Nicholls campus Recreation Center providing at-home workouts


Nicholls State University’s Harold J. Callais Memorial Recreation Center is providing Nicholls students and the Thibodaux community options for staying active while at home.

 Sabrina Laurent, student engagement and campus recreation director, said this task is a continuing work-in-progress and is expanding day-to-day but that it is valuable for students to have these resources available while they are away from campus. 

“In this changing situation, it is important for people to try and keep some things that are normal as possible in their life. For those folks that are used to coming in, whether it was every day or a couple times a week, to do workouts at the rec, that was built into their routine for a reason. It was part of what they did. Working out was part of their university experience. Everybody has their own reasons on why they workout, and we want to make sure they have the resources to do that,” Laurent said. 

 The recreation center has been publishing content on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages daily, with live Facebook and Instagram streamings happening throughout each week. Each platform has been announcing the schedule of live videos with plenty of time in advance. The live videos include 30 to 50-minute classes, ranging from workouts on yoga, core and signature recreation group classes, such as Tillou Tabata. Along with hosting the live videos, Brittany Brandt, fitness and wellness coordinator, has continued to put together wellness tips and different ways to stay healthy. In addition to live workouts, the staff will be posting a “work out of the day,” giving a short, specific workout with what techniques to use, number of reps and how often to repeat each set. These tips and other graphics will be continuously posted throughout the week.

Laurent says the campus recreation team is currently building more and more videos. Other group fitness instructors will be conducting a mix of live videos and recording every workout. These videos will soon be posted to the recently created YouTube page for the recreation center. That information will be announced on the other social media platforms in the coming weeks.

“The Facebook live and Instagram live videos have just started and will only continue to grow in number,” Laurent said. “We are getting great feedback from students that are seeing them live, or  because they are saved on Facebook. Students are emailing in and saying they did it live and are doing it from wherever they are.”

Another option provided by the recreation center for at-home workout videos is Les Mills On Demand. Since Nicholls recreation uses Les Mills, a fitness company, for onsite fitness classes, the Nicholls community has access to a variety of formats and multiple different types of workouts through their website. Les Mills is providing more than 100 free workout videos that are specifically designed for at-home use during COVID-19 disruptions.

Mariia Kozochok, campus recreation student employee, said she enjoys the wide range of videos and content Nicholls is providing access to.

“There is simply something for everyone in whatever time they have available. The easier it is for us to stay positive and not give up, the better,” Kozochok said.

“We are trying to reach as many students as possible. The most important thing is to make sure students know how to access all of these resources and get the word out to look at the recreation center content,” Laurent said. “It is crucial in maintaining as much of that normalcy as possible, and we want to provide as many opportunities as we can to keep students connected to campus, connected to the university experience and to take care of themselves.”

Laurent said being able to work out or move when feeling kind of stuck and sitting in the same place is necessary. It can also have the potential to help academically. If someone is moving, feeling good and staying active, it can translate into work performance. When it comes time to write a long paper or sit down for class, physical activity and developing a routine can help in getting that work done. For someone that may be feeling a little stress or anxiety over this situation, or may have not been a frequent visitor of the recreation center, maybe they can find some comfort or stress relief in some of the workouts shared. It may be a pathway to getting started.

Laurent said the entire campus recreation team hopes that some of these workouts will help students feel a little grounded and connected to what a normal day looks like and help them do the best that they can.