Last week, gyms throughout metro Atlanta said they would stay open for the time being, with additional cleaning practices and added precautions amid the coronavirus outbreak.
However, as government and health care officials call on people to stay home at all possible times, most fitness facilities have now decided to close.
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On Monday, the YMCA announced it would close all its locations across metro Atlanta.
In an email to members, the Y said locations will be closed starting March 17 “with a commitment to reopen as soon as the health and safety of our community can be assured.”
“Closing our facilities, however, doesn’t mean we’ve ‘closed shop.’ Just the opposite. In many ways this is our moment to truly deliver on our promise of service to those who turn to us for community and to those who turn to us for survival,” the email read. “We’re pivoting and repurposing, and working to provide programs and services that will be critical in the coming weeks.”
Those services include:
- Distributing meals to families and children through the USDA Meal Service Program. More information can be found here.
- Working with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to distribute food to the community.
- A child care program for emergency responders.
Other places, like Planet Fitness have made an effort to bring the gym experience to people’s homes with online workouts.
“Exercise can reduce stress, help you stay healthy, and keep you feeling great. So, we’re offering FREE in-home workouts, live-streamed daily, for all Planet Fitness members and non-members alike. Workouts will be led by our trainers and surprise celebrity guests,” the gym said in an announcement Sunday.
Lifetime Fitness, LA Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness and Gold's Gym are now all also closed because of coronavirus concerns.
Most local gyms and fitness studios are now also closed, including VESTA and CrossFit Midtown.
On Monday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms limited public gatherings to 50 people to try to curb the spread of the virus.
Here are some ways to stay active when you’re stuck at home:
Yoga can be not only good for your physical health, but can improve general wellness by relieving stress and improving emotional health, sleep and balance, the National Institute of Health notes. It can also relieve low-back and neck pain and help manage anxiety and depressive symptoms.
You don't have to pay big bucks or leave your home to do yoga. Just put on something comfortable and pull up YouTube. Some popular channels include Yoga With Adrienne, Yoga By Candace and Body Positive Yoga.
Go for a walk:
Try taking a break in the day to go for a walk. Experts at the Mayo Clinic note that walking every day can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your mood. "As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If you can't set aside that much time, try several short sessions of activity throughout the day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all," the Mayo Clinic notes on its website.
You don't need expensive exercise equipment or access to a gym to do simple exercises like planks, wall sits or squats. There are a variety of routines you can find online and on YouTube.