UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Campus Recreation, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs, is one of the largest employers on campus and attracts a number of student employees with various skillsets every year, including lifeguards, outdoor trip leaders, facility attendants, intramural officials, group fitness instructors and many more. The adoption of this remote learning and work period has brought new opportunities for Penn State Campus Recreation to be creative in helping students stay engaged while also promoting activity, wellness and exercise to the Penn State community as a whole.
Penn State Campus Recreation normally hosts more than 100 free drop-in fitness classes every week on campus. The student instructors are now offering a library of more than 50 workouts online through the Penn State Student Affairs YouTube page. Similarly, live online classes are held every business day on the Penn State Campus Recreation Instagram. Classes are available for all fitness levels and include a variety of workout types, including HIIT, power remix, yoga, boxing, karate, meditation, tennis and more.
Alexis "Lexi" Neimeyer, a junior from Mertztown, Pennsylvania studying human development and family studies, is a certified fitness instructor with Campus Recreation. Neimeyer has been an instructor since the spring of 2019 and currently leads HIIT, cycling, power remix, and boxing circuit classes, which she now instructs online.
“I think that we are very lucky to have the resources that we do to be able to continue both our studies and our fitness classes remotely,” Neimeyer said.
She shared how the connection to her patrons, both old and new, has helped to keep her motivated in leading fitness classes remotely.
“In the fitness classes that I teach, I have always found that I feed off of the energy of others and their drive to push themselves," said Neimeyer. "My patrons' energy is so positive and strong and is really what pushes me to be a better instructor every single day.”
Campus Recreation encourages activity, fitness and exercise during the remote learning and work period with programs such as the 2020 Recreation Movement, Instagram Live workouts, and the fitness library on YouTube.
“Campus Recreation’s fitness classes have been able to provide a sense of community and connection; a connection that has the power to keep people positive and motivated during COVID-19. I think that it can be really comforting and motivating to log on and see a favorite instructor teaching a class that you love,” said Neimeyer. “From an instructor’s standpoint, I feel a sense of normalcy again now that I am teaching my classes, even if it is not particularly the same way I’ve taught them before. I think many of the instructors feel the same way about being able to teach our classes online. This sense of community and normalcy again can really benefit our well-being during this time and show we are all here to support each other.
“It is so important to keep Campus Recreation’s fitness classes alive and well during this time. We are all experiencing our own unique challenges in a number of ways, and this can have an effect on our mental and physical health,” said Neimeyer.
Jill Garrigan, assistant director of fitness and wellness, said the instructors "have really stepped up to provide a service that was requested over and over by our students and members. It’s one thing to adjust as students have to remote learning, but to have the ability to record fitness classes truly shows their passion for Campus Recreation and Penn State. The bond and connection between our instructors and the Penn State community is really something to admire."
For more information on Penn State Campus Recreation’s remote fitness programming and classes, including a calendar of all upcoming live classes, visit the Fitness and Wellness webpage on the Penn State Student Affairs website. Penn State also is part of the 2020 Recreation Movement website, which provides free live and prerecorded classes from more than 40 universities and colleges.