Gym closures are more than losing your pump for many of Boulder’s active community members. Fitness can be a huge source of stress relief, as well as social connection — two things we need more than ever right now.
In addition, staying healthy and active can actually protect you from the coronavirus and other seasonal illnesses.
“Exercise is one of the greatest predictors of long-term health, and when done at moderate levels, it can actually reduce the risk of getting an upper respiratory tract infection by 50 percent,” says Nicole Irlbeck, a trainer at I Am Fitness Studio in Boulder. “So, it’s well worth people keeping up, even if they are self-quarantined and not sick.”
The Journal of Health and Sport Science reports exercise helps your immune system, improves immune regulation, improves your metabolic health and can be anti-inflammatory. There is a clear inverse relationship between moderate exercise and risk of illness, the journal reports.
You can also find endless research on how exercise benefits mental health. The National Institutes of Health reports regular exercise can help with stress-relief and improve your mood, too. Aerobic exercise, such as dancing and cycling, has proven to reduce anxiety and depression, likely due to increased blood to the brain.
The bottom line: Even if you’re stuck at home, don’t get stuck on the couch. It’s bad for your mind, body and immunity. Here are some ways to stay active and fit during the coronavirus closures.
Get Active Outside
With gym and studio closures and easy access to nature and hiking trails, Boulder County has seen a recent burst in outdoor activity. But this has led popular trails close to town, like Sanitas, even busier than the Pearl Street Mall in summer.
Before heading out on the trails, make sure you heed the county’s recommendations on how to do it safely. Among the tips: Don’t visit if you’re sick, don’t go in large groups, if a trail’s already packed, pick a new spot, stay six feet away from others and maintain good hygiene, even outside.
Need inspiration? Here are some of our favorite local nighttime hikes (when you can be sure to find less people), winter hikes and waterfall hikes.
Get Active Online
You can also work up a sweat (or just get in touch with your body) from your own living room. Many Boulder fitness professionals have moved their business online during this time. Here’s a look at some of the many offers you can try.
I Am Fitness: Irlbeck, with this Boulder studio, will offer free workouts on her Facebook. This week, she ran a 20-minute online Strength and Soul workout, and she is starting 14 Days of Strength and Soul Sessions to help people get moving every day in a way that “supports their physical immune system and gives them a deeper connection to their soul state of peace in this time of stress,” Irlbeck says.
She is also transitioning to offering personal training online, as are most trainers.
Check out RallySport’s new Youtube page, where trainers are offering nutritional and fitness information every day. “This is our way of staying connected and bring[ing] you workouts to do from your home, as well as access to our amazing team of instructors,” the Youtube says.
Amana Yoga is providing online classes to members. Founder Alia Sebben says, “The most fundamental rule of yoga is Ahisma: the vow to do no harm.” In light of that, she says, closing the studio is the “only way to live in alignment with that vow under our current circumstances.”
Yoga Loft is offering online classes via AvitaOnline.com. The classes are appropriate for all ages, abilities and body types. The practice is designed to make you feel like you are in the room practicing with the group. Access it via your phone, tablet or any device with internet.
A membership gets you three video classes a week, access to a Q&A library, a special rate on a yoga equipment package and support from Avita founder Jeff Bailey. Use the code “ATHOME” at checkout for half off the first month.
Gyrotonic students can continue lessons remotely by contacting Jennifer DePalo-Peterson at email@example.com or texting/calling 347-693-4408.
Loveland Yoga and Core
This Loveland yoga studio is regularly filming and uploading yoga and barre classes to its Youtube. In addition to new content, Loveland Yoga and Core has a good supply of previously made, free Youtube content. Oh, and many videos feature her dogs.
“Here is my yoga/barre studio for the next week or so. My phone is charging and the puppies are recharging so we can bring you barre, StrengthYoga with and without weights, gentle yoga and meditations and great info from home,” writes instructor Christi Sullivan, referring to her home. “The beauty of the internet. I know some of you feel trapped. Get everyone involved. It’s time to practice community on a new and deeper and compassionate level.”
In addition to yoga, she will post lifestyle content, such as things about digestion and digestive health, thoughts, breathing, hydration, sleep and more.
Panthers’ Gate Metaphysical School and Shop
This Berthoud-based martial arts studio is offering one-on-one training, as well as psychic and shamanic healings and readings. The studio also is connected to an apothecary, and is offering delivery. Panther’s Gate can also offer at-home instruction via the internet.
It also posts at-home exercises, meditations, recipes and other resources on Facebook.
CorePower offers Yoga on Demand online. Members get free access to online classes. New C1, C2, Sculpt, HPF and meditation classes will be available every week.
Bar Method has online classes, too. Members get free access to classes from 15 to 60 minutes.
In addition to regular barre classes, it will be adding stress-relief tips and nutrition tidbits and is working on kids yoga classes on Facebook Live through the LiVE with Bar Method group. This group is open to Boulder-area people (beyond members) for a small streaming fee.
“That way, our members are being treated like members while helping more,” says Amy Chesterton, with the Boulder studio.
Nalandabodhi Center for American Buddhism
Although it’s not a fitness studio, mental health is important. Boulder’s Nalandabodhi center is offering various online classes, including meditation. See www.boulder.nalandabodhi.org for a list of the online options.
Trainer Joe Roseberry has been curating virtual training for years, based on his piece of equipment, The Answer. But even if you don’t have an Answer, his Youtube channel has a rich library of fitness and mental health exercises.
Check out goldenbridge.org for Movement Mass, a non-denominational, movement-based dance class from 10:45 a.m.-noon on Sundays. It will be online now. This community has been meeting weekly in Boulder for about 20 years.
Pure Pilates in Golden is offering online mat Pilates classes for athletes, Silver Sneakers, parents and kids.
If working from home is taking a toll on your health, reach out to Fitback Systems via firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-710-1702. This local company offers posture, pain relief and ergonomic coaching. Fitbak will also run regular Facebook Live events to offer tips and hold a Zoom posture and pain coaching call to teach tools to help with ergonomics when working from home.
Tip: Request to join the Facebook group From Pain to Zen for even more info.
Revo Physiotherapy & Sports Performance
Revo is posting its workouts online (on Facebook and Instagram), creating workouts for members to do at home. It is also offering physical therapy remotely via Google meetings. Find Social Isolation Fitness workouts on Revo’s Youtube.
Founder of YDM Meditation, Yashoda Devi Ma, is offering breathwork/mantra meditation classes on her Facebook page. These are all donation-based classes.
Boulder-based physical therapist Nicole Haas, of PT Boulder, has always offered the option for video chat/phone consults since many of her patients are not local or travel frequently. Video chat sessions are 30 to 60 minutes long, depending on their needs. She can provide a full corrective exercise program to be emailed to you following the session. Phone consultations are scheduled in 15-minute increments up to a full hour.
Yoga instructor Gina Caputo is offering online yoga classes with the option to buy or rent, along with daily IGTV Live readings and a meditation each morning.
Alchemy of Movement
“We’re going to have a very similar schedule to what we had at the studio, but with a few changes here and there,” the studio says.
For now, everything is donation-based. You can contribute via PayPal and Venmo.
“All funds will keep Alchemy above water while our doors are closed and will support the teachers who rely on dance instruction as part of their regular income,” Alchemy writes.
Beyond Boulder Adventures
Beyond Boulder’s bike tours are now available with a self-guided option. Check out beyondboulderadventures.com.