COVID-19’s Impact on Fitness: How the Pandemic Has Affected Off-Season Athletes


Fauquier country reported its first confirmed COVID-19 case early in the afternoon on March 25, 2020. Schools began to shut down shortly afterwards. Since then, the county has had to adapt to the COVID crisis and implement alternative learning models such as the virtual and hybrid models.

Student athletes in particular have to overcome the new challenge of trying to stay fit and motivated during this global pandemic.

“Since school got out I’ve started working at Walmart to make some money. I stay motivated by thinking how much better I can feel and look by staying healthy. That’s why I got a gym membership to stay in shape while I can’t do a sport.” said senior Bryce Hockman.

“I was honestly really sad when it got pushed back, but I wasn’t really surprised due to the pandemic. The time I was away from cheer definitely made me lose some of my previous flexibility and mentally made me pretty down occasionally. I haven’t really picked anything else up because I haven’t been able to dance since COVID.” said senior Michelle Borja. 

After several months of the pandemic, many people decided to start changing their daily routine to better fit with social distancing, and generally trying to protect themselves.

“I have not been able to go out and enjoy normal activities because of covid…I like going to the gym, I usually go later in the day when there aren’t many people around.” said senior Nick O’Brien. 

A good thing about working out with a consistent schedule is that if losing or gaining weight isn’t the endgoal, diet isn’t as important a factor for staying in shape.

“I am not really on a diet. I just eat clean and try and eat as best as I can, and if I slip up then I make sure to push myself harder in the gym. I just try not to eat fast food at all and I just make my own food with low sodium and sugar.” said senior Mark Ownes.

“My diet mainly consists of a high protein diet, which mainly consists of meat, dairy products, beans and legumes, eggs, and lots of vegetables, mainly spinach.” said senior Nick O’Brien. “I don’t usually eat out I try to pack lunch for work and the gym” said senior Bryce Meadows

Work has also impacted people’s fitness, in the sense that sometimes they couldn’t find time to work out or eat healthy. For some, it’s simply easier to eat out on their lunch break than to pack a lunch.

“I eat really whatever I want to eat, going to the gym and my job keeps me going all day” said senior Jimmy Mallam.

“My lifestyle has changed a lot because I’m working a whole lot more, on top of school. It just makes work a little bit more difficult with the whole social distancing and safety procedures. And it’s just hard to find time to spend time with my friends and to still go to the gym.” Said senior Madison Wood.

Despite the shortcomings of working out during the pandemic, though, music has remained a consistent motivator for student athletes.

“I listen to a variety of music. I mean I honestly listen to anything and everything! but it does depend if I’m out with friends, in the car, or working out. Just depends on what I’m feeling. But what everyone shares the same is the whole motivation aspect of it. Is just to stay healthy and to maintain a good workout routine.” said senior Mark Owens.

COVID has certainly had a strong impact on athletes and their fitness routines. Despite the challenges, however, these athletes have persevered and adapted in the name of consistency, going to show their dedication to fitness in volumes.