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Gyms offering virtual workouts for those staying at home because of COVID-19
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Gyms offering virtual workouts for those staying at home because of COVID-19

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Gym chains across Northwest Indiana have been looking to keep people moving even when they're stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey by TopCashback.com found 59% of Americans have been finding it difficult to stay active a few weeks into the pandemic that's infected more than 1.4 million people worldwide.

But local gyms have been trying to keep members active with virtual workouts, home workout plans, and recorded workout classes. Planet Fitness, which has gyms in Hammond, Schererville, Merrillville, Crown Point, Valparaiso and Michigan City, immediately froze membership dues and started live-streaming "home work-ins" at 6 p.m. daily on its Facebook page.

Grit Fitness, which has locations in Schererville and Cedar Lake, is offering members who don't request a billing freeze custom at-home workout plans, trainer-designed Work Out of the Week programs, and access to hundreds of classes on Les Mills On Demand, including BodyPump, HIIT, Mindfulness, Training, BODYCOMBAT and RIPPED. 

Anytime Fitness, which temporarily closed its gyms in LaPorte, Michigan City, Merrillville and Munster, is offering free virtual team workouts via Zoom to the general public, even non-members.

“This situation is changing daily and we have to continuously pivot what we are doing. We feel for our members that can’t get into the gym, but we also feel for our community," Anytime Fitness Director of Operations Kevin Scott said. "The last few weeks have caused changes and disruptions in all of our lives. However, we recognize that there are certain actions that are necessary to help prevent the spread of this virus."

Anytime Fitness's free virtual workouts take place at 6, 9 and 11 a.m. and 1, 3, 5 and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Sessions also will take place at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Saturdays, and at 10 a.m. Sundays.

One or two personal trainers will lead the full body workouts that will be done with body weight or household items like milk jugs or gym bags. The gym chain also will offer nutrition seminars and stretching workouts through its Anytime Fitness Together We Rise Private Facebook group, as well as a yoga class at 9 a.m. Sunday.

“The physical health and the mental health of everyone in our community is very important to us,” Scott said. “We are very aware of the guidelines set by our states and want everyone to do their part in stopping the spread of the virus. However, we know how important exercise is for not only your physical health, but also your mental health and your immune system. This is why all of these workouts can be done at home and are geared to get you moving. No matter what your skill level or fitness level, our coaches will be providing progressions and regressions.”

The fitness clubs are doing deep cleanings and trying to keep workers employed to be ready for when the club doors open back up. Its instructors say they will try to help clients and the general public stay fit even while stuck at home.

“We knew we had to do something to help those who needed our help,” Scott said. “There are so many people that are following the stay at home guidelines, but are still looking for effective ways to stay active and on track with their goals. We know their goals didn’t go away at this time, so we are working with our current training clients virtually with one-on-one attention. To the rest of the community, we wanted to let them know we are here for them with any questions they may have.”

To sign up for a workout, join the Anytime Fitness TogetherWeRise Facebook group or use the Zoom meeting ID 621-782-6079. 

For more information, email kevin.scott@anytimefitness.com.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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