Students and staff stay active on campus

Whether holding a yoga pose in front of their computers or swiping into the now COVID-friendly MizzouRec, students and staff continue to pursue fitness on campus.

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Fitness on campus is looking a little different than usual. COVID-19 shut down gyms across the country for months, leaving both casual gym-goers and serious fitness fanatics to get creative with working out. Now that the academic year at MU is in full swing with one foot in the virtual world and one in the classroom, students are returning to traditional ways of fitness while also embracing technology to work out from home.

As gyms opened up across the country, concerns grew about the possible spread of COVID-19 in fitness facilities. With these concerns in mind, MizzouRec updated their policies on Aug. 19 ahead of the school year in anticipation for students and staff to return. These measures included requiring masks when entering and moving through the facility, increased cleaning procedures and six-feet spacing of equipment.

MU sophomore Kermit Kreder works out five days a week at the MizzouRec and said they have implemented many changes, such as maximum capacities for workout rooms and moving equipment to accommodate for social distancing.

“They added a bunch of different equipment to one of the basketball courts in the back and made that another little weight room kind of area,” Kreder said.

Kreder believes MizzouRec is living up to the policies they set forth in August.

“I think the Rec’s a good place to go,” Kreder said. The workers have been diligent about enforcing the mask rules, he said. ”

According to MizzouRec’s Twitter page, they are also offering virtual personal training services.

Virtual classes and resources have become a forefront of fitness for those who aren’t comfortable in the gym setting just yet. Columbia-based personal trainer Kahlil Roth-Folly of Cali Fit is in the works of creating an app that will include a complete workout guide from your phone.

Many of his clients are college-aged students and he said he was inspired to start creating the app in order to meet changing needs during a time when people were staying at home.

“That’s when I kind of dug deep and tried to figure out how I could help even more people since it seemed like a lot of people were in need of that,” Roth-Folly said. “A lot of people were at home binge eating or really falling off their exercise regimes.”

Virtual fitness is also finding its way to more relaxing forms of exercise. Through the MU Wellness Resource Center, Health Educator Andrea Kimura teaches the free Energizing Yoga class, which students and staff can sign up for on Engage.

The Hatha practice of yoga that is taught in these classes is especially conducive to stress relief, said Kimura.

“The style I teach is helping the individual de-stress, relax and stretch,” Kimura said.

Holding these classes online has made yoga much more accessible for students, she explained.

“I have seen people who maybe would not have come to a yoga class face-to-face for many reasons,” Kimura said. “They have this preconceived notion of who yoga is for. Yoga is for everybody. And I mean everybody as a person and I mean every body, every size body, every range of motion body.”

Whether it’s an intense workout or a more calming yoga flow, students are adapting to the challenges that COVID-19 has presented. In these stressful times, finding ways to keep the body active and relaxed is important to taking care of the mind as well, Kimura said.

Edited by Sophie Stephens | sstephens@themaneater.com

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