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Life as we know it is changing in a big way, and no one is sure for how long. While you’re seeking ways to navigate this new normal, you might also be thinking about ways to preserve your physical and mental health. Regular exercise is one important way to do this, and while virtual classes might not be the same as heading into your favorite studio several times a week, you’re still likely to leave a class feeling better than before you began. 

Why are studios going online? By now, it’s certainly not news that closures are in direct response to the risk posed by COVID-19 and born out of a desire to respect and promote the practice of social distancing. 

Haven’t taken a virtual class before? No problem! Many of your studio’s most seasoned fitness fanatics haven’t either. You’re in the comfort of your own home. You have nothing to lose. Give it a try today! 

We’ve listed some area studios below who have gone virtual and more are sure to follow. We’ve also included what you’ll need to exercise from home, with or without a virtual class. 

At Home Virtual Workouts: What Do I Need? 

· Yoga mat (use a towel if you don’t have a yoga mat. Pro tip: Do you have young kids? They are likely to have some kind of mat you can use!) 

· Light hand weights (or canned goods if you don’t have weights at home) 

· Water 

· Sneakers (for doing cardio) 

· Barefoot or barre socks (for barre yoga or pilates) 

· Your computer with internet connection. Many studios are asking clients sign up on MindBody as usual and emailing clients a link using Zoom that will bring you to the virtual class. 

Local, Virtual Studio Options (continuously updating) 

Fuel Training Studio: Newburyport 

At Fuel, classes have moved online. Owners Julie Bokat and Jeanne Carter emphasize that their “number one goal is the health and safety of our clients and our instructors” which is precisely why they’ve temporarily closed the studio. Classes including their Strength + Power and Tabata can now be booked online via MindBody and don’t promise to be any easier than their in-person classes! 

Motivate®: Barre Cardio Nutrition: Newburyport 

Motivate has also gone virtual and is offering core + cardio as well as barre classes online. Clients can sign up through MindBody as they normally would and a Zoom link will be emailed to enrolled clients 30 minutes before class time. Studio owner and Lead Instructor Meghan Kinsey said that “withdrawing from community and human touch is not good for anyone. So as we ride this out, please take advantage of our virtual community and let us support each other.” 

Precision Pilates: Ipswich & Danvers 

Precision Pilates is offering free online classes for their first few classes while they get things up and running. Owner and founder Nancy Higgins acknowledges that “community is the glue that keeps us motivated and coming back for more. To continue to keep those positive, healthy vibes going, we have launched our online live classes. Although we love technology, and what it’s allowing us to do in this current climate, we’re looking forward to all being together again in person.” 

Wellness Hot Yoga: North Andover 

Wellness Hot Yoga has also moved classes online so that clients can continue to receive the benefits of yoga when they need it most. They encourage all students to watch this video from studio owner Teri Almquist for more details and to get an idea of what to expect. 

Whether or not a virtual workout is for you, there are several things you can do to help maintain a sense of calm and purpose during this uncertain time.

Body Ambition: Middleton

Janelle Monteiro, owner of Middleton’s Body Ambition Fitness, is posting a series of at-home workout videos on her Instagram, @janellemonteiro. You will need dumbbells for these workouts, but that’s all! Monteiro outlines each workout on her whiteboard, then shows demos of each exercise. Sometimes, you might chance a glimpse of her baby daughter running around the studio—”and yes, if you’re working out at home, this might happen!” she says with a smile.

Oxygen Mind & Body: Andover

At Oxygen, classes have also gone online and when you sign up for a virtual class, your first class is free. Select the class you want in MindBody and use the “First Virtual Class Free” special to give it a try. If cost is prohibitive, Founder & Studio Owner Amy Cieslik wants you to know that she wants you to reach out! Virtual class fees can be waived or another arrangements worked out in the name of your health and wellness. 

Studio 13 | The Pilates Barre: Hamilton

One of the area’s premier pilates studios, Studio 13 also specializes in barre, H.I.I.T., and more, and is offering virtual classes through Zoom and Facebook Live. For access to the Zoom classes you need to first register on MindBody, and Facebook classes can be accessed through their private Facebook page. They’re even offering clients use of their props, and dropping off sanitized packages to those who would rather not leave the house.

High Function Fitness: Woburn

The coaches at High Function Fitness are now available through phone, email, and FaceTime to continue providing training to their clients. The gym is also lending much of its equipment, like body weights, to its clients. Fitness classes are now conducted through video conferencing, and they’ve even organized a virtual happy hour to keep a sense of community and engagement among gym members.

To Do Every Day:

· Get enough sleep 

· Breathe deeply (Even a five-minute breathing exercise can help you reset.) 

· Drink water 

· Eat healthy 

· Get outside. Go for a walk! Vitamin D can work wonders.

· Connect with family and friends. It’s important for you to see their faces and help keep one another feeling positive. FaceTime has never been more valuable!

Know of any studios that we missed? Reach out!