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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Recreation Center begins online classes for at-home fitness

Photo+credit%3A+Kate+Connors

Photo credit: Kate Connors

While all of the gyms in San Marcos are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas State Recreation Center is still up and running virtually with a modified online group fitness schedule.
Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness Mitzie Rojas and Fitness and Wellness Coordinator at the Rec Josephine Wielinksi decided to begin online fitness classes via Zoom after seeing other gyms adapt with similar programs around the country.
Wielinski said that the group fitness classes are designed to help students stay fit and active despite the social distancing policies that keep most at home.
“We created on-demand classes and a live workout schedule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Weilinski said. “Because the facility is closed, we wanted to offer up some sort of opportunity for members to continue to work toward their health goals.”
The Rec Center waived the access fee for classes, making the entire schedule free to students for the first time. Although the schedule is limited, the program offers classes from yoga to Zumba that emphasize home workouts with little to no equipment.
Weilinski said the classes are adapted to most students’ environments so anyone can work out at home in a limited space.
“We offer a variety of classes that utilize bodyweight or household items to get you moving,” Weilinski said. “We also try to accommodate those living in an apartment that may have smaller spaces to work with.”
Weilinski said that although they weren’t trained or prepared for this kind of service, feedback has been positive and attendance has risen as more students find out about the program.
“I didn’t have much forethought into how we would do the program, (and) I don’t know what students were expecting from us but I know that anything we can provide for them during the pandemic is beneficial,” Weilinski said. “It’s been pretty well-received.”
Yoga instructor Victoria “Sunshine” Torres, online classes are daunting at first but will help her as an instructor in the long run.
“I was most definitely nervous,” Torres said. “We’re so used to doing things in person and this is challenging because you aren’t able to see your students, so (I’m) wondering if their alignment is okay and if there are any ways I can assist them. It’s a great growth opportunity as well, though, kind of forcing you to get comfortable in front of a camera and have the flexibility and confidence to do online classes.”
The program is beneficial for both students and instructors according to Torres, who said that the classes help sharpen her skills and keep a routine while at home.
“I’m very grateful to have the Zoom classes because it helps to keep a routine and also it helps me in that instructor mindset,” Torres said. “If you don’t use it, you lose it, so this gives me the opportunity to continue knowing how to instruct postures, knowing how to answer student questions, staying up to date with anatomy and writing sequences. Most yoga centers have closed down because of COVID-19 so this program gives instructors the opportunity to continue teaching. That’s a big deal for us.”
In case of technical difficulty, outside influence or other issues on the new program, both Rojas and Wielinski are online during each class to supervise and ease the adjustment process, Rojas said.
“We always have either both of us or one of us on to make sure that we monitor that everything’s going smoothly,” Rojas said. “We want to make sure there aren’t any interruptions from outside people. That way, the instructor just focuses on instructing her or his class and doesn’t have to worry about the already majorly different situation that they’re having to do with technology that they probably haven’t used before.”
For students that can’t make one or more classes on the schedule, the two are working on building a library of on-demand workout videos via YouTube for students to access any time as well.
Click here for the full live schedule and on-demand classes.

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