By SUSAN JONES
For the past couple years, Be Fit Pitt has been offering short exercise videos to help the Pitt community get moving during the workday. Now, the people at the Healthy Lifestyle Institute are stepping up their game with live streaming activity classes.
The live classes, which started on April 6, will be offered four times each weekday — for 30 minutes at 7:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. and 15 minutes at 12:30 p.m. — through Zoom. Each class is listed in the University Events Calendar with its own unique Zoom meeting code.
Renee Rogers, associate professor and programming director of the Healthy Lifestyle Institute, said that when the University fitness classes and gyms closed early in March, she and her staff and students filmed several exercise classes to post daily on the Be Fit Pitt YouTube channel. Most of the videos feature Gillian Scott, University Club fitness manager, doing the exercises as Rogers narrates.
“We didn’t have access to the fitness centers to film because those buildings had already shut down, but that was OK, because it forced us to think about simulating smaller spaces to exercise in like the ones our participants would be using at home,” she said. “We started designing workouts with this in mind and also with little to no equipment. There is a lot we can do with our amazing bodies that does not require equipment.
“Then once we fully closed, I packed up my filming studio and brought it to my basement so we could still produce professional content,” she said.
Each live workout has three different instructors — one doing a high-intensity version, one doing chair exercises, and Rogers doing the medium workout — each filming from their own homes around the country.
And don’t worry, exercise participants at home won’t be on camera. But you can ask questions through the chat function, which will be answered by other members of Rogers team.
“We have a large team of 15 to 20 graduate students and staff health fitness specialists from the Healthy Lifestyle Institute that are doing everything behind the scenes, from building and planning safe and inclusive workouts, helping to edit and build videos on YouTube, and making and posting complimentary activity and wellness content for our social media and website platforms,” Rogers said. “Our team rallied under the circumstances and shifted our focus to delivering inclusive and engaging activity opportunities that are open to Pitt students, staff and faculty.”
Each of the live workouts eventually will be archived on the Be Fit Pitt YouTube channel.
Rogers said they intend to live stream beyond the end of the semester and for as long as the Pitt community is working and operating remotely.
“Beyond that, the Healthy Lifestyle Institute and Be Fit Pitt’s goal is for this live streaming platform to be sustained, grow in its offerings and capabilities, and to continue to expand our ability to offer more activity and wellness offerings to more people across our Pitt community,” she said.
“While COVID-19 brought us a lot of challenges, this may have provided us with a new opportunity to expand remote fitness engagement. My hope is that we can use this platform to engage more students, staff and faculty in fitness offerings beyond what we could in a traditional fitness center setting.”
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at email@example.com or 412-648-4294.
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