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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.


As many of us continue to work or study from home, an exercise routine can provide some much-needed structure to the day. It’s more important than ever to regularly engage in physical activity, but it is also critical to organize those activities to avoid boredom, burnout, or injury. Here are a few tips for creating an exercise routine that you’ll want to stick to long-term:

  • Build in balance. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. In addition, adults should also incorporate muscle-strengthening activities of moderate (or greater) intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week. And throwing in some balance and flexibility training certainly wouldn’t hurt! As you consider what your balanced weekly exercise routine might look like, check out Campus Rec’s weekly workout plans for inspiration.
  • Find what you like. As you set out to craft your balanced exercise routine, focus on identifying which types of workouts you find most enjoyable. Don’t love to run but want to incorporate more cardio into your routine? Maybe you’d enjoy a dance-based workout, a few quick rounds of HIIT, or a bike ride. Want to build strength but hate lifting weights? Try a strengthening yoga practice or a ballet barre workout. By formulating your workout routine around activities that you enjoy, you’re increasing the odds that you’ll actually stick to your routine.
  • Make your schedule work for you. With many of us working (and working out) from home, it may be easier than usual to incorporate your new fitness routine into your day. The distance from the “office” to the “gym” has never been shorter, so take this opportunity to experiment with training at different points in the day to find out when exercise is serving you best. You may find that an early workout sets you up for a productive morning, or that squeezing in a lunch-hour exercise break is exactly what you need to boost your concentration later in the day. Or perhaps a post-work workout provides just the right motivation to complete your tasks on schedule. Find your ideal schedule, and stick with it!

April 22, 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, an event whose founding led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of a host of environmental laws, including National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act.

While Earth Day 2020 may have passed, we can cultivate good habits around environmental wellness every day by minimizing our impact on the environment and taking action to protect it. At the University of Illinois, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (ISEE) is leading critical efforts to support interdisciplinary research, improve campus-wide sustainability, and engage in education and outreach. You can learn more about how you can support these efforts by following ISEE on social media or subscribing to their e-newsletter.

And for those of us missing out on spending time in the great outdoors, a collaboration between Google Arts & Culture and the National Park Service has made it possible to take a virtual guided tour of five U.S. National Parks, including Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii.


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: April 27 – May 1


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 Becca Y., a first-year Kinesiology PhD student and a Campus Rec Pound and cycle instructor. This playlist is a mash-up of class favorites and throwback jams with a variety of tempos to get you working hard both fast and slow. If you like this playlist, you can find lots more, including class playlists, on Becca's Spotify or YouTube page (username: Becca Yarnot)

Becca Y.’s Class Favorites and Throwbacks Playlist


Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

Incorporating more vegetarian and veggie-packed dishes into your diet is a great way to take care of yourself and the environment. Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber, and spinach is high in vitamins A, C, and B9 (folate), as well as carotenoids like beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, making this a nutrient-dense dish!


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1½ Tbsp. curry powder
  • ¼ cup water
  • 8 oz. spinach, roughly chopped
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 29 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Rice or naan for serving (optional)


  1. Pre-heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add onion and sauté until translucent (3-5 minutes).
  3. Add garlic and ginger and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, for approximately 1 minute.
  4. Add curry powder to onion mixture and sauté until fragrant (1 minute).
  5. Add ¼ cup water to the skillet along with the spinach and continue to cook until spinach is wilted.
  6. Add chickpeas to skillet along with tomato sauce. Stir well to incorporate, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, if needed.
  7. Serve over rice or naan. Enjoy!