Students relieve stress in nearby fitness studios

The Lantern
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Orangetheory Fitness and CycleBar are just two of the fitness studios close to campus that Ohio State students frequent to support their mental and physical health and channel their stress into something positive. Credit: Courtesy of Hayley Ringwalt

When Becca Kemper found herself feeling routinely overwhelmed by her studies, job, personal life and other responsibilities, she decided to search for a positive way to relieve stress.

Orangetheory Fitness and CycleBar are just two of the fitness studios close to campus that Ohio State students such as Kemper, a third-year in marketing, frequent to improve their mental and physical health, channeling their stress into something positive.

“Orangetheory helps me clear my mind,” Kemper said. “No matter what I’m stressed about, Orangetheory can be the perfect outlet to release that pent-up negative energy.”

Orangetheory is a fitness studio that primarily offers high-intensity interval training –– also known as HIIT –– total-body group workouts which alternate periods of intense workouts and rest, Stephanie Milstead, a coach and studio manager at the Grandview location, said . She said Orangetheory workouts also include rowing, cardio and strength training.

Milstead said her role within the studio is leading participants through classes to achieve their personal fitness goals with the help of community encouragement. There are three different gym membership options available, as well as class packages of 10, 20 and 30 classes.

“We have many students that come to Orangetheory that benefit from just the positive atmosphere in the studio,” Milstead said. “It’s a very encouraging environment. You can come in and sort of turn off your brain. Through this crazy time, it’s so important [that] people are doing things for themselves.”

Throughout the pandemic, the studio has been following COVID-19 protocols to ensure instructors and class participants stay safe while getting in their workouts, Milstead said. Participants are asked to wear masks when not actively working out and there have been air purification filters installed in the studio, among other measures.

“We follow all of our state and local mandates,” Milstead said. “We hand members disinfectant wipes to clean their equipment after each use and staff are frequently cleaning high-touch point areas with medical-grade disinfectant.”

For Kemper, Orangetheory is a great way to get in physical activity and release stress, but for others, fitness studios such as CycleBar , an indoor cycling studio with multiple locations, including Upper Arlington, have become their workout destination of choice.

Cameron Page, a fourth-year in psychology, said she discovered CycleBar three years ago and it quickly became an important part of her life. She said the fitness studio focuses on the idea of empowering the community and ensuring everyone feels accepted and welcome.

The classes, which vary in price depending on the package, are usually around 45 minutes long, consisting of intervals of sitting down and then standing up on the bike, as well as arm workouts with light dumbbells, Page said.

“I had never worked out before being a member at CycleBar, and when my friend and I randomly decided to try a class, I instantly got hooked,” Page said.

According to its website , CycleBar’s COVID-19 guidelines, like most businesses, will continue to adjust along with the pandemic. As of now, the Upper Arlington location does not require masks to be worn while working out, but classes are operating at half capacity, and Page said there are other protocols in place, such as regularly disinfecting equipment.

Like Kemper, Page said going to a fitness studio such as CycleBar became a positive outlet for her during times of difficulty and stress.

“During the time I discovered CycleBar, my family was going through some hard changes, and it served as an outlet for me and a chance to escape,” Page said. “I love the people there and the community as a whole. I built strength and endurance, and now I love the adrenaline rush cycle classes give me.”

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