With remote learning and work-at-home requirements making the relationship between physical and mental health and wellbeing more obvious, Conestoga’s students and employees have been staying active during the pandemic through the delivery of virtual fitness programs hosted by the college’s Athletics & Recreation team.
Conestoga's Athletics & Recreation team delivers free virtual fitness programs for the college community.
During the fall term, more than 150 students and employees took part in running and fitness clinics which Kristen Bolliger, assistant manager, Recreation & Performance, said were quite successful. This term the focus has switched to more wellness-based programs that focus on setting strong habits and routines that touch on all aspects of wellness including sleep, hydration, nutrition and fitness.
“We invited feedback after delivery of our fall sessions and the comments have really helped my perspective of how our students are feeling. Their knowledge about how to be well and how to set strong habits and routines is limited so it’s been great to integrate with them more in the wellness spectrum as a whole,” said Bolliger. “The feedback from employees has also been really touching, with some saying they needed an outlet for fitness, and others thanking us for planning and scheduling activities.”
In addition to the clinics, Conestoga students, alumni, employees and retirees have also been invited to participate in virtual fitness classes delivered weekly. Classes are presented though Zoom by trained instructors and are designed to appeal to all participants, regardless of fitness level. This term, more than 100 students and employees have been participating in weekly classes that include power yoga, gentle yoga, body sculpt and Zumba.
All programs are free, and for additional flexibility, the classes are recorded so participants can complete the workouts on their own schedules.
“We’ve seen a larger than anticipated uptake from employees in our fitness classes this term,” said Bolliger. “In January, we usually see people are more motivated, and the classes provide a little bit of a social interaction, but they also allow you to get moving. It’s been great that both students and employees have a fitness resource and are using it. Being at home is a good opportunity to set new habits and routines because we have more time - we’re not commuting or attending social events.”
Athletics has also hosted special virtual events including partner yoga and a meditation and mindfulness workshop and will continue to explore these options to see how best to engage the college community during the spring and fall terms.
In addition, a separate strength and conditioning program was developed and implemented for Conestoga’s varsity athletes to provide support for them while off campus. Bolliger also hosts weekly meetings so the varsity community can stay connected during the suspension of games.
Virtual fitness class schedule:
- Power Yoga - Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
- Body Sculpt - Wednesdays at noon
- Zumba - Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
- Gentle Yoga - Thursdays at 8 p.m.
For more information, visit Athletics.