Online yoga and neighborhood runs: How non-athletes are staying active at home

Isabel Frey

In light of recent events, everyone is searching for ways to combat stress, and exercising is one such tried and true method.

 Unfortunately, traditional methods of staying fit are severely limited, with gyms closing indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, even among those who are not on an athletic team, many students are used to going to the gym with friends or having a workout partner to keep them company and push them to do better. Due to the college’s closure and the many stay-at-home orders issued by states and countries, this is, no longer possible for many ephs.

Some creative nonners, however, are finding ways to do what they can within these constraints.

Sabrina Churchwell ’23 planned to go to the gym every day while at home. At least, she said, “That was my plan until my local gym and favorite yoga studio closed before I was even able to step foot into them.” But she isn’t letting the closures and the distance disrupt her routine – or her friendships.

“I do facetime workouts with my best friend and former Lasell gym partner,” Churchwell said, “I take regular walks with my mom around the neighborhood, and I stretch and do yoga every night before bed.” Similarly, Track and Field sprinter Scarlet Rusch ’23 says that she and her teammates are often using Zoom to work out together.

Like Churchwell and Rusch, many students are training with friends via video-conferencing platforms or using videos online to structure their workouts.

After all, having class on a computer doesn’t have to mean sitting at a desk. From the thousands of workout videos on YouTube to the College’s PE classes, options are sprouting up all over the Internet.

Stephanie Goodrich ’23 said she has been using online videos to do abdominal and HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. Laurel Swanson ’23 said she downloaded “a yoga app called Down Dog… free [right now] because of the quarantine.” In fact, yoga seems a popular choice across the board: Swanson, Goodrich and Rusch are all signed up for Williams’ online yoga classes with yoga instructor Mary Edgerton.

Aside from online classes, many students are running, hiking or simply going for walks. Although walking may not seem like much, Matt Wisotsky ’23 said, “it has kept me occupied while I cannot go to the gym or anywhere else.” And for many, that is key for keeping stress at bay – to, as Churchwell puts it, “have a bit more structure to these incredibly long days.”