This fall semester looks very different from most, as we find ourselves learning remotely behind our computer screens. It is even more important now to be looking to form connections and keep in touch with the University of Massachusetts community during these difficult times. UMass Amherst has been working hard to provide the community with engaging events and experiences to keep us connected.
One area that has been particularly strong with it’s virtual events is Campus Recreation. While on campus facilities are closed for the time being, virtual fitness classes are still being held every day with UMass Amherst instructors. Some types of virtual fitness classes include virtual spin, yoga, zumba, and more.
Exercise is a great way to break up your daily routine, especially as we find ourselves sitting at the computer screen for a good portion of the day for zoom lectures and homework assignments. Without the usual walking breaks between classes, I find myself getting antsy and needed to get up between classes to stretch my legs. I decided to attend a "30 Minute Abs" session through Campus Recreation to get a feel for what the program was like, and to be able to give myself that needed break between classes. Despite being quite active and normally going to the gym during the week pre-covid, I never attended a campus recreation held group event — something I wish I’d taken advantage of earlier.
The process to sign up for the session was quite simple —I first found the event I was looking for, and times it was happening, through the Student Engagement Virtual Events Calendar. Once I’d chosen a date and time that worked well with my schedule I logged onto my IMLeagues account, used to sign up for Intramural Sports as well as Group Fitness classes at UMass Amherst. From there I was able to see a list of available zoom sessions for all classes throughout the week and register for my ab session.
Once registered, I received an email reminder the day of, and thirty minutes before the class started a link to the zoom room I’d be using for the virtual session. I attended the zoom meeting on my computer so I’d be able to follow along on a larger screen. The other participants and I all had our cameras on, although it was not required, it was nice to see everyone doing the movements together and made the experience feel more interactive.
Doing a live group session definitely motivated me to perform better than I would have on my own. Even via zoom I felt connected to the class and had a really good time! While we can’t all be together in person, we can still meet virtually and stay connected to the UMass Amherst community in other ways.