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There are fitness opportunities outside during the COVID-19 epidemic, of course. You can always go for a run or hop on your bike, weather permitting. But if you love group fitness or personal training and miss the gym, there may be a solution you haven’t thought about yet: taking classes and training appointments outside, too.
Many parks and open spaces remain open—you may be able to find a class or personal training session being offered outside. Permitting restrictions and class size restrictions may be in place, but a small group can spread out in the fresh air while keeping the community strong.
If your local gym is open, consider suggesting what CSS Wellness in Lexington, Kentucky, did. They transformed the first three parking spots in front of the gym into a mini classroom. Each session allows a small group of people to work out while maintaining a 6-foot space of social distancing. “I didn’t feel comfortable going to the parks and I didn’t want to move too far from our space,” Brian Leggett, owner of CSS Wellness said. “I looked at those three parking spaces and took the flooring out of our cardio room and extras from my basement.”
Keep it simple—focus on training that uses bodyweight movements that don’t require equipment.
If you do use equipment, bring your own when possible. Shared equipment should be assigned to limit exposure, with strict cleaning protocols in place. CSS is taking this approach with their classes: “We’ll move things out based on the weather,” Leggett said. (Pro tip: consider asking if you can check equipment out as rentals for an extended time.)
Keep your eyes peeled on social media accounts for outside classes or training. Remember to check your email too, you might have creative options for working out landing in your inbox now. If you have questions or you’re not sure where to go, just ask!
How many people can attend the class? Be sure class sizes are small enough to keep your distance. If there’s a waitlist, you’ll be alerted when a spot opens up.
Want to join in but need to stay home? Ask if the class will be streamed or recorded for later playback.
What precautions and sanitation measures are being taken? Ensure your instructor is on top of the effective cleaning of any equipment and plans to respect a safe 6-foot distance between students.
CSS Wellness has found success in their newly created outdoor approach. “Our customers appreciate it,” Leggett said. “We all went from full life to full stop with no outlet. Training has been an escape from everything swirling in the news. When you’re inside that training session, you put that out of your mind.”
This option may not work for everyone and things can change quickly. Before making plans, be sure to check any municipal or government restrictions—especially if your city or county has shelter in place restrictions. Let’s stay flexible and keep moving.
Remember, we are getting through this together, and together we will emerge stronger. To show your local studios support during this time, please visit them on Mindbody.io or in the Mindbody app and find your favorite classes or one you've always wanted to try. Also, tag them on social media, along with @Mindbody, and we will support in any way we can.
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.