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How COVID Impacted Physical Activity Levels in 2020

As we start to see a glimmer of hope that the despair and catastrophic loss caused by this dreadful virus is on the wane, national associations are beginning to quantify and report the impacts along various segments of our lives.

Last March, groups such as our campus recreation program were all trying desperately to find ways to continue to offer programming, especially fitness programming, using a largely untried virtual format.  While we improved considerably in our delivery since that time, did it help persons during this period?

Recent research by the National Recreation and Park Association revealed a few outcomes worth noting, especially given our primary field of interest is physical activity and recreation.  They reported that 33 percent of adults in this country upped their physical activity during this time.  On the other hand, and not surprising, forty-six percent showed a decrease in their physical activity.  Another 20 percent claimed no change in their physical activity.

A short version of the report is provided at the link above.  And for a parting thought, “Today is a good day to start adding physical activity to your lifestyle.”


National Rec Day is February 22

“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading.  I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.”   — Thomas Jefferson

Stay tuned to the CRS social media sites for events we will hold as we join university rec departments around the country in celebration of this important day.  The College continues to be an institutional member of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, NIRSA, now for over 40 years.

New Year, New Fitness Plans?

Call it convenient if you like, but the World Health Organization recently issued an update to its longstanding physical activity guidelines.  With many of us considering new approaches to our daily regimen at the start of a new year, these guidelines may come as good news.

The revised message says that all activity counts toward your daily exercise expenditure.  Cast aside those older ideas where you traveled to a workout center and then undertook a 45-60 minute workout.  That, in and of itself, is one reason persons let slip their exercise plans — the time it took.  Now whether it is a 10-minute walk to get from behind your desk or a spontaneous dance session alone in your office, these all count toward your daily minimum.  Sure there is a bit more to it than that, but it is within your reach.

This short page includes a couple of videos worth taking a quick glance.  Our hope is this will be enough to propel you forward.  If you’d prefer to read from the World Health Organization’s website, this page will provide a more thorough explanation.

Your CRS fitness professionals lean more on the American College of Sports Medicine for the latest information and guidelines related to physical activity and exercise.  Their site is chocked full of items of interest to the general public.  The highlighted link provides a suggested starting point for those who want to know more.

Yoga Class.
Yoga class underway in J201 in the Johnson Center.



Not Just Another Game of Ping Pong

Most of us were introduced to this sport in someone’s garage, and while a few may have gotten good at it, it just remains a fun way to pass 30 or so minutes.  Make no mistake, table tennis is an international sport and attracts some amazing athletes.

Jordan Familant and Jared Miller, winners of the recent CRS tournament, enjoyed the privilege of playing a challenge for fun matchup with President Hsu and his wife, Dr. Chen.  The special event took place in the Silcox Gym on the Tuesday before everyone dashed off for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The entire campus knows of the president’s penchant for this sport and a number of you no doubt wondered just how good is he.

I’ll let you decide, though he will humbly tell you that he is not the best in the family!

President Hsu punctuates this point with a smash.
Sign of the times? Empty gym and players wearing masks.

An offshoot from this event is that Jordan Familant is interested in starting a table tennis club.  Keep in mind that the tables are set up in the gym for drop-in play with paddles and balls available too.  Make a trip to the Johnson and Silcox Gyms for a little fun.  You never know when President Hsu may stop in again for a quick game.

Silcox Gym Still Standing Strong

Merely getting older is not reason enough to take notice.  Look around, we live in a town full of old things.  This example is different.

We’ve all seen the quick-change costume act at the circus where the performer rapidly switches outfits in the blink of an eye.  The Silcox Gym too is similar.  Over the course of its 80 plus years it has served numerous events and purposes from a platform for presidential candidates, athletic center, a lunchtime cafe, location for intramural sports, department offices for physical education and classes, and holiday parties just to name a few.

It is coming up on the 25th anniversary of its last renovation, having reopened on November 29, 1995.  The change from the last fix-up was remarkable though the envelope of the building was untouched.  Unbelievably another renovation is already on the schedule.  And so the quick change act continues though in our parts we move a little slower.

While the focus of this is on the building, it is appropriate to point out that without persons of vision, strength of character, and the discipline to see it through, this building would be little more than a hollow shell.  Tied to this venerable gymnasium are quite a few individuals who stamped their contributions to the College, the community, and in some cases beyond.  Surprisingly quick were their long tenures: Willard A. Silcox, Anthony Meyer, Andrew Lewis, Tom Langley, Joan Cronan, Nancy Wilson, and Scooter Barnette.

The black and white photos were provided by the Special Collections unit of the College of Charleston Library.   A lot of dreams germinated in this building, and with any luck, that role will continue even if sporting a new outfit.

The facade is the same but the oak tree and fence have disappeared.
The gym was built to serve as an auditorium as well.
Yes, tennis courts where the TD Arena now sits.
Cornerstone being laid back in 1938.
Lobby entry from George Street.
Information plate detailing the building of the gym.
Information plate detailing the opening of the student activities building.
Facade of the Silcox Gym 2020.
Facade of the Silcox Gym 2020.
Panorama shot of the gym on the 2nd floor.
Panorama shot of the gym on the 2nd floor of Silcox 2020.
Lobby of the Silcox Gym 2020.
Lobby of the Silcox Gym 2020.

A Little Friday Afternoon Yoga With President Hsu

Who knew yoga could be so fun!  Well that is the assessment by 30 or so persons that joined in for a yoga session presented by CRS on behalf of President Hsu.  Who can argue that the location at the Cistern with the shadows starting to fall from the large oaks, the perfect crispness of fall weather, and one standout yoga instructor all combined to make a special event for those in attendance.

Many participants joined Hsu’s Crew with a commemorative t-shirt and a special pose  dedicated to President Hsu to wrap up the session.  Hope you get a chance to attend another one before the Thanksgiving break.

Student participating in Friday yoga at the Cistern.
A few more photos of the event can be found at:


Two New Programs to Lure You Out of Your Room

Parents have expressed concern to us that their youngsters are now spending far too  much time in their rooms.  Well now is the time to try out some new things that may lead to new hobbies.  Consider giving one of them a try.

Fishing Fridays

Check out the video produced by our own assistant director of Campus Recreation Services, Freddie Lipata.  Freddie, an avid fisherman, saw how this unique sport could address some of our present stressors.  Better yet is the noble feeling one gets when introducing others to a new sport.  Equipment and bait is provided!

Pandemic Pandemonium

Here is a unique geocaching game developed by CRS Director Gene Sessoms.  So many of us have not really explored downtown.  Instead we just zoom by in our car or bike.  The game will appeal to those who like to explore cool sites, enjoy a long walk, examine local history, and those who just love a challenge.  This is one of those activities that is perfect to do with a friend or shift it around and compete against members of your club.

REC-Creation: A CRS DIY Blog Post–Slip and Slide

This summer, people found themselves at home more with the pandemic and just like everybody else, I was constantly trying to find ways to entertain myself and my nephews while social distancing. One rainy day, I remembered how my sisters and I used to play in the rain when we were kids in the Philippines and wanted my nephew to experience the same happy feelings that come with running around in the rain with no care in the world. There was a big difference though–we have a plain yard here vs having a lot of trees and structures to run around where we lived back then so it made it more fun. I remembered having some tarps in the backyard and even though soap was a pretty valuable commodity at the time, I decided to sacrifice a bottle for the sake of having a good time. We laid out the tarps on the ground, drizzled some soap all over the surface, and let the sliding commence. For hours until the rain stopped, we slipped, we slid, and laughed calories away–the fun way. It’s become a regular activity for my nephew and me during this crazy time and these days, it has been good to have something else to look forward to, other than the CoVid vaccine. With all the rain that Charleston has been getting the past few weeks, I hope you get a chance to let yourself slip and slide…all the way into the new school year. Good luck with the upcoming Fall semester, Cougars!


You’ll need a tarp, at least 20ft., but we recommend longer if you can get your hands on some. The cheapest we’ve found them were for $5 at Harbor Freight or there’s a selection of them at Walmart or for $5-$10. For the one you see in the video, my nephew and I used two 8×10 tarps I had from Walmart. Each was around $4 in the camping section and can be reused for other activities such as camping and trips to the beach.

The first time we did the slip and slide, I just used dish soap that we already had in the house, but I found out that the best soap to use is the tear free soap meant for babies. I found a big jug for $4 at Walmart. The only downside of the soap that we used for the video below was that it was meant for night time so the scent made us sleepy after we got done. It made nap time for the little guy come sooner than planned.


Make sure to slide part of the tarps that you add at the end of each one under the previous tarp so that it makes transitions from one section to another a lot smoother. If you have some stakes available, we actually took advantage of the grommets that were already on the tarps to stake them down so that they stay flat and in place.

Activity is best done when it is raining so that you don’t run your water bill up. 🙂

National Disc Golf Day

Oh boy!  I missed it again.  The first Saturday in August is designated by the Professional Disc Golf Association as National Disc Golf Day .  Looks like you missed it too.

Well the good news is it is not too late to get a round in this week, and best of all it is one of those sports that can be played with little modification during this COVID-19 outbreak.

Not familiar with the sport.  This really is a great time to introduce a new sporting interest to your repertoire and it is one that qualifies as a lifetime sport.  The health benefits of playing a round or two are incredible.  Start with being outdoors, usually in a scenic setting while walking some distance, enjoying the social aspect since most like to play with a partner, improving one’s hand-eye coordination, and yes re-energizing your emotional state through the fun and relaxation the sport provides.

Go PDGA for an introduction to the sport and to find the nearest courses, latest rules, and anything else disc golf related.  Charleston has several courses and one may be near you.  Most cost nothing to play, and that as we say, “can’t be beat!”

Remember disc golf shouldn’t be relegated to just this one day a year.

Sport Clubs — Travel Destinations for 2019-2020

Having been stuck at home now for over two months gives us a chance to reminisce about earlier fun and lots of it.  Our club teams made a total of 108 trips away from campus during August to mid-March.  Including mileage for travel to local practice facilities, these clubs racked up 134,844 miles on the various vehicles used.  Quite the accomplishment, don’t you think!

To gain an even greater appreciation for the number of trips and distances, zoom in on the map.  Several of the locations may have just one marker posted but several trips were made there.  North Carolina State University was the single most visited location with 6 separate trips heading there.