Endicott College athletic educators Marisa and Jacob Mickey give workout tips for parents and others stuck inside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Endicott professors help others stay in shape

Endicott College fitness educators Marisa and Jacob Mickey want to help everyone stay active at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While some have taken advantage of the extra time and good weather during the last several weeks to fit in extra workouts, the couple worries that between overwhelming life adjustments, closed gyms, and warnings to stay away from others, many are seeing fewer opportunities than ever to stay active. 

To remedy the issue, Marisa, an assistant professor of exercise science in the school of Sport Science, and Jacob, an athletic trainer in the school's department of Athletics and Recreation, have released a workout plan tailored to all fitness levels. 

"The sedentary lifestyle is a concern, especially now that people are working from home and homeschooling their children at the same time," Marisa said. "It's very easy to sit down all day, even when this (virus) wasn't happening, so this issue really hasn't helped at all." 

She said she and her husband were asked by the Endicott media team to put together an at-home guide of tips and tricks for staying fit during prolonged stay-at-home orders, and the couple said they drew heavily on their teaching experience to create their workouts.  

"We worked together using the stuff we teach our students in the School of Sports Science and Fitness Studies, and what Jake uses with the athletes," Marisa said. "We put together something we would honestly be teaching our students in class on how to get people physically fit."

Available on the Endicott College Athletic Training Website, the Mickey's guide includes an extensive list of exercises divided into four categories: ankle exercises, core/quad/hamstring exercises, shoulder exercises, and stretches. Each exercise is accompanied by a link to videos demonstrating proper form and technique. 

"Our hope was that this could be an outlet for people who are stuck inside and looking to do something different, or provide some sort of structure throughout their day," Marisa said. 

Jacob added: "It's targeting all audiences, but for the most part, I think it's for everyday people."

For parents or those with otherwise busy schedules, the Mickeys recommend fitting in workouts in 10- and 15-minute increments. 

"We're both working from home and we have an eight-month-old, so we're not really kind of getting out and being active like we would like to," Marisa said. "So being able to incorporate small bursts throughout the day we (think) would be helpful for people." 

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity three to five days a week. Research also suggests that flexibility is an important part of physical fitness, which is why the Mickeys included a list of 12 stretches, including forearm, shoulder, and lower back stretches, for people to try at home. 

Jaylin Grabau, of Lynnfield, is a junior nursing student and field hockey player at Endicott. She credits the Mickeys for helping her stay in shape during the extended break from training. 

"I begin with a lot of the stretches that Jacob and Marisa included in their article, like different calf or quad stretches," she said. "The at-home workouts have been going really well for me … the strength portion is really nice because it really works out every part of your body. You're really getting a lot of work in."

Grabeau added she thinks the workouts will help her and her teammates pick up where they left off once the field hockey season begins again next year. 

"I honestly feel that this time has served as motivation for me to work harder and given me more of a drive to focus on improving my skills and staying active," she said. "When the team hopefully arrives in the fall, we can all be successful. The commitment and dedication, especially in times like these, is what it takes for that to be possible." 

Elyse Carmosino can be reached at ecarmosino@itemlive.com.

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