(From left to right) Juniors Allison Nguyen, Mackenzie Morrison and Ashley Boxberger finish a remote fitness class together in Tahoe Vista, CA, in September. Morrison was an instructor for campus recreation before she went abroad to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Morrison
Pepperdine Campus Recreation has adapted to the online semester and offers several fitness resources for all students to utilize remotely. Although getting motivated to work out might be difficult at first, taking a break from school has never been more important as students are stuck on their screens for most of the day.
Even though campus isn’t open, students are still able to take online fitness classes and train with a personal trainer to target fitness goals. There are many different workouts to choose from that students recommend.
“It’s definitely an outlet that we still need to be doing,” Amanda Knight said, who is the Coordinator of Fitness and Wellbeing at Pepperdine. “Exercising in general reduces stress — it keeps you more focused.”
Campus Recreation’s Remote Resources
Knight said Campus Recreation uploads weekly pre-recorded workout videos on its YouTube channel for students to utilize. There are many different workout videos available, including yoga, interval training and pilates.
In addition to the YouTube channel, Knight said Campus Recreation now offers online personal training for students. First, students have an assessment meeting with a certified personal trainer to talk about fitness goals, so the workouts are tailored to individual student needs. The easiest way to sign up is through links on the Campus Recreation Instagram page.
“It keeps you motivated; it keeps you engaged,” Knight said. “You have somebody helping you and telling you what to do as aside from trying to do it on your own.”
Junior Mackenzie Morrison said she taught fitness classes for Campus Recreation her first year at Pepperdine and loved the experience. When she was studying abroad in Buenos Aires, she joined a CrossFit gym and took classes at a cycling studio, but when she came home from school due to COVID-19, all of the gyms were closed.
“It was very hard for me to be motivated to do things at home,” Morrison said. “I started watching YouTube fitness channels and that really helped me and it was an easy thing to do [with] no equipment.”
Now, she is creating her own workout videos for the Campus Recreation YouTube channel as a remote instructor. She uploads her new videos on the channel at 8 a.m. every Wednesday.
“It’s a big stress relief,” Morrison said. “For me, it’s a time where I can be like, ‘OK, I’m doing this for me. This workout is going to suck, but I’m going to feel so much better afterward.'”
Morrison said she usually uses interval timing in her workout videos, which is exercising for a set amount of time and then resting for a set amount of time. She incorporates cardio, strength and full-body training. The videos are about 50 minutes long, which is the length of a typical workout class.
“I feel like I don’t always have the opportunity to be creative, so this is where I can let my creative side come out,” Morrison said. “I get to program whatever I want to do, and I can just try to mix and match things and see how it works.”
Fitness and Workout Advice from Students
There are also fitness resources available outside of Pepperdine and tons of workouts that suit different goals. Trying to begin a fitness journey can be intimidating because of the wide variety of options.
Junior Paulina Holmberg is a diver on Pepperdine’s Swim and Dive team and is majoring in Sports Medicine. Holmberg grew up very active and was a gymnast before she took up diving.
“Having an active lifestyle benefits you in so many areas in your mental and physical health,” Holmberg said.
Even though Holmberg is a big advocate for an active lifestyle, she said she still found it difficult to be motivated when gyms were closed at her home. Before she returned home from campus due to COVID-19, Holmberg said she had a vigorous training schedule of 20 hours per week, which abruptly came to a stop.
“It’s important to stick to a schedule,” Holmberg said. “Workout at home in a certain time frame every day, or maybe Zoom your friend and then workout at the same time.”
Holmberg said her favorite remote workouts include riding her bike in her neighborhood and following jump rope workouts on YouTube. If someone is looking to start working out, Holmberg recommends HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, workouts because of its efficiency.
“The way that they’re structured, you’re able to get a better workout in for a shorter amount of time,” Holmberg said. “If you’re doing one HIIT workout for one hour and you’re doing a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for three hours, you’re going to burn the same amount of calories.”
The two main types of HIIT workouts are aerobic, which includes running, and body weight, which includes weight lifting and bodybuilding. Both types of workouts are available on YouTube.
As a student-athlete, one is obligated to keep up one’s health for their team. However, those not on collegiate sports teams strive to have the same motivation to be healthy.
Although first-year Sports Medicine major Lena Folse isn’t a student-athlete at Pepperdine, she said she was on her high school tennis team and danced at a studio before COVID-19 halted these activities. Folse was very active and noticed a big difference when she couldn’t do the normal activities she was used to doing.
Folse said she turned to YouTube to keep up her physical health during COVID-19 closures. One of her favorite YouTubers was Chloe Ting, who posts a variety of workout videos for her 15.3 million subscribers.
“I liked that it gave me a structure [and] I couldn’t just stop in the middle of it,” Folse said. “If I did something on my own, I have nothing telling me not to stop.”
Folse said because everybody likes to work out in different ways, it is important to find out what type of workout is most appealing.
“Find a group of friends who can hold you accountable and you can hold them accountable,” Folse said. “Not only does it help you continue to do what you’re doing, but you have friends and it makes it fun.”
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