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How To Run An Outdoor Fitness Class During COVID

Gyms/PTs
Yoga studios
How To Run An Outdoor Fitness Class During COVID

The world had to think outside the box – and the gym – to keep fit during the pandemic. When gyms were closed, spare rooms became pilates studios, lounge rooms became HIIT spaces and garages became Body Attack floors. We’ve seen it all. But with the world as we know it gradually coming back to normal, one thing’s for sure – outdoor workouts are here to stay.


Statistics show that during COVID-19 lockdowns, 95% of people used public space either to be outside in the sun and fresh air and see nature, or to exercise. 


Even on its own, fresh air has outstanding health benefits. Shaking up your surroundings and going outdoors has been shown to boost energy levels by 90%.


In the post-pandemic world, personal trainers and gym junkies have continued to favour outdoor fitness classes because they feel safer than being cooped up. There’s no recycled air. Social distancing is a doddle. And the breeze blows more than just your cobwebs away. 


It’s time to invigorate your workout environment and feel the health benefits for all. Here are our top tips to create the ultimate outdoor exercise program.

Pick a good spot 


COVID-19 restrictions put the spotlight on public space. The pandemic made 45% of people from Sydney spend more time outside, mostly to exercise, with 90% using streets or parks in their local area.


Capitalise on this new trend by picking the leafiest, greenest park and setting up your class here.


Hot Tip: Make sure the area you pick is close to public bathrooms and also has plenty of parking, so your clients have the most convenient workout experience possible. 


Know your niche

In the great outdoors, the possibilities are endless. 

  • Will you be offering one-on-one personal training sessions on the nature strip, or boot camp sessions on the sports field?
  • Have you found the perfect park pergola for pilates? Or dreamed up some cardio circuits to bring the heat to your local lake? It might be HIIT by the beach; think about what’s relevant in your local area.
  • Will you offer one-off sessions, or challenge-style courses? Will these classes come as part of an existing membership, or as an add on?


Whatever your recipe for success is, make sure the offering is clear to your clients. 


Hot tip: Remember, some fitness regimes don’t lend themselves to outdoor exercise. In a world where safety is key, we’d advise against using equipment, especially of the DIY variety. The kids’ playground monkey bars aren’t designed for adult pull ups! 


Ensure you have a COVID-safe plan


Just because no walls contain what you’re doing doesn’t mean rules are out the window. It’s crucial you keep up to date with the government approved plans. Do your members have to wear masks while working out? How far do you have to socially distance your yoga mats? 


If you’re in Australia, you can find a good summary of current restrictions for fitness owners on the Physical Activity Australia website


Hot Tip: Bear in mind, COVID restrictions change all the time. Even if you’ve checked, check again. Be the ambassador for good practice – your clients will thank you for it.


Make sure you have a bad weather plan


There’s been so much talk of uncertain times in the last year. But here’s something that is an absolute definite: You can’t always rely on the weather! Make sure you have a plan B for when dark clouds gather. 


There are a few things you need to ask yourself:

  • Is your workout program particularly appropriate to a certain season?
  • Is there a covered area you can move your class to in the event of a downpour? 
  • Will you offer refunds if it’s blowing a gale or unfeasibly hot?


Hot Tip: Bring some kind of gazebo cover or canopy that you can offer shelter any time Mother Nature decides to get a bit feisty. This strategy also has a great bi-product: it makes it easier for your clients to find you in the park! Especially if it’s emblazoned with your brand.


Outdoor classes can bring back excitement for people who have been forced indoors months on end; its a great time to include these options in your business where you can and maybe just a few times of the year (snow yoga - maybe not so fun?). 


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