From a good workout to combatting cabin fever, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Office of Recreational Sports is providing a range of ways to keep fit virtually during the COVID-19 crisis.
UL Lafayette students, faculty and staff members can stay in shape, remain mentally strong and fend off boredom by participating in virtual exercise, strength and yoga classes offered on the Rec Sports website.
At-home exercises using furniture as a foundation for strength training, and group exercise classes are two popular offerings, said Dave Suter, UL Lafayette’s director of Recreational Sports. Most workouts are led by Rec Sports staff members and student workers. Many conduct the virtual sessions from their homes. Most sessions are done live at scheduled times. Some are recorded and posted as videos so they can be watched at any time.
“It gives people an opportunity to stay active and healthy – and motivated. For a lot of people, having something to follow along to can keep them inspired while they’re away from their normal routines,” Suter said.
The Office of Rec Sports also sponsored a virtual 5-K for runners who submitted race times via an honor system. Basketball and golf trick shot contests were held, too. Competitors posted videos to Rec Sports’ Instagram and Facebook pages for bragging rights and T-shirts.
Taking part in any activity, however, trumps trophies. “Simply participating is the important thing. There’s a strong correlation between health and wellness and student success, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Suter said.
The Office of Rec Sports’ website includes about a dozen electronic, or eSports, offerings as well. Some of the multiplayer video game contests are designed for fun, while others are structured for tournament competition against teams from other states.
The website also features links and tips about fitness, nutrition and mental health.
"Moving forward, we’ll continue to provide those sort of offerings into the summer and are considering keeping some on the website permanently. That is still up in the air, since the ultimate goal is to get people back into Bourgeois Hall where they can take advantage of the facilities and make social connections,” Suter said.
For more information, visit the Office of Recreational Sports website.