Pre-PARE to Be Fit

Home isolation because of the COVID-19 outbreak has been quite an adjustment for Regni Pahouja. The archive data manager with PARE’s Facilities Information and Technology Services group was used to going to her gym – until it was forced to close.

“I really miss that face-to-face conversation,” Pahouja said. “I’m a hugger and a talker, so not seeing these people ever day has been a struggle for me.”

Pahouja says she gained 5 pounds during isolation and was in desperate need of physical activity to stay in shape.

“The first week was okay,” Pahouja said. “But, the second week, I found myself snacking way too much. The fridge and pantry are very close.”

She says she had to make a change. One of her friends offers Zumba classes online via Zoom video communications. It was an easy transition for Pahouja, who’s been taking part in Zumba for years.

Now, she sets up her laptop on the steps of her foyer and with the click of her mouse, online class is in session. 

“I like the music,” Pahouja said. “I like the women, the chit-chatting when we’re done and it’s the one hour where I don’t think about anything.”

She takes part in classes three to four times per week in the evenings, which last one hour. On weekends, Pahouja catches morning classes. When she misses class, she walks or lifts weights.

“I try to do something every day,” Pahouja said.

Although she can’t physically interact with others, she says Zumba does have its advantages.

“There is no drive time and it’s quicker,” Pahouja said. “Then, I run upstairs, take a shower and I’m done.”

She says the best parts of Zumba are the instructor is her friend and she doesn’t have to think about life’s responsibilities while in class. When she works out, she also eats healthier.

“It’s a conscious effort on my part,” Pahouja said. “I just eat my carbs in the morning and just stick to protein and greens in the evenings.”

As a result, she’s sleeping better, feels better mentally and has lost the pounds she initially gained.

Her fitness conquests don’t go unnoticed. Pahouja says she shares her workout stories with her FITS work cohort in their weekly Zoom meetings.

The fitness fad is spreading in the PARE office. Former office mate and current teleworker Larisa Kruger is finding a way to stay active at her home in Grove City is Larisa Kruger. 

“I have a five-acre mini-farm,” Kruger said. I like to go running and horseback riding.”

Kruger has raised horses for years. She has three on her farm and started riding at 3-years-old. Her workout schedule revolves around the forecast.

“I totally check the weather the week before,” Kruger said. “It’s based on my meetings and the kids’ online meetings.”

Kruger says after being in the house for hours at a time, her kids need time outside.

“I take them hiking or biking almost every afternoon,” Kruger said.

Kruger says she exercises more now as a result of isolation, but still misses the comfort of her workspace.

Both Kruger and Pahouja look forward to returning to the office and continuing to work out no matter the location. At least five people from PARE’s Facilities Information and Technology Services team are working out while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.