Keeping Up with Personal Fitness During COVID-19
Since the COVID-19 pandemic made us all bored of Netflix by the time summer 2020 hit, I restarted my personal fitness journey to help my mental health struggles from dealing with months of being stuck inside. I was constantly hiking, going to the gym once it reopened, and working out nearly every day.
As the start of school approached, I became nervous about how I was going to deal with the sudden change of going back and how my body was going to handle the less intense, infrequent workouts I would have to switch back to. Luckily, I was able to find some creative ways to keep up with my personal fitness during this new era of living on a college campus.
Early Morning Runs
On my first full day back on campus, I woke up at a nice and early 6 a.m. after a long day of unpacking and had the sudden motivation to start running on the Susan Ferguson loop. I hadn’t gotten a chance to run on my favorite trails since last fall, so I was excited to tie up my shoes and head out.
It was quite a peaceful morning, the air was cool, the sun was just barely peeking over the tree line, and my arm muscles were already sore from lifting everything the day before all by myself. I was overjoyed to know that I had kept the motivation to work out for at least one day into the semester.
I started working these early morning runs into my regular routine. Mixing it up with different trails different lengths has made it easy to be motivated to run in the mornings. Want to burn off that Pub cookie (who am I kidding, you can’t just have one) from the night before? Avenue of Elms is perfect! Want a light run because your shin splints are burning? Sandbanks Trail is spectacular! Just remember to have a mask on you at all times and to put it on if you're approaching another individual on the trail.
I have enjoyed the time I get to spend with just myself in the mornings. It is a refreshing and energizing way to wake up and prepare myself to take a full day of classes. The mornings when I had the motivation to wake up before the sun were my favorite because I got to see some beautiful sunrises that Canton is famous for.
Hiking & Exploring St. Lawrence County
Although students are limited travel within St. Lawrence County without approval from Student Life, there are still beautiful hiking spots to explore with your extended family unit. Mt. Arab is a popular spot among St. Lawrence students which you can see from any SLUzers Instagram. I was able to take a nice morning hike here just as the leaves were changing colors! Getting to see the hills of lush green from the top reminded me of my home and my Green Mountains which I always miss during the semester.
There are also other (and less packed) beautiful hiking places to explore with rivers and waterfalls. Hart’s Falls Preserve was a beautiful and refreshing place to explore after a full day of classes. There were a ton of wildflowers to bring back and fill my dorm room with. Reminder to wear your mask and socially distance when traveling around the county!
Canoeing the Little River
I have always seen the Canoe shack on my runs through the Cross-Country Woods Trail, but I could never find the time to stop by. It wasn’t until I was finding creative and fun ways to keep in shape and spend time with my extended family unit that I decided to stop by one Saturday. The water was so peaceful and there weren’t that many other paddlers on the water, but it was nice to wave hello to other SLU students from across the bend.
All the colors reflecting on the water’s surface made my view look like a painting. Many childhood memories of camp came up while I paddled. Such a great experience and the best arm workout I can find outside of the gym!
Ultimate Frisbee with the Ruckus Bus
Although I joined the team my sophomore year, I very rarely showed up to practice because I had a million other things to do at the time. Since I am more limited with what I can do with my time, I have been able to make going to frisbee practice (semi-) regularly fit into my schedule.
Although I might have the self-proclaimed title as the worst player on the team, I enjoy the time getting to spend with people I love! We have our own St. Lawrence family on the team and even though playing on the Quad feels a little different with face masks and social distancing, we still have that sense of community that I missed during quarantine. After a long day of classes, I look forward to heading over to the Quad and getting out my stress by running and sharing quite a few laughs.
Although the fitness center has opened back up on campus, I am still going to be keeping up with these creative ways of maintaining my personal fitness as I have loved the variety of workouts I’m getting! With a little hand sanitizer and face covering, I have been able to keep pushing forward on my personal fitness journey and have been on a much better physical and mental health path!