Zensdays go virtual, as home workout options continue to expand



Living rooms, bedrooms and, even, backyards remain popular fitness locations for some people for a variety of reasons from health concerns to convenience.

So, while many have returned to gyms or fitness studios, there are still loads of classes that can be taken from home. Virtual options can be especially convenient for parents whose children are learning remotely.



Dayton International Peace Museum

Zensdays are back at the Dayton International Peace Museum — now, virtually. Peaceful, virtual yoga can provide an ideal midweek break and can be practiced almost anywhere.

“We have brought back yoga virtually, as so many people missed it and requested we at least return to virtual classes for now,” said Kevin Kelly, International Peace Museum executive director. “We have been trying online yoga for a month and Kaye Edwards has really adapted well to her virtual audience.”

The museum started with an invitation-only class for longtime members to work out the technical side and opened it up to the public this week through Eventbrite and Facebook. Students are asked to make a donation and will then be sent a Zoom invitation to join the class.

“Our museum, like most museums and arts organizations, has suffered from being closed to the public for six months,” Kelly said. “Although we are coming off our busiest month ever — with the release of a book on gun violence, an NPR podcast, The Big Read, and helping to create a six-part virtual summer camp with ThinkTV — donations have leveled off considerably.”

The classes are held on Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m. Edwards encourages her virtual Zoom audience to give her feedback from home, just as they would in person. The virtual classes have been well received.

“People have remarked it feels good to have back something that they look forward to and something good for the mind and body,” Kelly said. “Isolation is one of the biggest negative side effects of the pandemic for many people and this helps that a bit.”

For more information, visit daytonpeacemuseum.org/.

Five Rivers MetroParks

The Five Rivers MetroParks Fitness in the Park Series usually has RiverScape MetroPark hopping, but the popular classes are currently being held virtually.

“Overall, I’d say they were successful,” said Rachel Baney, RiverScape program coordinator. “Participant numbers didn’t seem to stray too, too far from what we usually saw in person, and I think we had the chance to engage people who hadn’t done them before. Hopefully those people will come to the park next summer.”

There is still time to check out a few Fitness in the Park classes with a heart-pumping Virtual Cardio Dance in the Park on Saturday at 10 a.m. and a challenging Boot Camp in the Park class on Tuesday at 5:45 p.m.

“We’ve had some really good comments about how people really needed that workout and appreciated the community,” Baney said.

For more information on MetroParks programs, visit www.metroparks.org/.

My Pilates Studio

Flexibility is the name of the game from both a fitness and business standpoint.

A mainstay in the Dayton area for more than 15 years, My Pilates Studio has evolved with the many changes that the pandemic has caused with a wide range of in-person and virtual offerings.

“My goal is to allow people to come in and feel safe and also have options for those people who aren’t ready to come back,” owner and instructor Kathy Anderson said. “I don’t want anyone to feel like I don’t care.”

While some students have returned to the studio, many have not — preferring to take online classes. Anderson even had a few teachers who chose not to return when the studio reopened in late May.

“I think there will always be a degree of discomfort for some people,” Anderson said.

The studio has significantly reduced its class sizes — many with just four or five students — and also offers private options. Anderson knows there is no one-size-fits-all option so she is working to provide as many opportunities as possible.

“Everyone has to be mindful of what’s going on and do our part to take care of our neighbors.”

For more information, visit mypilatesstudiodayton.com.

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