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In time of pandemic, staying fit means staying online

Josa Lukman
Josa Lukman

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, April 7, 2020  /  12:24 pm
In time of pandemic, staying fit means staying online

Stay lean: Fitness coach Jenn Mulianto is one of the many personal trainers running online classes for her clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jenn Mulianto/-)

The government’s pleas for the public to follow physical distancing measures to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak have forced those with active lifestyles to adapt by participating in online workout classes.

Private sector employee Ade Nurmalia Soetrisno goes to the gym regularly to stay fit. Located at Teraskota mall in South Tangerang, the gym is her usual after-work and weekend haunt, where she knows the regulars by name.

But with the gym temporarily closing in compliance with physical distancing rules, the mother of two has found herself regularly going online to take part in her favorite instructors’ online sessions.

“Since the gym closed, the instructors have held their own sessions online on Instagram Live and Zoom. They use the same routines, so I already know the moves and can keep up,” she told The Jakarta Post.

Like many of us, Ade is staying indoors to break the chain of Covid-19 infection, but that does not mean she wants to turn into a couch potato.

With stay-at-home orders being issued by governments around the world, many have begun working out in their living rooms as a way to stay healthy and even to just stave off boredom.

Some are rather ambitious, like the Frenchman who ran 42.2 kilometers despite never leaving his 7-meter-long balcony, or the virtual expedition team that plans to climb Mount Everest by using their stairs at home.

For others, a online gym session is enough.

Muay Thai coach and personal trainer Siska Antolis said that she had a home gym at her residence with adequate equipment, so she still finds a way to work out. However, this is not the situation for everyone, and the intensity of the workout will vary from person to person.

Good posture: Muay Thai coach and personal trainer Siska Antolis does a deadlift.Good posture: Muay Thai coach and personal trainer Siska Antolis does a deadlift. (Siska Antolis/-)

After Sisca closed her gym because of the pandemic, she now holds online classes for her Fit ‘n Flow Workout Studio members from home, where she has a home gym with the essential equipment.

“I’m interested in doing online workout sessions because I want to inspire and motivate those who love working out like myself, and not let the pandemic stop that love. I want to show them that there are no obstacles if you have that earnest wish,” she told the Post via text.

“Honestly, before the pandemic started, I was already interested in the idea of running online sessions. After all this is over, I think I’ll keep holding classes online, but maybe with a couple of partners as well.”

The reason for this is because she found that many people were realizing that working out and staying fit have become part of their daily routines. Just 30 minutes a day, she said, was enough.

Meanwhile, fitness coach Jenn Mulianto holds her classes on either Zoom or Instagram Live, with her fitness studio Ways To Fit offering two daily fitness classes.

“I wanted to ensure that the fitness community that we have built feels that we are there for them, and to make them feel that we are still one, communicating and socializing together as a tribe. As we always say in our community, there is no lockdown for community,” she said in an email.

“Moreover, I think holding online classes via social media allows Ways To Fit to spread endorphins through good training programs and professional coaching from certified coaches. We hope to attract more people to start working out and influence people to reset their lives and put in an active session at least once a day.”

However, online sessions are not without their pitfalls. Siska noted that she could not observe the participants’ techniques, and because of this she could not run more complex classes.

No excuses: Fitness enthusiasts participate in online workout classes from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.No excuses: Fitness enthusiasts participate in online workout classes from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jenn Mulianto/-)

Jenn made a similar observation, saying that coaches always wanted to alter incorrect movements, give tactile cues, or even give high-fives or fist-bumps to participants.

However, she said that the major benefit in going online was that they could tap into the market anytime, anywhere. If people couldn’t join a live session, she continued, the session would be saved on social media, so they could access it at a more convenient time. 

“I believe this pandemic has exposed us to a different level of coaching and training, while also allowing us to tap into a whole new demographic outside of where we are located, allowing us to influence more people. So yes, I will continue to run online classes both for personal training and group sessions.”

For those keen on staying fit at home, Siska recommends starting with jogging or running under the morning sun for the vitamin D.

“Running is good for the body, as every part of the body moves, and it is also good for the cardiovascular and respiratory system. It strengthens your legs, and trains your endurance,” she explained, adding that she also has some workout routines that do not require any gym equipment.

Jenn, meanwhile, just advised people to get up and start working out.

“Start moving, just start. Open up your social media, pick a live-training session, let the coaches pump you up, watch them, dance with them, move with them, just start,”

“During this time of crisis, we all need ways to relieve stress, and working out releases happy hormones called endorphins that reduce stress and make you feel good about yourself. “


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If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak