With classes ranging from chair fitness to flow yoga to boot camp, the Eugene Family YMCA has something for everyone.
Kim Miller, director of health and wellness and healthy living at the Eugene YMCA, says the silver lining to workouts via Zoom is that more people can be in the class at one time. Before COVID-19, some members would come to class to find a “full” sign. But the YMCA is able to host more members in virtual instruction than it was in-person because it’s not beholden to fire marshal maximum occupancy laws. And since workouts are archived, the public can also participate in workouts at their own time.
For many YMCA attendees, the Zoom classes keep them accountable in the same way as the in-person class because members log on at a certain time, see the instructor and feel like they’re a part of the class, Miller says.
The YMCA’s schedule is subject to change, but its class list online includes barre, hatha yoga, low impact aerobics, gentle yoga, Turbo Kick, cardio dance and more. The dance classes are popular now, with about 30 to 40 people attending, Miller says.
She says that trained staff moderate the classes to help out attendees who have questions, as well as keep an eye out on the chance the dreaded “Zoom bombers” crash the party with inappropriate content.
Miller teaches boot camp (which doesn’t have drill instructors yelling at you like military boot camp, and instead has a mixture of strength training and cardio) and says the in-person class can be intimidating for some. But she says more people have been attending class who would’ve never walked in.
“Now they can work to their level and do the exercises,” she adds.
By taking more intense classes like boot camp online, attendees can take a break or adjust the exercise to their current ability.
Miller says the Zoom live sessions are sent to members via email as a way to say thank you for sticking with the nonprofit while it’s been closed for the past month. But anyone can access the archive of videos on its website.
And in a time when people aren’t connecting in-person, working out on Zoom is a way for instructors to invite members into their home, Miller says. And it’s making instructors’ pets famous. In Miller’s class, she has a German shepherd named Quintus that occasionally drops in and steals the show.
“Dogs and cats don’t care if you’re teaching a group class,” she says. “That’s one of the fun things members are enjoying: They love seeing our pets wander through.”
Visit EugeneYMCA.org for more information on participating in Zoom classes and archived classes.