Online workouts keep Calgarians active during self-isolation

Living room exercise is on the rise in Calgary with workouts loaded up on the web.

Those in self-isolation may be streaming more than sweat off their brow now that fitness classes are more available than ever.

Fitness studios and exercise classes closed down in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, on top of government officials calling for schools to close and mandatory self-isolation.

Training is now being uploaded online and shared live on social media.

"I’m just finding that with this whole situation people are craving connection more than ever before," said Amber Zenith, co-founder of High Fitness aerobics, now offering classes on YouTube, and streaming live beginning Saturday.

"This is a great way to do it with keeping the distance that we need to to stay healthy," she said.

Barre West has offered its classes exclusively on Instagram at no charge.

"They will continue to be as long as we are able to motivate our members to stay active and engaged and be able to uphold a sense of community," said co-founder and lead instructor Adrianna Britton.

"It’s also a great opportunity to bring in new clients, new attention," she said.

Cultivating a sense of community is key for Shawna Kaminski, who runs the Calgary NW Fit Body Boot camp.

She curates a private Facebook page sharing content like workouts, sweaty selfies and exclusive fitness tips.

Knocking into furniture, and shooing away her curious dogs are some of the quirks of leading workouts from her home.

"We’re all dealing with the same situation and I feel like (my members) appreciate that it’s levelled the playing field."

Virtual race

On April 1, more than 500 long distance runners around the world are expected to join in a "virtual race" hosted by Calgary-based Personal Peak Endurance.

The Quarantine Backyard Ultra requires participants to document their progress on a live stream.

"You’re competing against other people, you’ve kind of got that competitive edge going and you’re able to push yourself a little more when you’re in that race situation," said organizer Travis Schiller Brown.

Fitness providers hope no one has to feel slowed down during the lockdown.