Vienna fitness studio owner offers advice for outdoor exercise

Many fitness classes that normally would have been held inside gyms were transformed into outdoor classes due to coronavirus-related restrictions on group activities indoors.

Even though the weather has turned colder, those classes have continued without many issues.

“You get moving and you forget about how cold it is,” said Joann Meginley, owner of Grass Roots Fitness in Vienna, Virginia.

Meginley’s outdoor classes have been going off without a hitch, at least until a winter storm hit the D.C. region on Wednesday.

“We show up as long as it’s not raining, snowing or ice,” she said.

Now her classes that would normally be held outside are temporarily being held virtually with her members following along online in the comfort of their own homes.

However, they will be back outside soon as the ice and snow melt away.

“If you wear the right clothes you can work out in really cold weather,” Meginley said. “It works well if you know how to dress.”

Fitness places and yoga studios across the U.S. have been offering online classes, some free of charge, or extending trial periods for at-home workouts, since the pandemic started.



According to Meginley, people who exercise outside during the winter should wear a hat and layers that can removed if they get too hot. Meginley said she prefers mittens rather than gloves because fingers generate more heat when they are not separated from each other by fabric.

For those who don’t want to be outside in the cold — or around other people during the pandemic — Meginley said virtual classes or using workout videos at home are still beneficial.

“It’s important, especially right now for our physical and mental health, to find a program that works,” she said.

Some people have been creative, grabbing bleach bottles as makeshift weights, or taking cues from YouTube challenges showing how to do crunches with furniture or turn a kitchen floor into a treadmill by soaping up the tiling.

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