GREAT FALLS — If your normal daily routine before the COVID-19 outbreak included trips to the gym, this is for you. If your normal daily routine before the outbreak didn’t include trips to the gym, this is still for you.
The statewide stay-at-home order from Governor Steve Bullock has disrupted the lives of just about everyone in the state of Montana, albeit for good reason. With gyms closed and many people working from home, less than 50 feet from their refrigerator, the amount of working out tends to go down, while the amount of “comfort food” consumed goes up.
“It sounds like people’s nutrition habits have been derailed the most,” said Tamara Podry, certified personal trainer and co-owner of Anchor Fitness in Great Falls. “A lot of my clients are saying ‘I’m still doing the workouts, but my eating is way out of whack.’ When you were going to work before and now you’re not, just being so close to the fridge, it’s really hard to regulate the timing of your nutrition, and I’ve been talking to our members a lot about that.”
While there are an infinite number of free workouts available online, Tamara explained that it’s not the same. Having someone to hold you accountable, check up on you, make sure you’re doing exercises correctly, and other things like that is invaluable. Without access to gyms and fitness centers, not only could your physical health decline, but your mental health could too.
“I worry a lot about people’s mental health and their mental wellbeing during this time, but it’s easy to get derailed off of our routines,” said Podry. “If you were exercising before, not everybody was, but if you were exercising regularly before, that was part of your daily routine, and so everybody’s routines have just kind of been obliterated and completely changed.”
Fortunately, there are options for people who feel that they need a little extra push to keep them active, or even just someone to talk to.
Anchor Fitness and other fitness centers and gyms around Montana have embraced online resources like Zoom and Facebook to continue to bring their clients updated workouts, health tips, and general live advice.
Anchor has 5:30 A.M., 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. online workouts Monday through Friday, and another on Saturday morning, all of which are available to their members. For people that either want to join a gym now, or were already part of Anchor Fitness, but night be facing financial losses due to coronavirus, the gym has options to let people remain involved.
“We’re doing a pay what you can type of system,” Podry explained. “We understand that many people have been impacted financially, and so we didn’t want our members to feel like ‘well I can’t afford the whole membership price, so I just can’t be part of this community anymore. It’s really important that they stay connected to people that they’ve been connected to, so we just said ‘we just want you to pay whatever feels right for you right now for your membership, so that’s one thing that we’ve been doing is letting people contact us and just say ‘I can’t afford the regular membership rate, but this is what I can afford right now.’”
Tamara told MTN that they wanted to do this so they could be available to people not just as a resource for staying active and healthy, but for people that want to be a part of something during this difficult time, and want to be held accountable for their personal health.
Starting Tuesday, Anchor Fitness will be hosting a community fitness challenge on their website and Facebook page. Anyone that is interested can sign up online and pay $5 to participate. That money will all go back into the community in the form of prizes, including gift cards to various local businesses. While the exact details are still yet to be ironed out (stay tuned to Anchor Fitness’ Facebook page for more information), Tamara said that all participants will complete a workout between two set dates, and post a picture of how long it took them to complete the workout, not for competitive purposes, just to prove that they did it, ] tag Anchor Fitness and use the hashtag “#strongertogethergreatfalls. They will then be entered to win an assortment of gift card prizes based on the total amount of money that the competition raises.