Staying in Shape While Wearing a Mask

Junior Justin Montazeri wears a facemask while lifting weights at the Andrews Recreation Center.Photo by Kamron Meyers/The Jambar

By Gabrielle Owens

For students looking for an opportunity to stay in shape during the semester, the Andrews Recreation and Wellness Center is holding virtual and in-person workout classes.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryan McNicholas, associate director of the Andrews Student Recreation Center, created virtual workout classes for students to attend. 

“When the pandemic first started, we wanted to give our students the opportunity to relieve stress and to engage with other students. We had several programs created and we will continue to offer these workout classes even when the pandemic is over,” he said. 

Junior Justin Montazeri wears a facemask while lifting weights at the Andrews Recreation Center. Photo by Kamron Meyers/The Jambar

McNicholas said students who are interested in the virtual workout class can visit their website for more information. 

“If you go to our website, students can access all our virtual options and it branches from Group X classes, workouts, various club sports, intramural and the adventure rec programs,” he said. 

McNicholas said the Andrews Recreation and Wellness Center staff have taken many precautions to ensure the safety of each student entering the facility. 

“We have amplified all our cleaning protocols and we are asking students to keep on their face coverings the entire time they are here at the rec center. As students enter the facility, we provide each student with a towel to clean their space. Also, we have included electrostatic disinfectant sprayers around the rec center to help disinfect the facility,” he said. 

McNicholas recommends students should pay extra attention to how they’re feeling while working out. 

“We’ve asked all students at the rec to monitor their intensity levels to adjust if needed and to take more frequent water breaks and to modify their exercise as well, to compensate for the face coverings,” he said. 

The Group X classes are still offering a traditional face-to-face option, Gianna Davila, Group X supervisor, said. 

“The Group X classes that we offer throughout the week are Zumba, total body workout, Tabata, yoga and spinning,” she said. 

In order to attend the Group X classes, students must register online and sign a waiver, which allows the rec center to keep track of how many students are in attendance. 

“Students have to sign up online so that we can make sure people are maintaining social distance and to keep track of who will be attending a class and if something COVID-19 related would arrive we will have a count of who attended the class,” Davila said. 

She said students who feel uncomfortable wearing a mask during a Group X class should reach out to her or her supervisor to receive a face shield. 

Brooke Crissman, a sophomore biology major, is a yoga instructor for virtual Group X classes. She said the virtual classes allow each student exercise training and the ability to stay connected during the pandemic. 

“The rec center offers virtual Group X classes, which are videos that the Group X instructors put together to give students an opportunity to exercise and stay connected during the pandemic. My yoga classes are between 20-30 minutes long and it flows at a variety of levels for anyone to try,” she said. 

Students can access these workouts on social media like Facebook and Instagram, as well as the rec center website. More information, including a sign-up for Group-X classes, is available at