9 Ways to Stay Active on Campus This Fall

From lakefront bike rides to sunset yoga sessions, the ways to stay fit on America’s most beautiful campus are as numerous as they are diverse.

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

Now more than ever as we face myriad challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor exercise is a powerful weapon for staying healthy, alleviating anxiety, and even sharpening academic performance. Fortunate for us at Rollins, we have access to 80 acres perched right on the shores of glistening Lake Virginia, boast an average yearly temperature of 72 degrees, and enjoy 236 sunny days a year—a perfect recipe for outdoor, socially distanced activity.

“No matter if it’s club sports, group fitness, intramurals, or simply working out, we want everyone to be as healthy as possible, and that includes opportunity for fitness both indoors and outside in the beautiful Florida sunshine,” says intramural and rec sports director Nate Arrowsmith.

Whether you’re already dialed in to your daily step count or just looking for a new bike path, Rollins has been hard at work reimagining activities and adding options to an already impressive list of safe, effective ways to get your heart rate up. So mask up and get moving. 

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

Take to the Lake

Even in Central Florida, a land of lakes, Lake Virginia is in a class of its own, ringed by mansions and steeped in history. (This was Fred Rogers’ real-life neighborhood after all.) Rollins’ prime lakefront setting means a paddleboard, canoe, or sailboat is never far away, and it’s easy to socially distance on the water. Check out a pre-reserved craft at the Boathouse.

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

Two-Wheeled Adventure

Hop on a bike to tool around campus, explore nearby Cady Way Trail, or high-gear it all five miles to the Orlando Urban Trail, which winds through some of the City Beautiful’s most picturesque neighborhoods. Forty-four single-speed and geared bicycles are tuned up, sanitized, and ready to check out for free via the Olin Library’s contactless checkout. Have you voted yet? If not, exercise those civic muscles along with your leg muscles as Tars bike to the polls together on Election Day.

Photo by Bailey Morris Photo by Bailey Morris

Count Your Steps

Sometimes just getting outside for a leisurely walk is the best antidote to stress. A proven natural mood-lifter, the simple act of strolling yields many body-mind benefits, and there’s no shortage of nooks and crannies to explore by foot on America’s most beautiful campus. Treasure-hunt for luminaries on the Walk of Stones, take in the timeless Spanish-Mediterranean architecture as you discover your new favorite study spot, or make your way just beyond campus to the rarefied charms of Park Avenue, with its diverse collection of shops, art galleries, restaurants, and green spaces.

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

Run for It

Some of Winter Park’s best running routes are on Rollins’ doorstep, including lakefront jogging trails that are frequently visited by great blue herons and red-bellied woodpeckers. Ready to push yourself a bit? Join the running club-sports team for a little healthy competition.

Hit the Gym

Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, Daryl’s Fitness Center in the Alfond Sports Center is outfitted with a range of cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights to suit a variety of endorphin-producing preferences. Hand-sanitizer stations are conveniently placed throughout the gym, which is cleaned multiple times daily, and occupancy limits are in place to ensure safety precautions.

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

Intramural Fun

Bring your own racket for intramural tennis, held two nights a week under the lights at the Bert Martin Tennis Courts. Other non-contact recreational sports include table tennis, spikeball, and frisbee golf, with discs available for checkout.

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

Make a Splash

Ready for a dip after your outdoor class on the beach? Hit up the 25-yard, eight-lane Alfond Pool for some laps while you take in epic views of Lake Virginia. The pool is heated for use in winter and cooled for swimming in summer.

Stronger Together

Much-loved Zumba classes taught by anthropology professor and former DJ Rachel Newcomb are bringing the heart-pumping club vibe outdoors. The cardio dance session infused with beats from Africa, the Caribbean, India, and the Middle East is just one of the popular, physically distanced group fitness classes continuing with beloved instructors. Watch for new locations for abs, cardio, bodyworks, as well as yoga and pilates (BYO mat). In addition to more than 15 face-to-face, socially distanced classes each week, students can join in each day via WebEx.

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

Get Centered

There’s a good reason that savasana, lying prone and motionless, is the final pose of any yoga class. Resting and turning inward are just as essential to fitness as sweating it out. Fortunately, Rollins offers plenty of spaces for meditative reflection, whether it’s while taking in lake vistas from a bench or spacing out on a picnic blanket in the shade of the moss-laced live oaks.

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

On the Move

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