Fund Through Fitness

Fund Through Fitness 

       My name is Ursula Podosenin (@Ursulapodosenin) and I’m starting a fitness challenge to raise money for NYC Health + Hospitals hospitals that employ staff caring for COVID-19 patients. From May 1st through June 1st, I'm inviting everyone to participate in a short workout and donate to this fundraiser. All you need to participate is a household object and some space, more details below. For instructions and videos with movement descriptions, see The Challenge section. Below you can also find additional resources for learning more about COVID-19 and helping those in need. Thank you for reading, stay well!

About Me

       I am a Brooklyn College student and fitness instructor in NYC. As a result of the virus and Governor Cuomo’s efforts to enforce precautionary measures, many of us including myself are spending more time in the safety of our homes. For many essential workers, especially those on the frontlines, the comfort of home is far from reach. I am pained by the stories of healthcare workers struggling to keep up with the physical and emotional toll the virus has taken on them as well as the victims who are fighting to get well. For many of us who are lucky to be home and healthy, I want to provide a simple opportunity to engage in physical activity while supporting those on the frontlines. This prompted me to create Fund Through Fitness, a fundraiser bringing people together through exercise.

COVID-19 In NYC; A Look At Some Data

As of April 29, there were 159,865 reported cases, an estimated 41,316 COVID-19 related hospitalizations, and 5,302 probable deaths (1) in NYC. Additionally, the distribution of neighborhoods affected by the virus is skewed, with the Bronx (36,382 cases), Queens (49,559 cases), and Brooklyn (42,380 cases) experiencing most of the reported cases (1). The data below expands on the caseload and is representative of rates per 100,000 people. Potential to contract the virus also varies, with those in the Bronx being most at risk compared to subsequent boroughs (1). Additionally, age plays a factor in those affected by the virus as well. Those in middle to late adulthood are likely to be the most affected, with 82% of cases affecting those 45 and older (1). The hospitalizations pertaining to COVID-19 vary even more drastically with an estimated 79% of individuals over the age of 65 being hospitalized (1). When looking at the death rate, there is an uneven distribution with roughly 65% of deaths being in individuals ages 75 and older (1). Comparing female versus male susceptibility to the virus, it appears as those males are more likely to contract the virus. A greater distribution of males have required hospitalization and resulted in a larger portion of COVID-19 related death as compared to females (1). Those with chronic health conditions such as lung disease, asthma, heart disease, a compromised immune system, obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease within subpopulations are more likely to be susceptible to more severe cases of COVID-19 (1). This data provides a generalized overview of the way this virus is affecting our city and the detrimental effects on our city. Check NYC Health + Hospitals COVID-19 data website for statistical updates. For more detailed information or to learn more about COVID-19, see the links in the Learn More section below.

NYC Health + Hospitals

      NYC Health + Hospitals has 11 acute care hospitals across the 5 NYC boroughs focused on providing care to New Yorkers who are in need of essential inpatient, outpatient, and home-based services2. The funds donated to NYC Health + Hospitals will be allocated to doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers servicing New Yorkers. Specifically, relief funds will provide meals to healthcare workers and groceries for their families as well as additional financial support for transportation and housing3. If you would like to send a message or are interested in donating supplies, you can also send an email to [email redacted]. To learn more about NYC Health + Hospitals visit 

The Challenge

       For this challenge, all you need is 1) a household object you can deadlift and 2) space to do some burpees- a camera for recording the challenge is highly encouraged. The household object should be something you can lift off the ground, like a stuffed laundry bag or backpack, [the videos attached demonstrate the deadlift and burpees]. You will have a minute to deadlift your object off the ground as many times as you can- make sure you keep track of how many deadlifts you complete! After completing your deadlifts, the total number of repetitions you performed within the minute is the total number of burpees you have to perform. Once you have completed your workout, share a video of your performance on your social media accounts. Be sure to hashtag #FundThroughFitness and tag @UrsulaPodosenin! I will be reposting videos and sending out thank yous to all who participate. Before participating, consult with your doctor if you think you may need clearance for moderate to intense exercise, suffer from chronic disease, have an injury, or if you don’t normally exercise. Any donation is greatly appreciated. Additionally, if you are unable to donate, you can still help by doing the challenge and sharing on social media. Have fun!

What You’ll Need:

-An object you can pick up off the ground with moderate effort. The object should be heavy enough for you to pick up off the ground with some effort, but light enough so that you can move it fairly quickly. Some ideas for objects include but are not limited to: stuffed laundry bags, stuffed backpacks or garbage bags, fitness equipment, water or laundry detergent jugs, or medium-sized furniture like a stool or small coffee table. 
-Space to move around
-Stopwatch or timer 
-Yoga mat (optional but encouraged)
-Camera (optional but encouraged)


-Set up your camera to record yourself if you plan on doing so 
-In a one minute timeframe, deadlift your object off the ground as many times as you can stop once the minute has elapsed. Make sure to keep track of the number of repetitions you complete
-Once you have completed your deadlifts, reset the stopwatch, and perform one burpee for every deadlift you completed in the one-minute interval. This portion of the workout doesn’t have to be completed within one minute
-One minute added to the time that it took you to complete your burpees with the number of burpees and deadlifts you performed listed next to your time is your score for the workout. For example, if I did 30 deadlifts in one minute, I would perform 30 burpees immediately after my deadlifts. If it took me 3 minutes to do my burpees then I would add one minute on top to account for the deadlifts I did and my final score would be 30 Deadlifts + 30 Burpees in 4 minutes.
-Share a video of your workout on social media with the hashtag #FundThroughFitness and tag @UrsulaPodosenin
I will be sharing videos on my social media of those who participate!

Why should I participate?

     With stay-at-home orders continuing to be in effect for NYC residents, physical activity is limited for those who are used to working out in public spaces, resulting in a spike of sedentary behavior. For at-risk populations or those who have chronic health conditions, this could potentially lead to the worsening of their condition(s) as a result of increased inactivity. Moving for 20-30 minutes a day depending on the intensity (4) has been shown to support healthier outcomes for most adults. In addition to the health benefits of maintaining physical activity, the mental health implications of exercise have been shown to be relevant as well. For most populations, and especially the elderly who are most affected by COVID-19, exercise is crucial for the retention and promotion of physiological function to battle the severity of the virus (5). For those with families, the health of children is also a major concern- especially among those who already participate in limited physical activity. Children ages 5-17 are recommended to engage in 60 minutes of physical activity a day, consisting of a variety of aerobic activities, strength training, and bone-strengthening exercises intermixed across days (6).

Learn More

COVID-19 Informational Resources 
-Center for Disease Control 
-World Health Organization 
-National Alliance on Mental Illness 
-U.S. Department of Justice ANd Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Control Division 
-Mental Health America 
-National Institute of Health 

What else can I do to help?

       If you’ve participated in the challenge and are interested in learning more about ways you can help during COVID-19, check out the links below. The sources below link you to websites where you can learn more about the efforts others are making to help out and how you can participate. There are so many different ways you can contribute, and your incentive is greatly appreciated. 

To donate food:
-City Harvest 
-Feed the Frontlines NYC  

To donate money:
-COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund 
-United Way of NYC 
-Meals on Wheels 
-Food Pantries 
-The New York Academy Of Medicine!/donation/checkout 

To donate PPE:
-Columbia Surgery 
-Masks for Docs 
-New York-Presbyterian 
-Mount Sinai
-The Brooklyn Hospital Center  

How to volunteer:
-Assisting seniors and high-risk individuals
    -Invisible Hands 
     -Presbyterian Senior Services 
-NYC Service 
-Hope For New York 
-Volunteer New York 
-NYC Health + Hospitals 

Contact Information

For more information or if you have any questions you can contact me via email at [email redacted] or through any of my social media accounts.

Instagram: @Ursulapodosenin 
Facebook: Ursula Podosenin 
Twitter: @Ursulapodosenin 
Hashtag on all social media: #FundThroughFitness


1. COVID-19: Data. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2. About NYC Health Hospitals. (n.d.). Retrieved from  
3.  Donate to NYC Health Hospitals Staff Caring for COVID-19 Patients. (n.d.). Retrieved from  
4. Chen, P., Mao, L., Nassis, G. P., Harmer, P., Ainsworth, B. E., & Li, F. (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): The need to maintain regular physical activity while taking precautions. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 9(2), 103–104. doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2020.02.001
5. Jiménez-Pavón, D., Carbonell-Baeza, A., & Lavie, C. J. (2020). Physical exercise as therapy to fight against the mental and physical consequences of COVID-19 quarantine: Special focus in older people. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2020.03.009 
6. Chen, P., Mao, L., Nassis, G. P., Harmer, P., Ainsworth, B. E., & Li, F. (2020). Returning Chinese school-aged children and adolescents to physical activity in the wake of COVID-19: Actions and precautions. Journal of Sport and Health Science. doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2020.04.003


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Ursula Podosenin 
Brooklyn, NY
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