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The Latest
Published Monday Mar 23, 2020 by Mindbody Team

Thinking Outside the Gym: Classes and Training Outside During Social Distancing 

Fitness
COVID-19

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. 


Where to go 

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.” 


What to take 

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! 


Questions to 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.

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Written by
Mindbody Team
Editors & Educators
About the author
We're here to provide you with the latest and greatest, tried and true wellness experiences and advice to help you live life to the fullest. From nourishing recipes and travel tips to finding the perfect sweat routine or wellness regimen—we cover it all. And if we haven't yet, it's definitely on the way.
living green during stay at home
The Latest
Published Friday Mar 27, 2020 by Christa Quattrocchi

Environmental Wellness: Creating a Mindful and Green Life at Home

Expert Advice
Renewal

If you’re one of the millions under mandated work from home you may have already noticed that means cooking every meal, taking out the trash more often and, if you’re like us, remodeling your space into a home office/gym every day. With all of this change, it could be pretty challenging to maintain your wellness routine. Here at Mindbody, we’re thinking about well-being beyond the limitations of mental and physical health, including the environmental dimension of wellness. Spending more time at home means more time to make mindful choices of what you invite into your space. 

Small changes to your at-home routine can have a major impact on the health of oceans, farms, and life on earth. Sustainable choices look a little different to each of us, so we rounded up a few of our favorite ways to make a positive impact on our planet from the comfort of your own home. 

Invest in an Essential Oil Diffuser.

Aromatherapy can change the entire vibe of a space but burning through candles can happen quickly and recycling them can be a process. Just a few drops of your favorite essential oils go a long way in a diffuser meaning they’ll last you a really long time and customize your scents. Plus, diffusers oftentimes dupe as a humidifier helping to heal dry skin and even prevent airborne viruses

Take a Virtual Fitness Class with a Friend

You know that yoga teacher 3 towns over that melts every ounce of stress away, but it takes an hour in traffic and a half a tank of gas to get to? Virtual fitness is stepping in to bring your favorite instructors to your living room without having to burn the gas to get there. Community is a core part of fitness and our social wellness relies on staying connected right now. Invite your workout buddy to tune in, roll out your mat, turn on your essential oil diffuser and press play to recreate the essence of your favorite studios right in your living room. 


[Find Virtual Classes in your area (and beyond) now on Mindbody]


Bring in the actual greens and make sure they can thrive in your environment.

Houseplants can purify the air in your home, improve your productivity levels by 15% and can even evoke a sense of calm into your space. Sure, the countless benefits don’t suppress the fear of failing to keep your plant baby alive (don’t worry, we’ve all had a failed attempt). To be sure to commit to caring for plants that enjoy being in your home as much as you enjoy having them there, choose wisely. If you live in a seasonal regional, maybe don’t invite that cactus under your watch and welcome in a fiddle leaf fig instead.

Start with one of these indoor-friendly ferns: philodendron, snake plant, zz plant, spider plant, rubber tree. 


Remodel.

Create a dedicated “office” oasis.: Now that commuting is a thing of the past, mama earth is saying thanks for reducing pollution. Woohoo! Working from home comes with some hurdles, though. It can have us toeing the line between answering emails and binging your new Netflix obsession. But the couch just won’t cut it as a productivity throne. Dedicate a sacred space for work to keep that work-life balance in check. 


Breaking up with plastic. An Exercise.

Go around the house and collect all the plastic you have in a box, this includes your hand soap, shampoo, that extra set of take-out utensils, toothpaste, zip lock bags, the list goes on. Each time one of those items runs out, replace it with an eco-friendly alternative like a shampoo bar, silicone zip bags, and bamboo travel utensils. 

Pro-Tip: Hang onto glass jars from finished kitchen items, like peanut butter, jam and mayo. When you’re shopping, go for the products that come in glass so you can compile a collection without dishing out more $$$ on glass containers. 


Invest in reusable containers and bags.

From mason jars to hemp produce bags, there are so many options for swapping your plastic containers for sustainable storing. 

Hint: Keep your reusable bags by your door so you don’t forget them when you go to the grocery store or if you’re packing to bring items out to a gathering. 


Keep plant-based kitchen staples on hand.

Many studies showcase the positive environmental impact that a plant-based diet poses. If you’re not ready to go full vegan yet, start with small swaps of the plant versions of your household staples. Here are a few of our favorite substitutes that could easily pass for the “real thing.” 

Oat milk – the creamiest of all the non-dairy milk goes to oats, making it a perfect swap in your coffee and nut-allergy friendly.

Butter – Margarine has been a plant-based secret for years. We also love Miyokos butter, which truly skates by as the real thing when slathered on a slice of toast. 

Mayo – Eggless mayonnaise works wonders and can bring dairy-free creaminess to spreads and salad dressings. Plus, many brands come in glass jars! 

Plant Protein Powder – With plenty of options on the market, you’re sure to find a flavor that will add some power to your smoothies without empowering greenhouse gas emissions. 

Eggs – When baking, you can substitute eggs for flax ‘eggs'! 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 tbsp water = 1 egg. 


Minimize your Amazon packaging waste.

Did you know that you can request your Amazon orders to be plastic-free with minimal packaging? Just follow these simple steps: 

  1. Go to the ‘Help/Customer Service’ section of your account. 
  2. Select ‘Contact Us’ and use the chat option to make a request that all future orders be plastic-free and where absolutely necessary only use bio-degradable materials like paper. 
  3. Viola! 

Unplug (some of) your appliances when you’re not using them.

Collectively, devices plugged in on sleep mode can rack up $19 billion in electricity costs worldwide. Things like your toaster oven, blender, and cell phone charger can save some serious electricity if you unplug them when they’re idle. Put those pennies back in your pocket and save the planet while doing so. 


Let the sunshine in.

This is a two in one. Giving your curtains a break is not only an easy way to minimize electricity usage, but it can also be great for your overall wellness. Natural light can be an awesome mood improver, productivity booster, and sleep aid.  

Keep up the momentum of greener living by trying more virtual classes on Mindbody. Even swapping out one car trip to your favorite studio for a virtual class can have a lasting impact on this planet. Share more ways you're going green right now on Instagram and tag @mindbody! We'll share the love. 

Christa Quattrocchi Headshot
Written by
Christa Quattrocchi
Acquisition Program Manager
About the author
Christa is a 300hr certified yoga instructor on a soulful journey to integrate spiritual practices, such as astrology, tarot, and pranayama, in her guidance both on and off the mat. She is Mindbody’s resident witch and advertising aficionado. Beyond her credentials, you can find Christa channeling creativity through writing, cooking plant-based goodness, & surfing her home waters in sunny San Diego.