If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.
I'm talking to wellness professionals to learn how COVID-19 has impacted their lives, as well as how they're adjusting how they teach to make quarantine a little healthier for all of us. Today, I chatted with De Bolton, a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and nutritional specialist.
What do you teach?
I teach strength, kettlebells, HIITs and circuit classes at Athletic Republic Escape in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. I've been teaching for four years.
Why did you start teaching?
I started working at a transformation center for my first fitness instructor job. I coached members through a 10-week weight loss program. Seeing the transformations inside and out was a reminder fo my own 85-pound weight loss. I wanted to help people live a healthier life and I am privileged to help people move through group classes.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love being creative with the music and formats. I love watching the connections formed in group classes and I love the energy of a room full of people working towards a goal of being their best.
What is the current state of your studio?
Athletic Republic Escape is temporarily closed.
What virtual classes are you offering? How can people find those classes?
This week I began offering classes virtually through a private ZOOM link. You can find class registration on my website.
What is your biggest takeaway regarding COVID-19?
We have to be able to adjust. I believe in training you need to quickly adjust the exercise, sometimes the music, to make things work out better for the member or class. I need to apply the same principle in life. I can easily modify or progress an exercise. It has been harder to alter my daily routine but I am making it work.
What long-term effects do you see COVID-19 having on the wellness industry?
I find people are valuing movement. I also feel that those who aren't willing to embrace technology despite their expertise may become obsolete in the field. I feel this is going to allow people to see the value of fitness and how it can easily be added into your daily routine.
What is one thing you want the world to know about the wellness industry, especially in light of COVID-19?
Most people in our field are passionate about helping people live a healthier life. We are your coaches, cheerleaders, mentors and we want to see you succeed in all things. Despite COVID-19 I have seen collaborations, fitness pros helping each other out and many people industry offering their resources for free to continue to help people live a healthier lifestyle while they are in their homes. We want you to be safe, well and healthy.
It's a beautiful thing to have observed in the last few weeks.
If you are a wellness professional interested in sharing your story, please email email@example.com.