One of Geneseo’s standout swimmers shares how to get a great workout, even from your living room.

By Brett Ford

Noelle Staso ’21, a three-time qualifier for the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships and State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) record holder in three separate events, spent most of the pandemic quarantine at home, just like the rest of us.

As an elite-level college athlete, Staso has worked hard to stay in competitive shape, despite the lack of access to workout facilities and gym equipment. The three-time, All-SUNYAC first-teamselection worked to find innovative alternatives to achieve the workout she desires.

Staso and her teammates competed in a team-wide fitness challenge on social media without going to the gym during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these tips are great for anyone to get a great workout without leaving home.

“It’s definitely possible to get a great workout without having all the equipment you might think you need,” says Staso. “You just have to get a little creative.”


  • Work with What You Have
    “A lot of simple objects around your house can escalate any workout to the next level. Make do with what you have. Our strength coach had us doing deadlifts with suitcases! Other ideas are using chairs or tables in place of a bench, filling up a backpack with some books and wearing it during a normal body-weight workout, or holding milk jugs or other heavy household items to add some resistance to squats or curls.”
  • Make a Routine (That Works with Your Schedule)
    “I always work out at the same time every day, in the morning before work. Having a workout routine incorporated into my schedule makes it easier because I don’t have to think about it every day. Pick a time that you know you will be energized and motivated —  before work, later at night, or on your lunch break — and stick with it. Consistency is key in developing a good workout routine!”
  • YouTube Is Your Best Friend
    “YouTube is a great resource for finding free workout videos. There are different kinds of workouts available in different lengths of time, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. There are quick, 10-minute core workouts, one-hour, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) videos and everything in between. Just search for the kind of workout you want and browse all the options. I highly recommend HIIT workouts for burning calories and strengthening important muscle groups.”
  • Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Great Walk
    “For those who struggle with running or don’t have access to a bike, walking is a great alternative for a good cardio workout. It can be done anywhere and is easy on the joints. Walking at a quick pace, especially on a hilly path, is a great way to get your heart pumping and get a workout. My family and I frequently take after-dinner walks together, and they’ve been a great way to end the day while getting some exercise in.”
  • Keep It Fun
    Motivation can sometimes be hard to maintain. If I can make my workout fun, it’s easier to do, and I get more out of it. Play your favorite music. Find a buddy and do a socially distant workout together. Take your workout outside for a change of scenery. Incorporate some fun and excitement into your workout. I guarantee it will be more enjoyable and a better quality workout.”