As many workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic find themselves working long, hard days, one local workout company is stepping up to help them find healthy forms of stress relief.
GYMGUYZ has started offering virtual personal training, 30-day workout plans and virtual fitness assessments for free for those working on the frontlines of the pandemic in James City County, York County and Williamsburg. This includes workers in health care, grocery stores, police and firefighters and others.
At less than a year old in the area, GYMGUYZ opened as a mobile gym franchise that traveled to clients for workouts. But now that the coronavirus has limited contact with clients, owner Kristen Doherty said there are new fitness opportunities that can help people during this time.
“So we came to the decision just because we want to give back to people who are helping us,” Doherty said. “We’ve seen what other people are doing in the community so we wanted to help.”
Kristen said providing free fitness support to frontline workers seemed like a great way to spread healthy and important options during a time when many people are overworked and over stressed.
Matthew Doherty, Kristen’s husband, is a local radiologist who has started to take advantage of these benefits. As a regular gym member, Matthew said he found himself having a difficult time adjusting when the gyms were closed, especially as the stress of medical work continued to pile on.
“From a doctor’s perspective, or anyone in health care right now, it’s a stressful time,” he said. “In addition to the increase of patients with [coronavirus], we’re still seeing the patients who have other conditions. And we’re worried about getting sick or causing our families to get sick. It’s just a lot right now.”
Matthew said the benefits of exercise for stress relief and overall health can help people cope with the new everyday struggles. He said from his own experience, regular exercise has made him more energetic at work and feel stronger throughout any long days.
But for many people, especially health care workers, finding time to exercise during a pandemic can be difficult. That’s why the four trainers at GYMGUYZ are working odd hours and providing flexible schedules for clients.
Kristen said having the service available allows people a certain level of accountability which also encourages them to actually participate in the virtual workout sessions.
“I do my workouts at 6 a.m. and do I want to get out of bed that early? No,” Matthew said. “Sometimes I hate it, but when it’s over I feel amazing. For those longer shift workers though, I completely understand why they wouldn’t want to do it on a day they’re working that shift, so [the trainers] want to do it when it’s convenient for the client.”
Even though the workouts are through virtual means, Kristen said trainers can still work with clients just as well through video. This allows them to see if a person needs help or needs to slow down, as opposed to doing just a regular pre-recorded workout video.
She said providing the 30-day fitness plan also allows frontline workers to have a sense of stability during an uncertain time.
“We just talk about how this is a priority for them as well and so they need to look at it that way,” she said. “It’s up to them but there’s just so many benefits to staying active.”
For more information, call the GYMGUYZ Williamsburg location at 757-707-8276.