Staying fit at Iona in the age of COVID-19

Aliyah Rodriguez & Katherine Daly, Features & Lifestyle Editor & Staff Writer

As COVID-19 cases dropped in New York, the prospect of Iona College reopening was no longer a fantasy, although new guidelines were put in place to keep the campus safe.  These changes to Iona’s campus have left students facing new challenges to their lifestyles. Many feel that life has been at a standstill, while COVID-19 and renovations to the gym have left students without a place to work out until mid-September.  

Taking advantage of the campus amenities to stay in shape has been such an integral part of some students’ lives. Living in the time of a pandemic, behavior that has long been considered standard at the gym now feels potentially hazardous. Junior Anthony Tortorello finds the lack of an outlet on campus less than ideal but expresses that the compact gym environment might not be what’s best at the moment.  

“Sharing equipment and confined spaces with other people, breathing heavily and sweating on the floor are no longer things we can do” Tortorello said. “Yet I feel that we are at a standstill. I think exercising is something that we all need. 

With the campus gym’s reopening on the horizon, there might be new rules about how many people can be in the gym at once and if priority will be given to student athletes. Some teams on campus have already begun practice in their various forms and may need extended private sessions in the campus gym so that all athletes can stay in shape. Junior Maeve Ellen Wydan is grateful for the sense of normalcy working out has brought her.     

“I play water polo and we just started to practice,” Wydan saidIt’s been a long time coming but we’ve been able to go back to the weight room recently. It’s a good way to get back to what is normal.”  

Despite the setbacks, these new challenges don’t seem to slow down members of the Iona community as they have found other ways to exercise and stay fit without relying on the need for an indoor gym. Junior Sionainn Kriska has taken up yoga, an activity that can be done outdoors in the warm weather or even in your dorm.  

“I have my yoga mat with me and I usually look up guided yoga exercises on YouTube,” Kriska saidThis is the way I exercise during the school year and adding yoga to your routine helps support your physical and mental health. 

After being stuck inside with not many places to go for the past few months, getting outside for something as simple as walking could be a great relief to many. Sophomore Jamie Sullivan has been exercising outdoors to keep herself in shape while the gym is closed.  

“Getting outside for exercise helps you connect with your mind and body whether you’re a runner or walker,” Sullivan said“I like to keep it fun by setting a small distance for myself that I have to walk each day.” 

With so many things having changed since the return to campus, it may feel frustrating that something like exercising is so limited, but taking advantage of what’s accessible to you – such as Mazella Field or common spaces in your dorm on campus is a surefire way to make the most of these times.