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Thanks to COVID-19, fitness goes virtual

Worthington Area YMCA Program Director Cory Greenway back and other YMCA fitness instructors are leading virtual classes that can be watched on the Y's Facebook page. (Special to The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Just because the COVID-19 pandemic has closed local fitness centers doesn’t mean people should let good fitness habits slip.

With the novel coronavirus shutting the doors of gyms and weight rooms across the region, there still remain plenty of ways to get a good workout.

Cory Greenway, programing director at the Worthington Area YMCA, admitted that “everything’s changed, everything’s different” since the threat of the novel coronavirus resulted in the Y’s indefinite closure last month.

“We’ve been looking for ways to fill voids in our community,” Greenway said Monday morning. “We’ve offered some of our classes with our instructors online … We’ve been offering the group exercise classes, the senior exercise classes. The YMCA … has also helped out with resources for us and others across the country, such as YMCA 360.”

YMCA 360 offers a variety of online fitness classes for people of all ages. Available are videos featuring youth activities, boot camp, yoga, pilates, tai-chi and much more. Greenway said the library of videos is somewhat limited, but there’s variety as well as flexibility.


“You can blend your own class,” he explained. “For example, you can combine videos from yoga and cycling to make your own special class combination. That also breaks the monotony of watching the same kind of video, too.”

YMCA 360 (online at ymca360.org) is free and open to the public, Greenway said, regardless of Worthington Area YMCA membership.

Another workout option available through the Y is mossamove.net, a streaming service for which Greenway said members can sign up for a 60-day-trial. To get the link for the trial, contact Greenway at cory.greenway@ymcaworthington.org.

As for the Y’s live exercise classes, instructors are leading them from their homes and broadcasting them via the Y’s Facebook page. People who earn health insurance benefits by “checking in” a certain number of times each month at the YMCA can now comment on Facebook workouts instead, Greenway said, to get that same type of credit.

Amanda Brandts, co-owner of Anytime Fitness in both Worthington and Jackson, explained that she’s also offering virtual classes.

“We have our own private Facebook group where our instructors are teaching those members who want to do these online,” she said, noting that both low-impact (she normally leads a similar “Active Aging” class in Jackson) and high-impact classes are available. The low-impact classes take place Tuesday and Thursday, while there’s a greater frequency to the high-impact workouts.

“Most of our Worthington members are typically younger, so they do that (high-impact),” Brandts said. “We have those pretty much every weekday; those are very popular.”

The high-impact classes can offer a variety of different workouts, one of which — Tabata — was singled out by Brandts. Participants exercise for 30 seconds, take a 10-second rest and then repeat over and over again.


“All of the classes are 30 minutes, as most … want to be done in half an hour,” she added, pointing out that members can also post different home workout plans and enter into opportunities to win gift cards.

For those interested in winning prizes and getting fit, Brown’s Shoe Fit in Worthington is presenting a new twist this month on its regular Fit Night event, owner/manager Matt Kennedy said.

Starting Monday (April 13) and continuing through this Thursday, Kennedy is urging people to simply do something active and share it.

“Go on a walk from home, go on your treadmill, do a video workout,” Kennedy suggested. “Usually (Fit Night) is a walk/run from the store, but right now we just want to be active. The focus of Fit Night is being active, and we don’t want that activity angle to change — we just want you to be active where you’re at versus here.”

Participants should post on the “Fit Night at Brown’s” Facebook event page with a picture, a map of your run/walk or other notation of activity and the hashtag, #WgtnFitNight2020.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Brown’s will go live online to draw for prizes based on the entries received during the week.

Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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