Fitness instructor Lynne Skilton-Hayes holds weights in her hands during a workout
Fitness instructor Lynne Skilton-Hayes

With many University of Guelph students learning remotely this fall, it’s more important than ever to find ways to maintain health and fitness, which is why the University’s Department of Athletics is launching a new series of fitness activities students can do wherever they are.

Starting Sept. 8, Gryphon Athletics will offer a series of free, on-demand virtual fitness classes that will require little equipment beyond a connection to the internet.

Simply by logging on to Microsoft Stream with their U of G central login credentials, current students will be able to access a suite of recorded video classes, as well as new videos that will be added every week.

From Zumba to cardio kickboxing to Pilates, workouts will be offered to those of all fitness levels to get them moving.

Jennifer O’Neill, manager of fitness and recreation in the Department of Athletics, says this new digital fitness initiative capitalizes on the success of the Gryphon Fitness classes that launched on Instagram shortly after the COVID-19 shutdowns began.

“The fitness classes that we ran on Instagram Live and then on IGTV over the spring and summer were such a success. We had so much participation and students sent us messages to let us know how much they loved the classes and being able to see their favourite instructors again. But not everyone has an Instagram account, so we wanted to find a way to make fitness as accessible as possible,” she said.

The new digital classes will be free to students and will require little to no equipment – again, to keep the classes as widely accessible as possible. Staff and faculty can also subscribe to the service.

Instructor Siobhan Haughey during a Body Blast-workout.

Each video is filmed in the fitness studio on campus using high-quality equipment and featuring trained, experienced Gryphons Athletics instructors familiar to many returning U of G students.

For those hoping to set new fitness goals, digital classes are ideal, said O’Neill.

“You can do these workouts in the privacy of your own bedroom, where no one has to see you. You can move at your own pace and take breaks without worrying you’re holding anyone up,” she said.

Complementing these digital classes will be several live, outdoor “pop-up” fitness events, such as bootcamp classes on campus fields. Because the classes will be weather-dependent, students are urged to check the Gryphon Fitness webpage and social media feeds for dates and times or download the GryphFit app to be notified of the latest offerings.

Those who download the free GryphFit app will also be able to track their workouts and take part in walk/run club challenges, set to begin at the end of September.

Details of all Gryphon Fitness plans are available on the new Gryphon Fitness COVID-19 information page.

To learn more about what the U of G student experience will look like this fall, visit the Virtual Campus page.


Michelle Pino