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Eastern Offers Virtual Fitness During Pandemic

Published on April 23, 2020

Eastern Offers Virtual Fitness During Pandemic

virtual fitness

For decades, doctors the world over have agreed that “exercise is the best medicine.” Studies show that exercise is great for the mind, body and soul — it enhances one’s physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual health. In the age of COVID-19, when everyone is required to “stay home,” exercise becomes even more important to stay healthy while enhancing the immune system against the virus.

Avery Smith
Student Avery Smith practices yoga at home. 

Rosamaria Riccobono, Eastern’s coordinator of intramurals and recreation, is offering online exercise classes to help Eastern students, faculty and staff keep their fitness level up at home. Riccobono says you don’t need a lot of high-tech equipment to work out. You can use the stairs and steps in your home; items you use every day for resistance; and even your own body weight to do push-ups. 

Environmental Earth Sciences Professor James Hyatt agrees: “After working on converting classes online, it can be hard to find the motivation to work out. The online Boot Camp Zoom class has been great for clearing my head and challenging me at the same time! I look forward to the next class and returning to them in person in the fall!”

Student Avery Smith says fitness does not have to be hard. “Just put in the effort. I thought that since I had to do the workouts at home, I would no longer have the support, but I am grateful that intramurals online allowed me the options to stay healthy, be motivated, and supported during this new change in the world.”

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise, and Riccobono offers a “Take a Walk” video on Thursdays. If you want a high intensity workout, Monday’s “Zumba” may be your cup of tea. If you want to slow down, the low impact “Flow Yoga” video, available on Fridays, is sure to help you relax.

Library Director Janice Wilson said she was excited to see the information about the availability of online fitness classes. “I never seem to be able to get to these classes on normal workdays, so this was a new opportunity. I am very grateful to the Department of Athletics for doing this. Taking part in Zumba is simple, as I commute from one room to another! The instructor is great, music is energizing, and participation is easy.”

On-campus fitness classes earlier this academic year

On-campus fitness classes earlier this academic year

On-campus fitness classes earlier this academic year

On-campus fitness classes earlier this academic year

Head Athletic Trainer Julie Alexander recently presented a class on Thoughtful Tuesday titled “Posture Pose.” Riccobono said the presentation discussed exercises in sitting, standing and supine positioning for prevention of shoulder, neck and back pain when working from home. Stretching exercises can also prevent sciatic nerve pain and enhance one’s balance as well.

“These past few weeks have brought us both incredible challenges and new opportunities,” said Riccobono. “Our typical routines may have changed, but our need for human connection and fitness has not. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to explore creative virtual ways to continue bringing our Eastern community together through fitness, which feels more important than ever!”

Eastern's online recreation offerings can be found at Riccobono is also offering alternative exercise options through Microsoft Teams; just search “Athletics – Intramurals & Recreation.”

Written by Dwight Bachman

Categories: Athletics