The University of Utah’s PEAK Health & Fitness program has begun offering live fitness classes and mindfulness breaks online to all members of the campus community as a service during this challenging time.
“Because we know that many routines have been disrupted, PEAK is offering a variety of free classes for the remainder of the semester via Zoom,” says Traci Thompson, PEAK’s director. “We hope this gift will improve the physical fitness and mental wellness of our campus community.”
Zoom virtual fitness classes began on Monday, March 23, with a full Monday through Friday slate, including yoga for stress relief, circuit training, bootcamp classes and more. The current schedule of classes can be found here. To join a live PEAK fitness class on Zoom, use the Meeting ID: 416-820-8599.
PEAK is also working to populate the U’s Wellness & Integrative Health YouTube channel with prerecorded fitness classes taught by some of the program participants’ favorite instructors; they are hoping to have the first of those classes up by early the first week of April. The channel also features mindfulness exercises, healthy eating tips and yoga breaks.
Additionally, the PEAK program is offering free drop-in mindfulness breaks via Zoom; those sessions are currently set for Mondays from 8 to 8:30 a.m. and Wednesdays from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Use Meeting ID: 689 489 4019. PEAK is also offering two fee-based comprehensive online mindfulness courses available here.
“I hope individuals in our University of Utah community use this opportunity to try out some different classes and instructors,” says Thompson, an associate professor of kinesiology. “Physical activity is an excellent form of stress relief, and learning new things is a great way to keep positive energy flowing. You might even find a new passion for circuit training or yoga!”
Regarding class etiquette, “It’s probably a good idea to mute the audio during exercise so everyone can hear the instructions,” Thompson says. “But we want these classes to be interactive (social connection is healthy!), so I would like to encourage conversation and social connection before and after class, and perhaps during warm-up and cooldown, too.” Mute/unmute audio and video buttons are in the left corner of the participant’s Zoom window. A chat icon in the lower right also allows participants to open a sidebar and have a written exchange during breaks in class.
“We are learning on the fly and know we have room for improvement,” notes Thompson. “I would love to hear your constructive feedback and ideas for how we can be better.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org (please put “Zoom class feedback” in the subject line).
“We will be working on other ideas to help you stay healthy,” she adds. “Please let me know what we can do to help improve your wellness over the remainder of the semester.”
If you are new to Zoom, PEAK staffers created a short introduction video available here.