Safely Staying in Shape During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the absence of family walks that became quite popular during quarantine, it has been a struggle to stay active in such a different kind of environment. While it seems like a daunting task, starting an exercise routine is much easier than it seems. The mask requirement does present some problems, but there are many alternative avenues that are attainable. 

The Davis Center has been nothing but accommodating to students given the obvious adjustments that were necessary. Scheduling an appointment at any of the campus gyms is user-friendly, and the gym staff members are always willing to help. While scheduling workout appointments ahead of time can be inconvenient, it does prevent crowding and guarantees that equipment will be open. Properly maintaining everyone’s safety requires wearing masks; however, it is a necessary adjustment that is possible and requires patience. If the mask requirement poses too big of a problem, stick to a low-intensity workout and take the rest of the routine outside.  

Since Villanova’s mask policy excludes exercising outside and alone, exercising outside is a great alternative to working out in the gym. Taking a jog or a walk outside is great for overall physical and mental health, as it is a great way to take a break while still being productive. Listening to a carefully curated playlist can also make these outdoor excursions fun and something to look forward to throughout the day. 

Exercise is an easy way to improve physical and mental health, but it is important to never pressure oneself or expect to be great right away. It takes a long time to develop a sustainable personal routine, and unfortunately, this all comes from trial and error.

If lost at where to begin, there are plenty of apps that can help start the process. Nike Training Club and Nike Run Club are free and provide guides through different workout routines, runs and help track experiences. These apps are also compatible with music streaming services, which is a big plus. There are also YouTube personalities like Chloe Ting or MadFit who create home workouts that are easy to do at the gym or in a dorm, even with no experience in working out. 

The pandemic does pose problems when trying to stay healthy, especially on a college campus, but there are ways to adjust and find solutions. It is a hard time to begin a fitness journey; however, it can happen with perseverance and some flexibility. Most of all, it is important to work at a personal pace and gain only positive influence from others. As we all live through these “unprecedented times,” it’s important to cut ourselves some slack.