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Students are working out their workouts amid COVID-19 changes

As a new school year begins and students try to navigate the world of education through social distancing guidelines, remaining active may pose a challenge to some. From dorm room dumbbell curls to on-site strength training, the New Balance Student Recreation Center is offering ways for Black Bears to stay healthy this upcoming semester.

The New Balance Student Recreation Center, commonly referred to as the Rec Center,  has been taking steps to ensure that students are exercising in a sanitary and safe environment. Precautions include a series of health screening questions before entering, mandatory face coverings while working out, and socially distanced machines and fitness equipment. Along with these safety measures the Rec Center has also closed down areas of the facility including the pool, sauna, racquetball courts, upstairs bathrooms and locker rooms. Only UMaine students and faculty, along with locals who have had active memberships with the facility since March of this year will have been allowed access to the Rec Center. They are not distributing day passes or new memberships at this time.

In the upcoming week, the Rec Center will start offering in-person group workout sessions and personal training. Programs include the high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, program offered Mondays and Wednesdays at noon, and the Bootcamp program offered Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. The Bootcamp program is also offered as an online live class at 7 a.m.  on Mondays and Wednesdays.

If students can’t quite make it to the Rec Center this semester, but still want to stay active and healthy, the facility is offering a series of online at-home workouts. These courses are offered via Zoom. Classes include a variety of yoga lessons, as well as Dance Fit and “Butts and Guts” which offer guided workouts for toning your lower body and abdomen.

The Rec Center is also participating in the Fall 2020 RecMovement program, which Assistant Director of Fitness Joshua Bridges says, “allows all students to gain access to over 100 schools from across the country’s virtual classes.” The program began on Sept. 17 of this year, and has prize incentives to keep students on top of their fitness goals for the semester.

For those students who are working out from home, Bridges also had some tips and tricks to stay on track with their fitness journeys. Firstly, he suggests that students “pick a consistent time for your workouts and put it on your schedule” to help form a routine. He also suggests having a specific area in which to complete workouts, and taking advantage of the wide variety of programs offered through the RecMovement program so that students switch up their work-out routines. This also helps students explore new activities. Bridges also recommends getting creative with household items like stairs or gallon water jugs, which can make great substitutes for fitness equipment. 

“The most important aspect of staying healthy is to be consistent,” Bridges said. “Consistency is key to any successful exercise plan. [Students should] never underestimate the importance of nutrition and proper rest and recovery.”

For more information on changes to the Rec Center, visit the Facility Policies page on the Campus Recreation website. To attend a virtual workout, visit the Campus Recreation Program Schedules page to find Zoom links. 


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