• Lillie Burke

Staying active in isolation with FitRec’s Fitpacks

The Fitness and Recreation Center is now offering Fitpacks — exercise equipment kits students can use to enhance their dorm room workouts.

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the FitRec gym on campus has been closed the entire spring semester, so staff have been offering virtual training and group classes activities tailored around at-home bodyweight exercises. Students can now add an extra component to these workouts by checking out equipment they may not have access to in their residence halls.

“We wanted to help the Belmont community still reap the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle, so we found ways to help make some of the resources we have and have been able to get available to the members of the Belmont community so they can still practice physical wellness,” said Joe Mankowski, assistant director of the FitRec.

There are two types of Fitpacks to choose from: strength or yoga. The strength Fitpack includes handled resistance bands and Versa Loops, and there is an option to choose between light, moderate or heavy resistance. The yoga Fitpack includes a yoga mat, yoga strap and foam blocks.

Students appreciate that these resources are now available to use in their dorm room or residence.

“It’s super helpful to a lot of people who love taking yoga classes but don’t have a mat,” said student Jenna Moss. “It’s like the worst thing ever to do yoga on your dorm tile floor.”

Though this equipment can help enhance an at-home workout, students don’t need it to benefit from the FitRec’s virtual programming.

“We know not everybody has access to fitness equipment or the Fitpacks,” said Mankowski. “So we are still providing exercises that can be done regardless of the equipment you have available or providing alternatives that satisfy that same need.”

The equipment can also be incorporated into exercises students do on their own time, said Mankowski.

“If you’re interested in checking out a Fitpack, you can either come in person to the FitRec and just check one out in person or you can do it via phone by calling the fitness department, and they can schedule a time for you to come in and pick up your Fitpack,” said Madelyn Anderson, student coordinator for the group fitness department.

Students have a week to use their Fitpack before it has to be returned. Once brought back to the FitRec, the equipment is sanitized according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines so someone else can check it out.

The FitRec has received positive feedback in terms of the number of people checking out Fitpacks, said Anderson. The strength pack is particularly popular.

“There’s one student in particular who returns it after a week of having it, and the minute he returns it, he checks one out again,” she said.

Though the Fitpacks don’t replace access to Belmont’s full fitness center, they can add an extra component to the workouts students have been missing.

“I just hope more and more people check them out and get to use them,” said Mankowski.

This article was written by Ashley Huffman.

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