How to Motivated During a Pandemic When it Comes to Exercise

By Jolie Prins

When anyone hears big news, they tend to get frightened and scared of change. Especially when this pandemic came about, people were hesitant to attend gyms which is what their everyday routines consisted of.

Many people, even I, was extremely eager to get back into a sweat routine, but it defiantly makes sense to be a little cautious about doing so.

Gyms got hit hard due to COVID-19 as concerns about people spreading this virus during a group exercise, then leading to mandated shutdowns and member exoduses.

People everywhere were getting nervous and would not leave their homes, let alone attend somewhere with little to no social distancing.

 Experts all over the news were suggesting exercising outdoors or virtually to reduce the transmission risk. 

“I have been going to Orange Theory for three years now. When I heard this news, I couldn’t help but freak out. I am a very germophobic person so being inside a closed tight gym was definitely not what I would be doing,” said Emily Stevens, senior communications major. “When they announced that they will be starting virtual workouts through Orange Theory, I was so happy.”

Students around UT were posting on social media at home workouts or their walks all over the country doing similar exercises during that extraordinarily hard time.

Others like my family even bought a peloton or some sort of exercise machine just to get through those tough couple of months.

Group workouts, packed gyms, carefree sessions on cardio machines — it all seems like a dream after a year of social distancing and warnings to avoid indoor exercise with others.

Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated against Coronavirus, many people ask if they are safe to trade their neighborhood cycle for a motivating spin class at the gym?

Each individual is different, so finding the suitable happy medium can be challenging for most. 

Each business and customer must decide how to navigate new workout habits and conflicting demands around Covid-19 safety protocols.

The good news is, whether you are vaccinated, scared of the outbreak, or just wanting a feel better routine, it is possible. 

By lowering the risk of group fitness classes by improving ventilation, limiting class size, wearing a mask, and increasing physical distance between customers, many are feeling safer.

“Due to how gyms around me are handling guidelines and cleanliness, I am comfortable attending crunch fitness,” said Noah Biedel, junior sports management major. “Staying active and being in a routine with my diet as well as exercising is who I am. Not being able to do this lead me to feel alone and unlike myself. When I heard all the plans each gym was doing to ensure safety, I went that day.”

Others around UT disagree with Biedel. They feel many businesses, including gyms, are portraying they have safety guidelines but then allowing customers to not wear their masks. 

“I think the biggest error, and it’s still done in some places, is requiring masks when you enter the facility and then allowing people to take them off when exercising,” said Tiffany Star, a senior nursing major. “That makes absolutely no sense. If you put individuals into a high-intensity activity where you’re huffing and puffing, that only exacerbates things and makes the virus spread.”

The good news is that more people are beginning to get vaccinated, so fewer worries about the spread of this virus will shortly be here and hopefully stay to allow us to get back to our almost everyday routines.

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