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Virtual Workout: YMCA moving classes online to keep people in shape

The YMCA may have temporarily closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the instructors who teach classes are still giving people the motivation to stay on the move.

The YMCA has moved some of its classes to a virtual format, where people can take classes like yoga, zumba, palettes, HIIT Class and Power Class from the comfort of their own homes. The service has been free since the pandemic began, but it may eventually start costing money in the future.

Marie Trimble has been teaching her HIIT class from her back porch during her lunch break at noon Mondays and Wednesdays. She emphasized the importance of exercise, especially during the current world of unpredictability that we all live in.

Marie Trimble is one of the instructors at the YMCA at the Community Recreation Center who are taking their classes into the virtual world because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s incredibly important to stay active,” Trimble said. “I know it’s kind of a struggle and it was hard for me to get used to a new routine because I’m used to working all day and being at the Y four nights a week and on the weekend. With the state of the world, exercise is even more important for your physical and mental health.”

Trimble isn’t able to see the class she is teaching, but she is able to see who logs on during her workouts. When she sees a familiar face, she will give them a shoutout or encourage them to push harder.

“I cannot see any of (the class). The first time or two it was really weird, but now I don’t think so much about it. I kind of envision them in my head,” Trimble said. “I know I’m still teaching them and when I’m out here on the patio, my neighbors know what’s going on because they can hear me yelling. It’s good to know I’m reaching them and it’s some way to connect with them, even if I can’t see them.”

One of the main obstacles of a virtual gym is that not everyone has the usual equipment handy. Workout enthusiasts who do not own any weights have had to make do with filled up water bottles, canned goods and even gym bags full of shoes.

“We’re trying to be creative with our equipment and we’re trying to offer options,” Trimble said.

The YMCA isn’t set to re-open until Phase III of the state’s plan to bring back businesses and that could mean a long wait before the building, which recently opened before the pandemic hit, is full again.

Until then, Trimble and the other instructors will do their best to keep the public going.

“I long for the days to see people, but my new routine is working well. I’ve just made lunch hour my workouts, whether I’m teaching a class or whether I’m doing my own workouts. I’ve committed that to my routine as my workout time,” Trimble said. “I’m thankful that people have been so receptive to it. They are what makes the Y. I know I motivate them, but they motivate me too. It becomes a community and I think of those people as family.”

The YMCA will be offering outdoor classes in the near future as a way of helping people to continue staying active.