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We believe physical activity and exercise are vital to the well-being of every person. Here in Campus Recreation, we are actively working on virtual opportunities which will allow our #ActiveILLINI to access the resources they need to thrive in the classroom and in life. We encourage you to reach out to us if you have thoughts on how to help the Campus Rec community stay connected or ideas for resources we can provide during this time.


A loss of daily routine, added screen time, and heightened anxiety may be causing many of us to experience poorer-than-usual sleep quality these days. Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining multiple dimensions of wellness: it supports the immune system, improves focus and productivity, and allows us to maintain athletic performance. Cultivating good sleep hygiene is therefore an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to maintaining your overall wellness. Creating healthy sleep habits takes time, but here are some tips for getting started:

  • Set a bedtime (and stick to it). The CDC recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night. You can work toward achieving that goal by making sure that you’re setting aside enough time each night for sleep. Start by taking into account the time you need to wake up in the morning and the amount of time you require to get ready to go to bed, then write yourself a note or set an alarm on your phone to remind you that it’s time to turn in. Sticking to that consistent bedtime can set you up for a successful tomorrow!
  • Limit screen time before bed. We’re well-aware of the disruptive effects of blue light exposure in the hours leading up to bedtime, so consider changing the warmth of the screen lighting on your devices (many have a “night mode” option these days) or putting digital devices away altogether as part of your pre-bedtime routine. You could use this time to read a book, unwind with a cup of herbal tea, or simply take a few deep breaths.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Remaining physically active can help set you up for a restful night of sleep, although there is evidence that you may want to avoid strenuous exercise right before bedtime. It’s a good idea to monitor how the timing of your workouts may be impacting your sleep and adjust your schedule accordingly once you find the routine that works for you.

For more information about creating successful sleep habits, check out the following resources:


Q: What formats do you teach?
A: Circuit and HIIT

Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: I got hired about a week before coronavirus, so I sadly have not had the opportunity to begin teaching yet!

Q: Do you have another role at the University?
A: I am a freshman here at U of I studying Interdisciplinary Health Sciences.

Q: What motivated you to become a certified group fitness instructor?
A: I love all kinds of fitness and I wanted to expand my fitness knowledge as well as inspire other college students to enjoy working out.

Q: What is your fitness philosophy?
A: I believe there is a type of exercise for everyone, and it’s all about finding the kind you love.

Q: When you’re not teaching, what are the other ways you like to stay active?
A: My workouts are usually weightlifting, and I also add in short, hard HIIT workouts. I also love to go on long walks with music or a podcast.

Q: When you’re not teaching your own classes, what class could we find you in?
A: HIIT or yoga!

Q: What is your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: I love anything with peanut butter...toast, banana, or by the spoonful!

Q: What are your favorite fitness/ wellness resources?
A: I love many fitness bloggers such as Whitney Simmons and Meggan Grubb on instagram. I also love the Mind Pump podcast.

Q: What is your favorite way to practice mindfulness?
A: My favorite way to practice mindfulness is by doing a quick yoga video or putting on a podcast I enjoy and stretching.


In order to continue to serve the Campus Recreation community, our group fitness instructors are offering live virtual group fitness classes and meet-ups throughout the week. These virtual workouts will be streamed via Zoom (click here to learn more about using Zoom) and offer a great way to add some exercise, routine, and social interaction to your day!

View this week's virtual class schedule: May 4 – 8


The Mayo Clinic recommends incorporating the following five elements into your regular exercise routine: aerobic activity, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility/stretching. The workout plan included below incorporates a variety of formats that will allow you to meet these goals. Just pick the combination of workouts that work for you!

View this week’s workout plan


A growing body of evidence suggests that listening to music while exercising can improve the quality of your workout.

This week’s featured playlist was curated by Pedro Bello-Maldonado, a sixth-year Computer Science PhD student and a Campus Rec Zumba instructor. This playlist is a collection of some of his favorite Spanish songs which he recommends for any activity or any mood you're in. If you like this playlist, you can find lots more, including a class playlist, on Pedros's Spotify. You can also watch videos of the choreographies used in his class on his YouTube page so you can practice Zumba at home or wherever you go (username: Pedro Bello-Maldonado).

Pedro’s Spanish Hits Playlist


Cauliflower Fritters

Repurpose your favorite veggies into fritters! These cauliflower fritters are a perfect alternative to potato hash browns and are loaded with Vitamin C and folate, making them both nutritious and delicious!


  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 5-6 large chunks
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. minced scallions
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper
  • Additional spices, as preferred (optional)
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Yogurt, sour cream, or ketchup, for serving (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower chunks and cook until fork-tender, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  2. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a large cutting board and chop into small pieces
  3. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of cauliflower with flour, eggs, garlic, scallions, salt, and pepper and stir until well combined.
  4. Pre-heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, lightly coat it with olive oil.
  5. Once oil is warm, use a measuring cup to scoop out 1/3 cup of the cauliflower mixture and place it in the skillet, flattening slightly with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  6. Cook cauliflower fritters for 2-3 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate.
  7. Serve warm with yogurt, sour cream, or ketchup. Enjoy!