OPINION: People should use virtual fitness programs, stay active during pandemic

WSU student, UREC trainer think workouts can be fun, efficient from home during quarantine



Whether at the gym, or in the comfort of your home, you can remain physically active during the pandemic.


Quarantine has forced us to isolate ourselves in our homes. This can make certain activities tricky, such as working out. Since most gyms are not entirely open, many people have had to develop their own workouts at home.

Crystal Abrica, junior criminal justice major, said that before quarantine, she would walk to and from class on campus to get her exercise, but since the pandemic she has started exercising at home more frequently. 

“My walks would be my exercise, but during quarantine, I actually started working out like 30 to 40 minutes a day. So I am exercising more than usual,” Abrica said. 

Abrica said she follows popular exercise YouTube programs, like Chloe Ting’s Hourglass Workout program

“I think it’s a nice thing to keep my body in shape during the pandemic,” Abrica said. 

Although Abrica doesn’t like to exercise, she drives herself and pushes through the lack of motivation. 

“I actually don’t like exercising. I hate it personally, but it’s good for my body and it makes me feel less depressed, so I just do it,” Abrica said.

She says to start with short, easy exercises, and then gradually build up the intensity and duration.

“It’s like a routine, basically like brushing your teeth every single morning and night. At first it’ll be hard,” Abrica said.  

 She also said that she does group workouts with her friends on Facetime to make it more fun. Doing workouts in a group setting can help make the workout easier because the group is there to support each other.

Maddison Ruther, junior kinesiology major and group fitness instructor for UREC Programming, also agreed with this logic. 

“Bigger fitness classes are [environments you are] less likely to feel judged in, because of the community aspect,” Ruther said.

You get to know other people well, especially if they frequently attend the classes.

Ruther recommends enrolling in UREC classes for several reasons: Online classes are free of charge for those wanting to stay home, while in-person classes have a small charge. They are a great way to start working out, and do what you feel most comfortable doing.

“If you don’t know what to do at the gym, you often look for guidance. I think group fitness classes are a good way to avoid the awkwardness of like, ‘Okay, what machine do I use? What do I do here?’ Because you have an instructor telling you what to do,” Ruther said.

Ruther said that for online classes, there are many spots still open and free to WSU faculty and students. You can design the class to your personal preference, which could mean either working out on-campus or from home. 

If you decide to venture down to the Student Recreation Center for an in-person class, Ruther said they are taking the proper precautions against COVID-19. 

“I think each patron has to have more than 300 square feet for themselves. We’re spaced out pretty well, and I disinfect everything. We make sure that everything’s safe,” Ruther said. 

Although there is a small fee for in-person classes, it is a small price to pay to keep yourself healthy and meet new people. Ruther said she likes to exercise because it makes her feel better, and also she can see how the body functions. 

“I set myself up for a better day because I already feel accomplished in the morning. I like seeing how these movements make me stronger,” Ruther said. 

If you are having trouble, Ruther recommended you don’t do too much and to take baby steps first. 

“Don’t try to work out for an hour. Do like a 25-minute workout and then just find shorter [YouTube videos]. Have something that’s not super high intensity, and then you can keep building up,” Ruther said. 

Ruther said she uses television as a reward for working out while keeping herself entertained. She also said she likes to work out with friends.

If this column has sparked your interest in exercising more, you can do many things in order to begin. Start out small and work your way up. Make your workouts fun by using YouTube videos, working out while watching TV or by working out with your friends over Facetime. While every little bit counts, it is also important to enjoy your workout.

Whether you are ready to work out at the gym or workout from home, you can explore both options on the UREC website!