When Dallas County ordered fitness businesses to close, Jaqui Bliss and her business partner, Renee Reed, leapt into action to preserve their most important assets.
Bliss and Reed opened their Anytime Fitness franchise in the Bishop Arts District in 2007, when there wasn’t another gym in our neighborhood.
They knew they had to find ways to take care of their employees, their club and their clients. In a meeting the day after the shutdown, they decided they had to find ways to serve their clients as well as the greater community.
“What can we do for people while we’re closed so we can still serve them and keep people active and healthy?” Bliss says.
Now the franchise is offering free fitness classes and relaxation workshops for free every day on Facebook.
Their members have the choice of five online classes every day, and coaches call their clients to check in on their fitness and wellbeing.
But some of the content is free and available for anyone.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m., there’s a live yoga class. Tuesdays are reserved for education, so a fitness coach goes live at noon to talk about a book they recommend.
The focus is on nutrition every Wednesday. They choose a vegetable to highlight and present a video about ways to prepare it using things most people have in the pantry.
Thursdays are for mental-health awareness, and Reed leads a meditation session.
Fridays are social days, so they host a 7:30 coffee talk, a family friendly workout at 4 p.m., a community workout at 6 p.m., and a 7 p.m. happy hour.
On Saturdays there’s a 9:30 a.m. yoga class and a 10 a.m. community workout. On Sundays, they offer some kind of devotional.
The club hasn’t laid anyone off, although they stopped billing clients on April 1, and revenues are down 90%. They’re still selling nutrition plans, personal training and workout accountability, she says.
“We’re just hoping we get some relief soon,” Bliss says.
Coaches lead the workouts from their homes using cellphones and iPads using Facebook Live. They found Zoom to be too slow and glitchy.
Here are a few quarantine fitness tips from Bliss:
The easiest thing is to get out and walk if you can. At least it’s a change of scenery and you’re moving.
Follow us on Facebook because we post a bodyweight workout every day. It’s all scalable, so anyone can do them.
Get up and do something, even if it’s only five minutes. Instead of doing a long workout, you can break up your workouts into three or four workouts a day, and maybe they’re only 5 minutes each.
Drink plenty of water. There’s no excuse to be dehydrated.