Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Edito

Making the most of the nice weather, Cornell students get used to exercise — like biking with a mask — in a world with COVID-19.

September 9, 2020

Cornell Students Exercising to Relieve Stress of the Pandemic

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The throngs of students slowly trudging up Libe Slope is now a distant memory thanks to this fall’s hybrid semester. With few classes and extracurriculars on campus, students are finding new ways to stay healthy and relieve some stress.

“Walking from North last year was a good source of exercise since it fit in with my schedule and it was easy. However, since we aren’t walking to classes as much, I feel like I’m wasting away in my chair,” said Eva Ruse ‘23.

Ruse’s solution, much like the semester, has been found online. She has been taking advantage of online workout videos, and has started a workout regimen found on Youtube since coming back to Ithaca.

Other students are choosing to take advantage of the picturesque nature trails that surround Cornell. Lauren Cody ’23 has taken to running every morning in order to fight the feeling of being trapped in front of a screen all day.

“I would’ve gone out of my mind if it weren’t for running,” Cody told The Sun.

Although COVID-19 has forced Cornell’s fitness centers to shutter, the campus itself offers many running trails around stunning lakes and gorges.

“I never had a gym membership, so I haven’t found it very hard. Cornell is so beautiful that I would rather go for runs outside than go to the fitness center anyway,” Cody sold.

Cornell’s gyms are currently waiting for University approval before resuming service, which would comprise a significant number of changes, including reduced capacity, a ban on showering and mandatory masks. There is no set date for its reopening.

Some students are even opting to take PE classes simply to add some structure to their daily life. Elina Batt ’23 is one of these people, choosing to take a cardio kickboxing class.

Batt is relieved to have something to make her walk from her dorm on West Campus to Helen Newman once a week, as kickboxing is the only in-person class that she is taking.

“It gets me out of my room because I wouldn’t leave otherwise,” Batt said.

While students attempt to blow off steam and stay healthy, the fear of COVID-19 is ever-present. Class attendees still wear masks and avoid being in close proximity to others, taking into account the heavy breathing that comes along with physical activity.

“It’s definitely a stress reliever because I’m working out, but since we are all wearing masks, I’m still super reminded about corona,” Batt said.