Keeping up your practice: How the Rec is promoting wellness during social distancing

Students of the K-State rec center’s Tuesday evening Cardio Kickboxing class follow along with their instructors through a workout led by upbeat music. (File photo by Caleb Pfiefer | Collegian Media Group)

The temporary closure of numerous businesses has caused a new “normal” — one of these businesses being gyms nationwide.

Although the Peters Recreation Complex followed suit, their classes are still being offered virtually. They are providing the same classes offered previous to the pandemic, but now from the safety of home.

Andy Fitch, fitness instructor and junior in psychology, encourages people to find ways to continue to work out amidst the stay-at-home order.

“Don’t let access to a gym determine your fitness during these times. You can get a great body-weight or improvised workout from home to maintain and improve your health,” Fitch said.

Now more than ever, taking care of your body is pertinent for mental and physical wellbeing. Without movement, you may be lacking serotonin. Serotonin is commonly known as “the happy chemical” because it regulates moods. A common way to boost this neurotransmitter is by exercising.

Jayna Ukrazhenko, the Fitness & Wellness Associate for Recreational Services, mentioned the benefits of working out.

“There are profound positive benefits of exercise for mental health. Exercise also aids with better sleep, stronger resilience, increased energy, and more focused attention on tasks at hand,” Ukrazhenko said.

Fitch mentioned that even a short exercise can be a “boost to both mind and body health.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of physical activity per week in order to optimize health. This may sounds like a lot, but it can be achieved by working out at least 30 minutes for five days.

“You and your health should always be a top priority. Find an exercise or an activity you enjoy doing — it will make exercising much easier and more enjoyable. Carve out 30 minutes a day to do that activity and drink a lot of water,” Ukrazhenko said.

If you need some encouragement to keep up with a fitness program, the Rec is offering a fitness challenge where you can win prizes.

When registered with the “Virtual Fit 100 Challenge,” you accumulate points for every Zoom class you attend. You can also get points from logging exercises you did outside of the classes offered. To learn more about this challenge or to register, click here.

“The instructors have been working very hard and are extremely excited to keep sharing their passion for fitness. It’s been a month of change but a major time of growth within the fitness staff,” Ukrazhenko said.

To check out the schedule for group fitness classes, go to the Rec’s website.

My name is Katelin Woods and I graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in public relations in May 2020. I worked as the first audience engagement manager of the Collegian from 2019 to 2020 and took photos for the multimedia staff. I was also the founding editor of the culture desk in 2018. I am an enthusiast of a poetry, pizza roll and pajamas.