How Century College Students Can Stay Active During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Image of the elliptical and bike machines in the Century College weight room.

We’ve all been cooped up in our house studying for tests, reading textbooks, and participating in zoom lectures. Unfortunately, many of us have been so caught up in our work, we forget to get out and exercise; however, what if there was a way for students to exercise here at Century College?
Located in room W1610 on the West campus, there is a weight room inside Century College where students can engage in anaerobic and aerobic activities, and the best part yet, they’re open during lockdown with convenient hours! Furthermore, one of the lab assistants of the weight room, Alex Swain, says that the weight room is fully functional and following guidelines to fit the COVID-19 pandemic.

To fit the needs of the pandemic, there is an online reservation system where students can book a time to visit the weightroom (ten people on the weight room side, and ten people on the cardio side per half-hour). In addition, masks are required to be worn during all workouts, and social distancing is required while exercising in the weightroom.

For students who are interested in using the cardiovascular machines, there are plenty of machines available to meet your goals! Swain explains that the weight room at Century College contains rowers, ski machines, stair climbers, ellipticals, treadmills, upright/recumbent bikes, and cardio waves.
For students who are looking to lift weights while in the fitness center at Century College, there are plenty of dumbbells, benches, and squat racks; but more importantly, Swain states that there are other accessories for weightlifters which include exercise bands, jump ropes, BOSU balls, medicine balls, physio balls, versa disks, and body bars.

Full weight bar ready for power lifting.

As for students who are unable to reach the weight room inside Century College, Swain suggests that students should perform bodyweight exercises such as pushups, squats, and lunges; and if possible, purchase home equipment to reach desired physique goals. Additionally, the Student Life group at Century College implemented a weekly Zumba Monday through Friday via zoom throughout the Spring Semester for students who are looking to exercise in an exciting way!

Although it’s important to maintain a consistent gym routine, it’s just as important for students to fuel themselves with adequate nutrition in order to reach their fitness goals. Students who need to gain weight need to be in a caloric surplus by eating more calories than they burn, and students who seek to lose weight need to be in a caloric deficit by eating less calories than they burn. There are calorie counters online where students can find out how many calories they need to fit their desired fitness goals.

Image of yoga balls in the Century College weight room.

It’s vital to note that exercise and nutrition play a vital factor into our mental health and wellbeing; in addition, it gives all students the extra energy to trudge through loads of assignments and tests. Something as small as a walk through the Wood Duck Trail on campus can be a key factor to reducing stress levels from our academic and personal lives; therefore, it’s important that students should get out, push themselves, and most importantly, have fun while they are doing it!

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Another Key to Fitness: Nutrition

Although it’s important to maintain a consistent gym routine, it’s just as important for students to fuel themselves with adequate nutrition in order to reach their fitness goals. Students who need to gain weight need to be in a caloric surplus by eating more calories than they burn, and Students who seek to lose weight need to be in a caloric deficit by eating less calories than they burn. There are calorie counters online where students can find out how many calories they need to fit their desired fitness goals.
It’s much easier said than done to eat sustainable and adequate food when many college students are on a distinct budget, so here are some affordable nutrient dense foods and snacks that can be found at your local Hy-Vee, Target, or Walmart:

Recommended grocery list: rice, sweet potatoes, rice cakes, mashed potatoes, salad, vegetables, fruit, protein powder, grilled chicken, salmon, grilled steak, 93% lean ground beef, beef jerky, turkey breast, eggs

These foods are not only nutritious, but they are affordable too. Many of these foods can be mixed and matched to create sustainable meals for well under $50 per week. Therefore, these meals can fit the needs of all college students who are looking to buy nourishing food for a great price.
As a person who loves to lift weights, I have found that mixing both grilled chicken and rice is a great combination for a powerbuilding meal. Rice cakes, protein powder, and fruits hold me over throughout the day, and steak and mashed potatoes have made an excellent dinner. Many of these food choices can be mixed and matched; however, I strongly recommend that you include substantial sources of protein and carbohydrates in your meal (ex: steak and fruit, chicken and rice, ground beef and sweet potato fries).

Eating is a part of the day that we all enjoy, so it’s important that we pick foods that are not only nutritious, but appetizing too. I hope many of you find food that allows your body to run; but even better, I hope you enjoy it!

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