With gyms across the country closing their doors during the COVID-19 crisis, many members are starting to feel the itch to exercise.
“There’s a hole in my day now,” said mechanical engineer Scott Noble.
To help fill that athletic void, Noble’s go-to gym, the YMCA is now offering dozens of virtual fitness classes for free.
“Having it on your phone makes it possible no matter where you are,” said Caitlin Stackpool, YMCA Director of Community-Integrated Health. “So, for people who are starting to feel cooped up, this is going to give them another option to be active at home.”
Stackpool is the Y’s director of community integrated health, and she also holds a Masters Degree in exercise science. Her focus is usually on face-to-face fitness; however, following the coronavirus shutdown -- she’s working on new ways to keep members moving during this time of self-isolation and social distancing.
“Since we know that our members in the community are stuck inside, we wanted to make sure we had virtual options available,” she said. “So, we have Y360, which is fitness classes online led by YMCA instructors.”
With more than 3,000 YMCAs across the country and tens of thousands of members, these kinds of online classes are helping people find their flow.
Now other fitness experts are catching on.
Personal trainer and group exercise instructor Josh Gamble (@joshgamblefitness) has been helping people improve their health for the past 15 years.
When his gym in Nashville closed for coronavirus concerns, he took his classes online, providing live streaming workouts for his clients on YouTube.
“In a sense, some of them are stuck at home,” Gamble said. “This gives them the chance to do something different and interact with people in a sense even though they’re not physically there, and they’re doing live.”
Each day gamble focuses on different muscle groups, says no equipment is needed and that people don’t need more space than a yoga mat for a good workout.
“Everyone was starting to panic when they found out we were going to have to close down, and they were nervous,” Gamble said. “It makes me feel great that so many people seem to enjoy.
For people like Noble, these online fitness classes provide movements and motivation to help stay fit while stuck at home.
“To have an hour where I’m just lifting weights and working hard and sweating and not thinking about things, it makes a big difference,” Gamble said.
Significant differences are physically, mentally, and emotionally.
“I’m a lifelong exerciser,” Gamble said. “It makes me happy.”