As people spend more time at home, the importance of exercising cannot be emphasized enough. Accordingly, the school decided to provide an online program for students’ health from Nov. 5 to 18. For 30 minutes, a professional trainer taught different kinds of postures using easily accessible equipment like towels and chairs.
The program was provided to 50 students on a first-come, first-served basis. It was conducted for five days, with an English class provided in the second week.
“I used to work at Ewha for about 15 years as the ECC fitness center as a personal trainer, squash instructor, and a coach for students preparing to become an ROTC officer,” said Sam Kim Harris, the head trainer and head of the Fit Mom Project. “Because the ECC fitness center closed for a long time in face of COVID-19, I had to resign and find other ways to continue teaching. Then I saw a trainer who taught through Zoom on CNN News and was inspired to start an online exercise business myself.”
In the beginning, she was asked to help students alleviate back pain by Ewha professors that attended her class. After she heard working out online would be a way for students to overcome corona blues, she suggested opening an official class. Based on the students’ preferences on the online exercise programs that were previously taught in other schools, she designed five different themes.
“Since the students signed up for the class on their own, they were all passionate and gave feedbacks, so it was rewarding,” Harris said. “I think having different programs every day was one of the factors that contributed to a high participation rate. For the second week, the class was taught in English, so international students who went back to their home countries were able to participate.”
Although Harris thinks working out together in person is more effective for the instructor and the students to concentrate, the current situation makes it inevitable but to conduct programs online. Thankfully, as people are familiar with online classes, there were little technical difficulties.
This online exercise program is different from typical videos accessible through YouTube in a way that active communication is possible. According to Harris, she mainly made use of the chatting function on Zoom for not only checking attendance but also for hearing students’ responses and demands.
“The biggest advantage of working out online is that you do not have to wear masks and it is also time saving,” she noted. “Nowadays, as COVID-19 is becoming widespread, masks have become a part of our lives, even when exercising. Unfortunately, wearing masks is very inconvenient and undermines the exercise intensity.”
Finally, she suggested some ways for students to exercise regularly while staying home, which can be beneficial both physically and mentally.
She added that if we do not move our bodies enough, we will constantly think negatively, become mentally unstable, and disturb having a good night's sleep. In order to maintain our body’s circulation, she recommends having a few exercising tools like a mat, foam roller, or a mini ball that can be used in various ways.
“When you feel like it, try to imitate the easy postures in videos and you will gradually have a routine of your own. Exercising is not about being fancy, but about staying safe, so you have to start with movements that are helpful for you.”