Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Fitness center moves classes outside

By Nickie Hayes

At the SUNY Plattsburgh Fitness Center, Group Exercise Director Connie Fesette has started outdoor fitness classes. They provide a way for students to get out of their dorms, enjoy the momentary warm weather and get them moving. The classes provided outdoors are cardio-core-yoga, strength-hiit, and yoga. The cardio-core-yoga class is 10 minutes each of cardio core, and yoga stretching. The strength-hiit class is mostly cardio but with weights.    

Fesette is not only the group exercise director at SUNY Plattsburgh, she is also a registered dietitian and trains students to become group exercise instructors. She decided to start teaching outdoor classes due to COVID-19, but she has always been interested in doing group exercise classes outdoors during the fall semester.

Fesette said that students should be prepared to wear a mask or facial covering to the classes, but once students have reached their spots, they can be removed. She has taken the liberty to set up cones and put red tape down to make it easy for participants to social distance. She has also supplied hand sanitizer for the students.

“I think my main goal is to get outside,” Fesette said. “I love being outside, and it is a beautiful area. We also have very limited chances of getting outside to work out. Another goal was to get the students to classes. There are things going on around campus, like these classes, to occupy their time.”

One of the student participants, Leah Gallagher, who is a freshman and nursing major at SUNY Plattsburgh said she had always played sports since a young age. Although she has not been able to since the start of COVID-19, Gallagher said, “I work out because I am always so stressed out, and I thought the classes would be a good stress reliever.”

Gallagher said it gets her out of her dorm and gets her body moving during her day. Gallagher has gone to the strength-hiit and cardio-core-yoga classes provided.

“I have really enjoyed the classes, like a lot,” she said. “I was super nervous to go, because it was one of the first times getting out of my dorm, but the classes were really great, and Connie was a great instructor.”

“Connie will absolutely help in making my goals a reality, and she is fantastic,” Gallagher said.

The field behind Memorial Hall is where students can go for the classes. However, she has decided to move yoga classes closer to the Saranac River for the scenic view and calming background noise.

The classes are limited to 15 participants, and pre-registration is required. To pre-register for classes, students can go to or download the app, IMleauges. Students must bring their own equipment.

“When I pre-registered, I had a hard time at first, but I emailed Connie, and she responded quickly and told me all the steps, Gallagher said.” “I bought a yoga mat for school, and I brought my own weights from home.”

For her, the easiest method for pre-registration was to go through the app.

Connie also teaches virtual classes through the Instagram page, @plattsfitness. Along with those, she live streams the outdoor classes, and saves most of them to the Instagram page.

“I was doing the virtual classes through the Instagram page before she started the outdoor classes in my dorm,” Gallagher said.

The outdoor classes are reoccurring. Monday has the cardio-core-yoga class at noon. Tuesday has the strength-hiit class at noon, and yoga at 5 p.m. Wednesday has yoga classes at noon. Thursday has the strength-hiit class at noon and yoga again at 5 p.m.



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