In-person group fitness classes resume, take steps to ensure safe experience

The Lantern
Students can participate in a variety of group fitness classes, including TRX, a challenging training system that tests your strength and balance, pictured above. Credit: Courtesy of the Department of Recreational Sports.

Group fitness classes have made a triumphant return to in-person classes, and students can now head to the RPAC to practice yoga, try TRX and test their limits during indoor cycling.

During the pandemic, fitness classes at Ohio State switched to a virtual format called Group Fitness LIVE, which allowed students to partake in classes via Zoom. Since the return of group fitness in person in March, instructors and students alike have worked to ensure classes are not only fun, effective and beneficial, but safe during the pandemic.

Alice Adams, group fitness manager and an outdoor yoga instructor, said her priority is to keep providing a safe atmosphere where people can move their body, decompress and leave their stressors at the door.

“Group fitness is a time to focus on yourself, your well-being, your breath, your body, whatever it might be,” Adams said. “We are here and we are being safe so we can be together.”

Adams said there are no longer restrictions beyond standard class sizes and the RPAC will continue to follow the university COVID-19 guidelines as they shift with the pandemic.

Although daily health safety checks are no longer a university requirement as of this summer, students and instructors must continue to wear masks while inside. Adams said all equipment is sanitized and cleaned before and after each group fitness class, which is a safety precaution that has remained in place throughout the duration of the pandemic.

Adams said the return of group fitness has made her happy and appreciative that the Ohio State community can come together for an experience that so many students missed during a time of isolation and inactivity.

“Now that group fitness is back, very honestly, my heart is just so full,” Adams said. “I’m so excited.”

Adams said being able to bring back group fitness in person has reminded her how many people love the energy of the classes, and she said she wants to continue to reach students and make an impact through physical activity.

“The people that we serve, they are why we do what we do,” Adams said. “We want to help and support the OSU community in living active, healthy lives, whatever that looks like.”

Ellen Coffey, a third-year in public affairs, said despite the inconvenience of wearing a mask during physical activity, the protocols in place make her feel safe, and she plans to continue to partake in group fitness classes.

“I usually take indoor cycling or yoga, and I really love it,” Coffey said. “Although it can be hard wearing a mask during the class, it’s so worth it, and I know it’s for my safety and the safety of everyone else.”

While students, faculty and staff continue to wear masks for protection from the virus, Coffey said the pros of staying connected through fitness and encouraging others to do the same should outweigh the cons for most people.

“I honestly think everyone should try and take a group fitness class at some point,” Coffey said. “It is something to plan for when so much is uncertain.”

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