by Terry Rogers
On March 18, Governor John Carney issued a second update to his emergency declaration regarding COVID-19. In this update, the governor required all movie theaters, bowling alleys, fitness centers and health spas to close as of 8 AM March 19th. As a result, gyms in the area have moved to virtual fitness classes to keep members on track.
“As your long-term partner in fitness, we have proactively frozen all memberships on your behalf and you will not be charged any fees during this time,” Chris Rondeau, CEO of Planet Fitness, said. “We want to do everything we can to help you keep you moving so we’re bringing the best of the Judgement Free Zone to you.” On their Facebook page, Planet Fitness explained that the closure in some areas was after monthly fees had already processed in March. Anyone who was charged would receive a refund once they reopened but payments starting in April had been frozen.
Rondeau suggested that people download the Planet Fitness app which offers access to more than 500 exercises for people of all fitness levels. The national gym chain is also offering daily workouts at 7 PM through Facebook Live, featuring Planet Fitness trainers and special guests. If it is not possible to participate live, workouts are also available on the Planet Fitness Facebook page and their YouTube channel after the live broadcast is over.
In addition to Planet Fitness, other national companies are offering methods to stay fit during the pandemic quarantine. Nike dropped the subscription fee for its Nike Training Club Premium service, providing access to streaming workout videos, training programs and tips from trainers. Workouts include bodyweight-only sessions, yoga classes and full-equipment workouts at all fitness levels. NTC also offers exercises designed for young people aged 12 to 18, making it beneficial for the entire family.
The popular cable channel, Lifetime, is also offering free online fitness classes and at-home workouts. The online content is available for free and offers more than 20 on-demand cardio, strength and yoga classes through www.mylt.life. Nutrition guidance, recipes and small group training workouts are also available through www.training.lifetime.life. The channel is also offering workouts through their Facebook and Instagram channels.
The closure of schools is also making it difficult for children to remain active. Not every home has a yard where children can play safely and many public playgrounds are now closed due to the pandemic. There are many apps available that parents can download that are designed to promote physical activity for their kids. Super Stretch Kids Yoga is designed for children aged three to eight. It features a blanket wearing super here named “Super Stretch” who encourages deep breathing and introduces young children to yoga exercises. GoNoodle Kids, also designed for children three to eight, encourages kids to move, jump, dance and spin. It was designed for classroom use which means some of the videos have an educational component.
Kids aged 7 to 13 will enjoy Sworkit Kids, an addition to a popular adult workout app, which features workouts that focus on strength, agility, flexibility and balance. The workouts are performed by children and the app provides a wide range of workouts to keep kids interested. NFL Play 60 is another app for this age group that have kids running, jumping, spinning and twisting to move the character on the screen. The app also includes mini-challenges and a chance to power-up the avatar using coins they earn in the game.
Older teens over the age of 13 may want to check out Fitivity which includes 450 fitness apps, some related to a specific sport or activity. Workouts include the use of kettleballs, shooting drills, speed and agility exercises as well as fun activities like hip-hop dance exercises. Walkr converts steps recorded by your child’s phone pedometer into energy that can be used to power a spaceship or explore a galaxy.
In addition to apps, online content and television shows, families are encouraged to remain active in other ways during the pandemic. Walking in neighborhoods is still permitted and offers a great way for families to continue being active as well as connect with each other during a time of uncertainty. Yard games including cornhole, badminton and basketball can also promote fitness during a time when gyms are closed and athletic competitions cancelled.