Get ready to sweat! 

We have now entered our fifth week of quarantine and for some individuals (I won’t mention any names) sweating has been the furthest thing from our minds. Recent studies have shown that a new trend of weight-gain, caustically titled “the COVID-19,” has taken effect in the lives of many students affected by this crisis. The trend closely resembles the all-too-familiar “freshman-15,” in which college freshmen put on a safety package of fifteen extra pounds to make room for all the stress that they are absorbing from their first year of the big leagues. While unfortunately, due to our current situation, many of us have fallen down the rabbit hole of becoming apathetic and shiftless, there is still hope for the reversal of these symptoms.

I present to you, UMass Boston Recreation.

Thankfully, we are not alone in this crisis! The UMass Boston recreational programs have been working around the clock to save us from this indolent mess. Although the campus is closed, our recreation department is not. Members of the recreation team have come together to provide online fitness classes Monday through Saturday for all students—ranging all the way from yoga and Zumba (or Zoom-ba if you will), to cardio intense classes such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), Burn, and kickboxing!

This past week, the two of us (Korinne and Jonathan, respectively to HIIT and cardio-kickboxing), decided that we would give some of these programs our best shot. 

Tuesday, I (Korinne) headed to our Recreation site’s Fitness and Wellness page to take an exhilarating HIIT class hosted by Anna on Zoom. Little did I know what I was going to be in store for. For those who don’t know what HIIT means, it stands for high-intensity interval training where you combine high-intensity cardiovascular exercises with low-intensity exercises as a recovery in between. The benefits of HIIT is you burn more calories and fat than a regular workout in the same time period because you are keeping your heart rate up throughout. 

Anna’s class takes place on Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. With 45 minutes she started us with a heart-pumping warm-up consisting of high knees and arm rotations. Once the intensity kicked in, she led us into several rounds of both high and low-intensity full-body exercises. From lateral supersets, various plank combinations, to heart-racing cardio, this class sure will make you sweat buckets. In fact, you might want to keep an extra bottle of water on hand. After the strenuous but yet enjoyable HIIT combinations, it was time to enter the cool-down stretch—my favorite part. As my heart began to fall back into its normal repetition, I felt relief, not only because the workout was done, but because I had accomplished something other than laying in my bed. Thank you to Anna and our accommodating recreational staff: this full-body exercise left me sweaty, burning up to 418 calories and leaving me exceedingly sore in my lats and hamstrings. 

Like Korinne, I (Jonathan), decided that I would venture out into the world of recreational fitness on Friday. My adventure led me to a cardio-kickboxing experience that my hip flexors would not forget. 

The class kicked off (stop it with the puns) with some heart rate elevating cardio-focused exercises, such as squats and crunches. As the warm-ups completed, our Zoom instructor led us into throwing punches, jabs, and elbows at our invisible opponents, an activity commonly known as shadowboxing. As I threw aimless punches into the air of my sullen frustration and corona-induced feelings of despair, I noticed a cool liquid start dripping down my face. “This can’t be rain,” I thought to myself, “I’m inside my house.” It was then that I realized that the translucent droplets falling from my brow were none other than the much-coveted sweat which I had been looking for. With renewed inspiration from this perspiration, I launched myself into a series of roundhouse, front, and sidekicks, beating my fiendishly-fake enemy back into my basement wall. After another group of cardio exercises, the class concluded with some hip and shoulder mobility stretches. But it was too late, my hip flexors laid strewn across the mat, wondering if they would ever again be part of my body. As I limped back to the shower to rinse off all my hard work, I was grateful for the athletic (and flexible) recreation staff who made my first kickboxing experience one that was rewarding and unforgettable.

Fortunately for you, our lofty accounts of gratifying fitness experiences are available to you! During the crisis, the UMass Boston Recreation department has decided to offer all of their fitness classes for free over zoom. To join, all you have to do is follow the link to Recreation | Fitness & Wellness and choose your class. We highly recommend you take some time to partake in some or all of these classes, you will not regret it. 

Look forward to seeing you all soon,

Your Intramural Staff

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