COVID-19 is keeping Conestoga College’s recreation centre closed for the first semester, along with their in-person fitness classes. Fortunately for students, classes are still being offered online through Zoom. Students can sign up for any classes through the college’s website.
Kristen Bolliger, the assistant manager of athletics and recreation, encourages students at the college to attend.
“The thought really is to provide support for students who are studying at home,” Bolliger said.
The college is offering different kinds of workouts for all recreation levels because they want these classes to have something for everyone. Classes range from meditation to hardcore athlete-style workouts. The intense workouts are labeled in the description, so students understand the level of difficulty.
One class that has been popular with students is “Gentle Yoga.”
“It’s a slower based class but it has components of meditation and stretching and mindfulness,” Bolliger said.
Drew Climie, who is the instructor for “Gentle Yoga” and “Meditation and Gentle Movement” enjoys teaching these classes.
“I use the techniques that I share in my classes, so I know the benefits,” Climie said. It’s really nice to be able to share.”
Even with the continuing challenges of COVID-19, online fitness classes have been a bright spot for Conestoga.
“We’ve actually seen an increase in participation in our fitness classes since moving online,” Bolliger said.
With that increase, the benefits of online fitness are becoming more clear and encouraging.
“Physical activity releases hormones that support positive attitude and could even support better learning environments,” said Bolliger.
Conestoga plans to continue online classes even when they can begin to offer in-person classes again. Students will also be able to access the recordings of these sessions if the time does not work with their schedules.
“Register anyways for all these classes that are offered by the college, because for most of them they are going to be recorded and be available on YouTube,” Climie said.
Another benefit from the online format is you can have instructors from all over Canada or somewhere else in the world.
“I live in Vancouver so I can teach classes in Ontario… so it makes it more accessible for me to teach folks who want to come to my classes,” Climie said.
Conestoga’s online fitness classes will be available all semester to any interested students. There will be updates posted once the college has news on when the recreation centre will be open and once in-person fitness classes can resume.