Polo Road Rec

The Polo Road Rec Center opened for the Spring 2021 semester.  

Maintaining the New Year’s resolution of exercising at the gym everyday can be complicated due to COVID-19, but students have found ways to stay cautious and fit during these times.

While workout facilities have implemented additional regulations, some students and faculty are more motivated than before to work toward a healthy lifestyle.

Kinesiology senior Skyler Hetiz said she found the excess amount of free time while in quarantine pushed her to get up and take use of it.

“Before the pandemic, exercising was more of a secondary priority for me,” Heitz said. “Quarantine gave me more time to do whatever I wanted, and once I made working out a habit in quarantine, I carried it through and have kept up with it. It also provided me with an outlet and a way of bettering myself.”

Heitz said she loves going to the Texas A&M Rec Center, but quarantine allowed her to explore different ways to burn calories from home.

“I think a great way to maintain your exercise goals from home is to go on a good run outside and get some sunlight, especially if you’ve been locked up in your room all day,” Heitz said. “But if you would prefer to stay inside, there are many fitness apps that have made their online programs free.”

Similar to Heitz, petroleum engineering senior Drayton Prator said he adjusted to the pandemic by investing in a home gym with his roommates. Finding time to work out with his roommates has also helped maintain his mental health, Prator said.

“I think adding the home gym to our garage has helped the whole house stay fit and remain in a good mental state,” Prator said. “Mental health can slip sometimes and make you not want to work out, but ironically, I’ve found working out and being active helps your mental health.”

In addition to lifting weights at home, Prator said he likes how the opening of the Polo Road Rec Center provides more than one place for students to exercise on campus.

“Since returning back this semester, the new Rec Center has helped myself and other students I think in offering new scenery but also helping with capacity problems that the original Rec face[d],” Prator said.

On Jan. 22, A&M opened the doors to the campus’s second recreation center, Polo Road Rec Center, after finishing construction in the fall semester.

Strength and conditioning director Jerod Wilson said the Polo Road Rec Center provides students with more accommodations in order to conveniently schedule fitness into their day.

“Now we do have two options, so people are spread out between two facilities, and we can accommodate more people. I do believe that if there were people that were potentially weary about everyone going to one facility that they may feel more at ease now,” Wilson said. “You can pick and choose throughout the facilities and see where it’s not as busy throughout the day and determine what works best for you.”

For students who prefer to exercise at home, Wilson said there are numerous options available from live classes to lists of home workouts developed by their team.

“For our fitness and wellness area, we have a virtual-only class pass with about 15 classes … so anyone can exercise live in a fitness class from wherever they’re at,” Wilson said. “For strength and conditioning, there’s a whole laundry list of at home workouts that we developed.”

Wilson said the opening of the Polo Road Rec Center brought several benefits.

“I think the positive outcome is that we’re helping people stay physically healthy, up their ability to fight off things naturally and improving their mental state,” Wilson said.

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