally Maz, an ambassador for Lululemon. 

Body-weight Exercises

With limited operation hours at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), a simple way to stay active is body-weight circuits. A thirty to sixty minute circuit releases endorphins and improves endurance.

Pinterest offers thousands of exercise circuits based on activity, expertise, and section of the body (i.e. leg, arm, etc.). A simple Google search will present other options for you!

Performing these circuits with a roommate or friend in your dorm will make exercising more gratifying.

Virtual Classes

With the appearance of the virus, many gyms, personal trainers, and fitness companies have been offering free online classes/memberships. This is especially beneficial as you can attend these classes on your own time, in the comfort of your dorm.

For example, Fitbit Coach has offered clients a free 90-day subscription to hundreds of their exercise videos. Other workout companies have created exercise plans/videos for people to follow, often free of charge.

Train at the Gym

Finally, the University of Illinois has allowed the ARC to remain open during this time. They have instituted precautionary measures to limit contact and the spread of the disease, but it is still a valuable amenity to have during these uncertain times. 

The ARC has altered its hours to accommodate protocol. Users are required to wear masks while using any sort of equipment. Some amenities have been closed until further notice. 

Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn

Class of 2023
I am studying in the Gies College of Business. Growing up in Naperville, Illinois, I feel that my transitions to and experiences on campus may be familiar to incoming students. Through my blogs, I hope to demonstrate my passions of business, Greek Life, and campus life to serve as a navigation tool to prospective students and incoming freshmen.

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