Closed because of coronavirus, gyms and studios offer virtual workouts

Gyms offer classes free of charge amid global pandemic

ORLANDO, Fla. – With millions of people staying home and practicing social distance, keeping busy and fit while indoors can be a challenge, which is why gyms and workout studios are using technology to help the fitness community stay strong and healthy.

In Winter Park, The Bar Method started doing Instagram and Facebook live classes for their members. A big change in the barre workout studios’ day-to-day operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines to prevent the spread of the respiratory illness. Those recommendations include avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people.

“It was a very stressful decision but I still needed to do it just to protect our greater community,” The Bar Method owner Karen Moreno said. “I’m a small business owner and they have just been so supportive and encouraging and I wanted to honor that.”

Moreno said offering the virtual classes are a way of living up to The Bar Method’s core value of sticking together as a community.

"We wanted to create a way to still connect and be together," she said.

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, with now more than 214,000 cases worldwide, studios and gyms are now closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a workout from the comfort of your home.

A master instructor from 24 Hour Fitness in Orlando said people can use items like a chair to help with about 5 different exercises like squats and leg extensions.

“Working out is really mentally good for you because it helps you release endorphins and chemicals in your brain that help you to relax,” Kenna Victoria Colley, of 24 hour Fitness, said.

With the global concern over the pandemic, Colley said it’s not just about keeping a healthy body.

"With the increased stress and anxiety that people are undergoing, the fear it kind of helps you relax you and it kind of takes your mind away for at least a moment," Colley said.

But 24 hour Fitness is also doing their part to help the community. With their 24GO app they are reaching members and non-members.

"We have a 24 hour go app that has a variety of workouts all different fitness levels," Colley said.

The app is free of charge--making it a resourceful way to get through the challenging days ahead.

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“It actually gives you a video and how many repetitions and sets you’re supposed to do and then once you complete that, you can go to the next workout,” Anthony Bufarale, 24 hour Fitness manager. said. “We have live group classes here that you can follow, you can customize your own personal workouts. It’s a great way to get people to continue their fitness journey or start their fitness journies during this time.”

For those looking for a little mind and body relaxation, Orlando Power Yoga is posting regular mediation and short yoga videos to their Facebook page. Click here to practice along with local instructors.

Amidst the need for social distancing and the uncertainty about when things might go back to normal, other gyms across the country practicing virtual classes are L.A. Fitness, Crunch and Planet Fitness also making classes available to non-members free of charge.

Nationwide chain Gold’s Gym announced temporary closures of their locations until March 31, but are offering free premium access to their fitness app to the public.

TITLE Boxing Club is offering on demand workouts for members and non-members.

Current TITLE Boxing Club members will have complimentary access to TITLE On Demand for 30 days, where they have access to classes in boxing, kickboxing, strength & power, speed & agility and recovery, ranging from 5 to 45 minutes, according to a spokesperson.

For non-members, TITLE Boxing Club is extending its 7-day free trial of TITLE On-Demand to 30 days. The on demand service is normally $14.99 per month. Click here for more information.

Daily workouts are also being streamed on Facebook from TITLE Boxing Club trainers.

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