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College students enjoy gyms reopening

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Taylor Moore
LV Life Editor

With the reopening of schools and important businesses in the wake of widespread COVD-19 vaccination across the state and nation this year, Gyms are back as well, including the University’s Randall Lewis Center for Well-Being and Research main floor workout room.

Athletes are also training in person and enjoying socializing while working out, all while complying with the University’s mask and vaccination mandates.

“Having others to run with and a more scheduled time to get the training done compared to whenever I felt like (during at home training) has kept me in better check with my consistency,” Michael Sahagun, sophomore chemistry major and cross country and track runner, said.

Sahagun ran on his own when school was online and teams were on hiatus last year — meeting the miles required by the team coaches to stay in shape.

But he said training during that time was difficult because it was more of a mental strive to continuously put in 60 to 65 miles per week – with nobody to run with and no specific competition to prepare for.

Mason Ferrari, senior business administration major, goes to the University gym five or six days a week now that it is open again – the same amount he worked out before the pandemic. Since he is a resident of the Citrus Hall, he used only the school gym.

Students are still required to wear a mask while working out, since the gym is an indoor facility.

“While exercising (wearing a mask) makes it a little more difficult because it’s restricting your breathing but I try to follow it as best as I can,” Ferrari said. “If it makes people feel safe, I’m going to do it. It’s not that big of an issue.”

According to a recent informal Campus Times survey, 57.6% of the gyms that college students attend require masks, while 42.4% do not. There were 33 respondents, with the majority of students being from California.

Katherine Reyes, a junior communications major Cal Poly Pomona, works out at Crunch in Diamond Bar, where she is also employed. She said that her gym required masks when they first reopened, but now allows vaccinated members to go maskless.

“I occasionally workout with my mask off because when I take my pre-workout on leg days, I will literally sweat through my mask to the point where it’s soaking wet so it’s a little hard to wear it,” Reyes said. “I never had a problem with working out while wearing a mask because exercising in a real gym was more important to me.”

According to the same Campus Times survey, 66.7% of respondents said that a mask mandate at their gym would not sway them from going. However, 12.1% said that a mandate would entice them to stay home while 21.2% remained undecided.

“When I am working out in public and need to wear a mask, I have no problem with it besides the fact that I struggle to breathe more, but it’s keeping people safe,” Ethan Medeiros, junior kinesiology major and football player, said.

Cole Roberts, senior business administration major and football player who was involved in a car accident just before the March 2020 shutdowns, began weight lifting at a teammate’s house once his injuries had healed earlier this year.

He said that working out for the team is a little more difficult now after being off for a year since everyone is a little more out of shape than what they would have been before the lockdown.

While he does not like wearing a mask while working out or training, it is still better than not being able to at all.

“I feel a lot better being back in person again,” Roberts said. “The motivation of having your coaches and teammates around you is extremely hard to replicate.”

Taylor Moore can be reached at taylor.moore@laverne.edu.

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