UWO students find alternative ways to stay active

Cory Sparks, Assistant Sports Editor

As UW Oshkosh students acclimate to the new style of campus life, many find themselves in their rooms while they attend classes remotely.

While studying and prioritizing classwork is of crucial importance to a student’s success, there is also another aspect of campus life that has been changed tremendously: the options to stay active.

On top of the fact that the UWO Student Recreation and Wellness Center is enforcing mask requirements, a one-hour workout limit and social distancing, the university is only allowing 100 students inside of the facility at a time.

This presents many with the blaring issue of not being able to get a full workout done when machines are taken.

Although the restrictions being employed due to COVID-19 seem to be rather large barriers, there are other ways that students are able to stay active while following the procedures put in place.


Three golf courses near the Oshkosh campus are: Westhaven Golf Club, Far Vu Golf Course and the Oshkosh Country Club. (Cory Sparks)

Golf is a sport that has almost always followed social distancing procedures because if someone stands near someone else during their pre-shot routine, that person’s play could be negatively impacted. Oshkosh students took notice of this core and endurance activity, and some began playing golf as a new hobby.

“I started playing golf after online classes ended last semester and the [golf] courses opened up,” sophomore Gavin Baldwin said. “It was something I wanted to try because it got me up off [of] the couch, and it was one of the only sports allowed during the pandemic for a while.”

Another component of golf that makes it a pandemic-friendly activity is that it isn’t a team-reliant sport. One can go out on the course — or to the range — to improve their game all on their own.

“It’s easy during a pandemic because you don’t have to be around a whole group of people, and it’s a sport you can do by yourself,” Baldwin said.


Jogging is a form of cardio that can be done almost anywhere. If the weather is bearable enough, a quick run in between lectures can be an effective way to clear the mind. If the late fall and winter months go the way that they usually do, the SRWC still has treadmills, elipticals and an indoor track.

“Jogging has been very beneficial both physically and mentally during the pandemic. Taking a distanced jog outside is wise so you can keep yourself and others safe,” sophomore Sophia Marquez said.

Jogging can be done with specific distance, time, heart rate or calories. It isn’t a team sport, and unlike with most other activities, you can literally see your progress in numerical form if you’re running for distance.

“I really like the challenge running provides,” Marquez said. “It’s also great for clearing your mind, especially during these unpredictable times.”

Golfing, horse riding and jogging are just a few ways to stay safe and active during this pandemic, and these activities aren’t even including the rentals for bikes and other equipment that anyone can access from the Rec and SRWC.

Horse Riding

Emma Shodis embraces her horse at a competition at Kenosha County Fairgrounds. (Courtesy of Emma Shodis)

Horse riding is another physical activity that can be both fun and safe during times like these. Riding doesn’t require any human-to-human contact, which is why it falls perfectly under the category of smart yet beneficial practices that one can participate in this fall.

“There really aren’t a lot of people around except for maybe two or three on a daily basis,” sophomore Emma Shodis said. “There is so much space, you can social distance, and barn owners and managers are taking all proper precautions to sanitize equipment.”

Along with the fact that this is a rather isolated practice, horse riding comes with both physical and psychological benefits.

“[Horse] riding requires you to use your mind and your body simultaneously, so it truly is a full body workout,” Shodis said. “It started when I was little because what kid doesn’t love horses? Then it stuck because it became an outlet for me and a way to cope with my mental health and just life in general.”

There are farms in the Winnebago County area that one can go to for horse rides, including Lucky Stables, Glen Valley Farm, and Stoney Bridge Riding Club.