Fitness During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic era can be tricky. To help you navigate, we talked with the YMCA, Naperville Park District and a personal fitness instructor.
YOnTheGo.com and ‘Naperville Parks to You’ pages
Man-Yee: “The YMCA’s mission is to help build strong, healthy children, families and communities. That’s something we take very seriously. So in times like this when people really aren’t able to visit their local Y, we want our members and program participants to know that we are just as committed to their health and well being as ever, and that’s why we launched Y on the Go.”
If you’re anything like me, it’s been a challenge to think about working out, even amid feeling stir-crazy inside all day. But the local YMCAs, the Naperville Park District and local fitness coaches are at the ready to help keep you healthy and sane.
Brad Wilson: “We have a NapervilleParksToYou webpage on our site now that provides families with activities they can do from home. We see that we will be expanding that in the future to provide more online activities that’s not necessarily going to be visiting a park facility to participate in a program.
Transitioning Classes Online
Man-Yee Lee is the Director of Communications with the YMCA, while Brad Wilson is the Director of Recreation with the Park District. Both have transitioned their typical brick and mortar activities to an online platform.
Man-Yee: “The Y really is a family. Members really get a lot from that experience. But when we had to close our centers on March 17th to help stop the spread of the virus, we didn’t want to just abandon our members. So, in a way, the outbreak was the catalyst that sped up our online plans.”
Brad Wilson: “Parks and open space and the ability to be outdoors, it is such an important aspect right now for all families. We play a crucial role in the community throughout the year, but certainly through times like this with being able to provide families and individuals with that opportunity to have that release and recharge.
Online Fitness Instruction
While both the YMCA and Park District have had to adjust to the shelter-in-place restrictions, trainers like Mary Tobiason have experience with helping clients digitally.
Mary Tobiason: “Online coaching – a lot of it is direction. It’s a personal direction that the coach supplies for the athlete. You can buy a book, you can download a generic play but it’s not customized for your work schedule or your range of motion limitation or your age.
Tobiason runs TriLabs, a fitness company aiming to help athletes of all endeavors, but primarily triathletes. She says this down time doesn’t have to include a set back in training despite the lack of pools or weight rooms.
Mary Tobiason: “We’re going to get them to the start line, their not going to lose their fitness. They’re probable going to be stronger because they’re spending time doing things they don’t do that they should do. It’s hard to fit it all in. Maybe now we have enough hours in the day to get it all in to make you a better athlete and just do it.
Why In-Person is Still Best
Even with the online opportunities increasing by the day, nothing will ever truly replace the one on one connection you make in person.
Man-Yee: “It will never replace the real life experience. People will always want that one-no-one interaction. And the love of team sports is always going to be there. Because it’s more than just about the score or who wins, it’s about taking part and teamwork and creating that connection.”
Brad Wilson: “We still want people to get outdoors. Our parks, trails remain open. And we’re encouraging residents to take those opportunities to take mental breaks from home and get outside and get some fresh air.”
So if you don’t mind, I think I’ll end the story there and head out for a run.
Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Kevin Jackman