Staying active while social distancing

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Graphic by Candice Cheng

Virtually everything in our daily routines has been put on pause, but thanks to the guidance from UW Athletics and Recreation, physical and mental wellness have not.

“Now that things are quite a bit different, we’ve tried to pivot to a more online version to show students that during this time, we’re still here,” Adam Steeves, Senior Manager of Campus Recreation, said.

Just as UW Athletics and Recreation guided students towards active living before the pandemic, the team’s work continues, offering various online programs for students to stay active at home.

Through Healthy Warriors at Home, students can access free resources including live or pre-recorded fitness classes, a 12 week workout program, nutrition guides.

Personal training consultations come with a small fee.

“We want to make everything as easy as possible, using the expertise that we have,” Steeves said.

If we’ve learned anything these past few months, it’s that changes in your routine can affect everyone differently. With this in mind, UW Athletics and Recreation is also offering additional support to get students moving through the Move Your Mind program.

The peer-to-peer program coordinated this term by co-op student Emily Ysselstein with the help of volunteers pairs participants with a personal coordinator to assist them in finding activities to stay active in ways that suit them, set and meet goals, and overcome personal barriers.

“Through this program, students will get the physical benefits of physical activity along with the cognitive benefits of these social supports,” Donna Rheams, Senior Manager of Wellness and Active Living, said.

In addition to these resources, students are welcome to check out the Digital Experience website, encompassing all student resources available to them for this unique term.

Additionally, following this link to the staff directory, students can also contact those at Athletics and Recreation for any additional inquiries. Support for students this term is truly far-reaching.

“If these aren’t something that students are comfortable with, contact us. We would love the opportunity to help students kick-start their day,” Steeves said.

To get moving without the regular routine of walking to class or running errands, it’s important to recognize the opportunities many have right at home. Whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood, or throwing on your favourite song and dancing around, our homes have become important to us during these times, and can serve as places for physical activity.

“A set of stairs can be great to get some activity on, whether you run up and down, or jump up and down. Even laundry detergents or soup cans are good for weight-resistance,” Rheams said.

With all the pressure to be our most productive selves during this time, it’s important to
remember that this is a difficult time for everyone and to always begin by recognizing your own strengths and well-being.

“Some of us are in complete survival mode, and that’s okay. Some of us have a little more room to do things and explore, and that’s okay too. It’s about acknowledging where you’re at and what you’re capable of in these times,” Rheams said.

For daily workouts, updates, and information on how to stay active, follow @wloorec on
Instagram or the Waterloo Warriors’ Facebook page.

As we all navigate this new normal, let’s continue to stay active – at our own pace.