The lives for student and staff of Cerritos College have been impacted dramatically by COVID just as much as anyone. Cerritos College Dietitian Hazel Ng said that “Our fitness and weight management program is a big example of the changes COVID has caused.”
Although a lot of people’s changes have been negative, the changes for this program have been mostly positive.
There have been more students participating in the Cerritos College exercise and health program as opposed to before quarantine.
Prior to the pandemic, students had trouble participating in the exercise classes or the free Zumba sessions that took place three to four times a week due to conflict of schedule.
Now it is like any other online class. Students can set up their schedule to whatever fits them best and have access to the program whenever it is necessary.
Ng said that COVID “has made it easier for students to participate due to them being able to take part whenever they want.”
“Online classes have given students an advantage. There is no excuse to not exercise,” said Ng.
Ng also stated that most students are unaware that they can still see the college’s dietitian by making appointments. Ng is always available to help and uses Zoom for meetings which are much easier to set up than in person.
Ng says that she can “assess eating problems of students and lifestyles to set up plans and goals to aid in the betterment of their health.”
Trying to develop healthy habits can be extremely difficult for some students which is why having consistent checkpoints with a dietitian can be very helpful.
Moreover, quarantine has caused a great deal of stress for students. Along with stress, this pandemic is causing emotional eating issues.
“Cerritos College has very strong mental health services, and we are all here to help,” said Ng.
Ng encourages students to seek her or anyone for help if they need it and to schedule appointments. She also wants them to go online and search for different classes that fit their needs to enroll in exercise classes.
She also stated that when quarantine finally ends and life returns to normal, things would go back to the way they were before.
Like many other classes and activities, the switch to online was difficult. It took a long time to complete the transition but now the program is running smoothly and looks to attract more students to the program.