Your only steps might be from the couch to the bathroom and you may be surrounded by a TV that’s always set to news and too many hoarded snacks, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to fall victim to the so-called #Corona15.
The hashtag is making its way through Twitter as those socially distancing in their homes struggle to stick to their diets and workout plans.
In the wake of Coronavirus, gyms across New Jersey are doing what they can – including posting free workout videos, live nutrition Q&A sessions and live-streaming classes – to keep their clients and the general public both healthy.
Free live-streamed classes, nutrition Q&As
Ronnie Lubischer, owner of Lubischer’s Burn & Blast Training in West Long Branch, normally offers small group training for eight to 12 people on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Now, he’s live streaming the programs to the public for free on the gym’s Facebook page, offering classes such as those focused on leg workouts, upper body workouts and high-intensity interval training workouts.
“We can have 100 people on these online streaming courses so it keeps us together,” he said. “Even though we are practicing social distancing, we don’t have to practice separatism.”
Plus, he plans on hosting bi-weekly live question-and-answer sessions about nutrition on his Instagram page (@ronniecaptainburnandblast) focused on pre-determined topics.
“Nutrition is 80 percent of our results so even though we can’t do our best workouts right now, we can do the best for our nutrition,” he said. “There are many things we can do to stay on top of our nutrition.”
Although as a small business owner, Lubischer is concerned about income, he said he knows he’s doing the right thing by offering free nutrition and fitness services to the public at this time. Normally, the gym offers group classes, personal training, bodybuilding, nutrition counseling and a 24-hour gym membership.
“You get more business by doing the right thing in the long run,” he said.
Free fitness and health reads, 15-minute classes
Patricia Decker, owner of Empower Fitness in Clinton, which normally offers barre and fitness classes as well as personal training and nutrition counseling, also has begun posting free 15-minute live-streamed workout videos on her business’s Facebook page.
She plans to offer four to five videos per week focused on interval training; barre, where people will simply need some hand weights and a chair; stretching, or even simply how to properly do a squat or a lunge.
Plus, she said she will also post free fitness and health reads on her Facebook and Instagram pages each week to encourage people to stay fit and healthy during this time.
“We all need to be moving and by sitting home and not having interaction, we are going to get down in the dumps and depressed,” said Decker. “We need to get those endorphins going. It would be awesome if I can help people by sharing my love of fitness.”
Indoor cycling classes right at home
Upcycle at the Grant Building in Collingswood offers indoor cycling, as well as barre, yoga and high-intensity interval training. The South Jersey business also will bring classes right to the homes of those itching for their former workout schedules with virtual spin, barre and yoga classes.
The studio rented out all 20 of their indoor bikes to its clients. Others on bike trainers or Pelotons also can drop in on virtual spin classes through Zoom for a recommended donation of $10 paid through Venmo. Package options also will soon be available.
The virtual classes, which will take place three to four times per day, are also then uploaded to Upcycle’s website.
“All of the classes through Zoom can hold up to 99 participants, which is a lot more people than we can fit in our studio,” said Kim Oberg, Upcycle founder. “That’s one of the silver linings.”
‘You can either freak out about it or let it fuel your creativity’
Live LIFE Moving, an Asbury Park fitness studio which offers Pilates, indoor cycling and coaching, is currently streaming two classes per day to their members through Zoom, a video conferencing app. The gym also is offering clients the ability to do private sessions through the app.
Classes focus on Pilates exercises which can be done without equipment; cardio, and body weight exercises. Pilates equipment is also being rented out.
Live LIFE Moving is also renting out their indoor cycles and delivering them to clients, and using a mobile app, coaches can see data from the bicycles and offer real-time feedback.
“We want to keep our clients moving and keep them consistent,” said Aaron Ellis, owner of the fitness studio. “It’s a huge stress relief and Pilates is great for the immune system. Plus as a small business, it’s really important to keep our revenue going somehow. We will offer some videos free to start, but we do realize we have to keep our business going.”
“You can either freak out about it or let it fuel your creativity,” Ellis continued. “Everybody is just jumping in and learning and I think we’re lucky to have the technology that we do.”
Ellis said that his clients have been supportive of the effort and relieved that a connection can still be maintained despite the gym being closed. Being that some clients are unsure about how the technology will work, Ellis plans to create a video to show them how to set it up.
Nutrition counseling, virtual classes
bodhi. by Anthony Monetti in Somerville, which offers group classes, yoga, personal training, weight loss programs and nutrition counseling, is also using Zoom to stream classes to their members.
The classes, which focus on mobility, as well as strength and conditioning both with and without equipment, will be offered every day. Karen Monetti, co-owner of the gym, said they also plan to launch the classes to the public for a fee.
Monetti also offers a food coaching program focused on meal planning, prepping and weight loss, already done remotely through a 30-minute check in via Zoom where she speaks with clients about their challenges and successes in healthy eating.
“We believe that fighting off any kind of virus or flu starts with a healthy immune system so in order to keep it really healthy, you need to nourish your body and also keep your cardiovascular system really strong,” she said. “Plus, it’s a great stress reliever for the mind. People are going to start going crazy being quarantined at their homes and just offering some kind of way to release that is really important.”
Jenna Intersimone has been a staff member at the USA Today Network New Jersey since 2014, after becoming a blogger-turned-reporter following the creation of her award-winning travel blog. To get unlimited access to her stories about food, drink and fun, please subscribe or activate your digital account today. Contact: JIntersimone@Gannett.com or @JIntersimone.