Pandemic fitness is possible

Personal trainer Janel Gill (left) oversees an incline dumbbell press workout with trainee Dana Meyer at the Parkview Huntington  Family YMCA on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Personal trainer Janel Gill (left) oversees an incline dumbbell press workout with trainee Dana Meyer at the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Photo by Katelynn Farley.

January is often thought of as a time of resolutions and new beginnings. Traditionally, people will flock to gyms at the start of a new year in an effort to get a “new body” or keep a fitness goal they’ve set for themselves.

So, how does one go about doing that during a pandemic?

Even in the day and age of social distancing and mask wearing, there are still several ways that safety precautions can be taken.
Ren Yuenkel, personal training and group strength coordinator at the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA, oversees trainers and assists clients with meeting their goals.

Yuenkel says that many of the precautions that the YMCA used before COVID-19 are still in use today. What has changed is the frequency of how often they are taken.

“We make sure that we’re super consistent with (the precautions) to keep ourselves and our members healthy and keep our doors open,” Yuenkel said. “A lot of it is just increasing the frequency of (cleaning) heavily touched items and being stricter about it.”

Through a city grant, the YMCA was also able to put up nearly a dozen barriers between cardio machines for added safety. Patrons are also required to wear masks when they are not participating in physical activity.

Those who are looking to receive personal training at the YMCA may start by requesting an inquiry packet at the front desk. After Yuenkel reviews the packet information, train-ees will be matched with a trainer and assessments will be made from there.  

Yuenkel suggests that those who are looking to start a personal training regimen should keep a certain mindset before they begin.

“Start small for lifelong habits,” Yuenkel said. “Fitness shouldn’t be overwhelming. You don’t want to try to change your whole life all at once, it’s not sustainable.”

The YMCA also offers at-home options for those who are unable to leave their homes or do not feel safe in doing so.

Virtual classes for the Active Older Adults group exercises are offered and there are personal training options for at-home workouts as well.

“Everyone should figure out what makes them comfortable,” Yuenkel said. “Something is always better than nothing.”