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Sarasota Thursday, Apr. 16, 2020 4 months ago

Coronavirus prompts local gyms to get creative

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After an executive order closing all gyms in Florida was passed, local gym owners began offering streaming service to their clients.
by: Brynn Mechem Staff Writer

As COVID-19 spreads and prompts more closures, many people are taking it as an excuse to lay off their gym routine.

However, local gym owners and fitness instructors say it should be the opposite.

“Now is the time to use it as an excuse to work out,” said Kelli Jaco, co-owner of Jaco’s Boxing + Fitness Gym. “We have every opportunity in the world to better ourselves right now.”

Because gym facilities are closed following a March 20 executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis, some find it hard to get in a good workout from home.

However, Jaco and several other gym owners, including Chaz Glunk of Body By Chaz, have started streaming workouts, so both their members and others can still work on their fitness.

Jaco began streaming workouts on the gym’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and putting condensed versions on YouTube.

Glunk offers services through the conference call site Zoom, which he said has enabled him to give feedback and keep the community feel of the gym.

“I have shied away from doing any training online because I was afraid it would break the energy, or I would not be able to give good corrections, but this has been incredible,” Glunk said. “The community factor is saved 100%.”

And that community is expanding. Both Glunk and Jaco said streaming their workouts have enabled them to reach clients outside of Sarasota. Jaco currently has clients in Boston and Pittsburgh.

Working out at home doesn’t come without its challenges, though. Rather than using the typical equipment a gym or studio has to offer, the streamers have had to work with items people can find in their homes.

“We are really focusing on body weight workouts as much as possible,” Jaco said. “But if someone needs a dumbbell, they can try using a can of soup, water bottles or even their cleaning products.”

Even still, some find it difficult to get in the workout mindset while at home. Jaco said the best thing people can do is make working out part of their routine.

“Creating that routine is really important,” she said. “In the beginning, it can feel uncomfortable, but like anything else, if you keep at it long enough, you can adjust and get used to it.”

Glunk agreed, stating people should strive to work out several times a week. Not only does it help a person keep their physique, but it can also boost an immune system, something he said is important now more than ever.

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