Options exist to remain healthy with gyms closed


By Scott Akanewich

One of the biggest challenges people are faced with during the pandemic is to stay healthy and despite the fact gyms are scheduled to re-open on May 18, there are still many options for those who would rather continue to work out at home.

Some health clubs are getting creative in continuing to meet the needs of their clients during this time and Flock Fitness in Liberty Hill is definitely one of them.

According to owner Maranda Basey, keeping connected with her customers is a critical component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle – even when one is stranded at home.

“It’s very important,” said Basey. “This is a unique time for everyone, so it’s all about helping our clients get creative and learn how to adjust with the environment and still keep health and fitness a top priority.”

In order to comply with the new health guidelines upon re-opening her business, Basey has taken measures to ensure she meets the regulations.

“I’ve purchased extra sanitizing stations and have ordered paper towel, soap and sink hands-free dispensers,” she said. “We will also be operating at 25 percent and have only classes on the schedule where we’re ensured participants have their own equipment and space. We also will be having a sanitizing system set in place as participants arrive, workout and leave the facility.”

CrossFit Liberty Hill owner Brandon Leath is also making sure his gym is ready for the return of his clients.

“We’re going to cap our classes at 12 people instead of the usual 20 and fill the spots by reservation,” said Leath. “We’re also going to end our classes a bit earlier than usual in order to properly sanitize before the next class.”

Other measures will include things such as participants only using one barbell during a workout, no shower access and limiting restroom use to one person at a time.

However, aside from tangible differences, a bigger challenge will be to recreate the camaraderie aspect of exercise under the new restrictions.

“I think that’s our biggest challenge moving forward,” said Leath. “Group fitness tends to lose its appeal when people can’t move around, be close together. But, we’ve modified our workouts, although it’s hard to stay in one place while you work out.”

Technology is allowing Basey to remain in contact with clients in helping them with their fitness needs.

“Currently we are offering live classes via Facebook,” she said. “Also, we have an online schedule and a private group. We find even though we can’t see our clients, we’re able to connect with comments and have them post pictures after their workouts.”

Basey said although most don’t have access to fitness equipment at the moment, there are many viable options to replace the usual methods.

“The options are endless. First of all, body-weight exercises are great and there are so many strength and cardio moves you can do with just your body weight,” she said. “Also, thinking outside the gym and using what you have at home. I’ve posted lots of articles on household items that are equivalent to dumbbells and weights and easy to use while doing some of the exercises we’re posting. We’re trying to keep most of our workouts with little to no equipment, but we do offer a few that we ask for some sort of weight. But, we always give options.”

However, one thing that can’t be replicated is the ability to exercise with others, which is a crucial element in most of the programs her gym runs. That is why it’s all the more important to have the ability to connect via the internet, enabling her clients to feel as if they’re not alone, said Basey.

“For most people, it’s easy to lose motivation when you’re alone,” she said. “Our fitness studio is all about ‘group’ training, so our target clients get their ‘fuel’ off the others in the group. We hope offering these virtual live classes, they’re still getting that connection they all love and feed off.”

Despite the fact exercise and a healthy lifestyle are always of the utmost importance, it’s even more so under the current conditions, said Basey.

“Exercise is so good for not only the body but the mind,” she said. “Exercise helps boost your mood and also can help combat anxiety. With everything going on in the world, this is an especially important time to stay active and moving.”

Leath added the best way to approach staying fit during this time is to maintain a proper perspective.

“I don’t think these changes need to affect us negatively,” he said. “We have to find ways to make it positive, take charge and be healthy.”