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Campus rec to offer virtual programs through Spring 2021

The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center plans to offer both remote and in-person workout programs for the upcoming spring semester. | Juana Garcia/The Cougar

The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center will continue providing a variety of popular virtual programs for the spring semester and will also feature several in-person options. 

Virtual group fitness classes have been continuously offered via Zoom throughout the fall semester and Winter Break. Once academic classes begin, there will be at least eight virtual classes and four in-person classes per week, in addition to Nutrition Consultations. 

Virtual activities have attracted more participants than in-person programs, according to assistant director of Fitness Programming Andrew Jones.

But because of the frequency of other available programs, the CRWC has decided to reduce the number of prerecorded at-home workouts uploaded to their website. 

“Doing a virtual exercise class can be effective but to truly get the most out of it, particularly the social aspect, it’s great to turn on your own camera and interact with the instructor and other participants,” Jones said.

“In-person, you automatically get that but when in the virtual environment, it may take a little more bravery,” Jones added.

Other spring plans include Art Walks, with the goal of encouraging students to get exercise while exploring outdoor art on campus. Top rope climbing will now be an option in addition to bouldering, which was the only Rock Wall activity offered in the fall. 

Women on Weights, Range of Motion, Downsizing, yoga classes and monthly strength clinics will all be offered in person in small groups.

Virtual Pop Pilates has had the highest average participation. One instructor, public health senior Maggie Yip, transitioned to online teaching at the CWRC this past July.

“One of my favorite things about online teaching is having new students attend who wouldn’t normally attend in person classes,” Yip said.

“Sometimes that’s because they don’t have time in person or are not a UH student, so I’m really glad our online platform can spread to more people and help people stay active during these crazy times,” Yip added.

Although Yip has had a few difficulties optimizing audio for Zoom and wildly fluctuating class sizes, she believes online teaching is a great alternative for face-to-face sessions and chose to continue holding her classes virtually for the spring.

Exercise science junior Rodrigo Rojas chose to attend a 30-minute virtual Cardio Dance class over the break and enjoyed the ease of access as well as working out with other people. 

“It’s really convenient, like 30 minutes isn’t a lot to ask for,” Rojas said of his first virtual rec center class. “They’re really fun not to do alone because we’ve been stuck here alone the whole time during quarantine.”

Communications sciences and disorders senior Eme Offiong also chose to attend an online cardio dance course and would prefer to continue online sessions even if in-person options are offered in the future.

“I did both the in-person version of the class and (the online) one,” Offiong said. “I like both … but I think the online one is more convenient, especially if you have online classes or don’t live close to campus.”

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