Eric Magrum adjusted his Intro to Weight Training class after the University of Georgia moved to online instruction to allow his students more autonomy in their workout assignments. Students are doing yoga and going for runs around their neighborhoods while maintaining social distancing instead of doing their normal in-class exercises.
Magrum has given his students the choice to log their physical activity through Fitbit or Apple Watch. If a student does not have access to either, they are given a third option to do a video submission of their physical activity.
“It’s more opened up to physical activity in general rather than specifically weight training,” Magrum said. “I do encourage them to use household objects, whether it’s milk cartons full of water or sand or cans of soup, to lift as weights.”
Students in physical education classes at UGA are able to stay active while simultaneously completing PE class assignments from home. Instructors and students are getting creative with makeshift workout routines and allowing more flexibility with their exercise assignments while maintaining social distancing.
Students are also required to engage in physical activity that raises their heart rate to at least 50% above their maximal rate in order to ensure they are benefitting the most they can from these exercises, Magrum said.
Magrum said some main struggles of online instruction is not being there face-to-face to offer immediate feedback and help his students during their workouts.
Rachel Wellington, a junior biological engineering major from Lawrenceville, said using a Fitbit in her Intro to Weight Training class makes the new class structure easier. She does her workouts like normal, and an app on her Fitbit sends the data to Magrum.
“I think my overall skills of exercise have improved,” Wellington said. “With gyms closed, I have had to be creative with how to exercise effectively at home. I stay active by running and walking, but I have also found resources like exercise videos, which are great.”
Other PE classes, such as Beginning Bowling, have also been utilizing smart watch technology and video submissions in place of regular PE classes. Bowling classes used to meet at the Showtime Bowl but have adapted to virtual workout assignments.
PE students without access to smart watches have had to adopt other methods to earn credit for their workouts.
Caroline Abbey, a senior management major from Cumming, is a student in Beginning Bowling instructed by Uma Dixit.
“I’m taking photos and videos and putting them in a document with the description of the workout I’m doing,” Abbey said. “I think it’s strange and not related to the class that I signed up for, but I understand they have to do something different now that in-person isn’t an option.”
Students in this course are instructed to document 50-minute workouts in place of their regular bowling class.
“Staying active is a good way for me to get out of the house and run,” Abbey said. “It definitely helps break up the monotony of the day.”