For many folks, group fitness classes offer community, support, and social time. But with area gyms and fitness clubs shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they are getting creative to keep group workouts going via Facebook Live and video conferencing programs such as Zoom.
QC Studio Z co-owners (and sisters) Sara Newman Pearson and Amanda Newman Motto, who host classes at All Saints Evangelical Lutheran Church in Davenport, thought virtual classes were not an option because of Zumba’s regulations with copyright. Once its headquarters granted a temporary policy adjustment, Zoom immediately came to mind, Motto said.
"We’re having fun and learning along the way," Pearson said. "The most important thing is that we are returning a sense of routine and normalcy back into our lives. Stress levels are high for everyone these days, and we are grateful that we are able to boost our endorphins and have our ‘social hour’ with our students again.”
Zumba classes via Zoom are free, and the two said those who are interested may direct message QC Studio Z on Facebook.
Shine Yoga & Bodyworks in Moline owner, instructor and bodyworker Daina Lewis said having to press pause on in-person classes and find a plan B was "heartbreaking,"
“I know all too well (what) anxiety and lack of connection can do to your body, mind, spirit,” she said, so she scheduled Facebook live events until they could craft a better plan.
“I loved that it was giving people movement and a calm space in their homes,” as well as connection, she said.
The crew created a schedule of virtual classes to stream through Zoom. Those who are interested may register through Mindbody at tinyurl.com/sgkcf2y. Classes are $8, or $70 for one month of unlimited classes. Registration closes one hour before classes begin.
Like many families and business owners are experiencing, “having the studio on hold for the past two weeks has been very difficult financially,” Lewis said. But "the Shine community is very supportive, and my instructors are all such amazing souls that want to pull together for the greater good."
Two Rivers YMCA in Moline is broadcasting workouts on Facebook Live. At 9:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, “I go down to my basement and go live on the Two Rivers YMCA Facebook page for (a roughly) 30-minute workout," said Breanne Anderson, senior director of healthy living at Two Rivers.
Much of the goal is to have people leave comments and interact throughout the workout, too, she said. Then, the workouts are saved to the page so you may join whenever you can.
“I try to do a variety of workouts to hit all different types of exercise," Anderson said. “I tell those watching that even if they don’t normally like a specific type of workout, give it a try and move your body in a different way," she said. "Ultimately, it’s your workout. ... Take options, skip something if it hurts or you don’t like it.”
Scott County Family Y regularly posts “virtual-class” videos on its Facebook page, with everything from living room gymnastics for kids to yoga and more, some in front of clever backgrounds for a little change of scenery, such as a beach and mountains.
Smaller area gyms are taking similar approaches. “We are making working out at home as easy and fun as possible,” said Brieanne “Breezy” Lonergan, a coach at The MoveMeant in Moline, a Crossfit-style gym that also offers other workouts for those who are not interested or ready to work with a barbell.
“The best part of our gym is the community, the members, so it’s hard not seeing everyone," she said. In the gym, everyone motivates one another, so “we are trying to maintain that encouragement and positivity while we are all apart and quarantined.”
Prior to the gym’s closing, Lonergan said gym owner Ryan Gayman allowed members to rent equipment to use at home. Coaches know its members do not have a full lineup of equipment on hand, so workouts are modified to accommodate that.
Workouts are posted daily on the app SugarWOD, on The MoveMeant's blog and Instagram, @themovemeantqc, Lonergan said, so "members can still access the normal gym programming as if we were in the gym." Coaches also host workouts on Zoom twice daily for members.
“We’re all experiencing life from a different perspective right now, and it’s important to me to maintain some of our routine,” she said. “More than anything, it’s important to give yourself grace during this time. We’re all in this together!”
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