Fitness in a time of social distancing. Now more than ever, the world is looking for ways to (safely) connect and maintain overall health and well-being. Trent Durham GTA student, Sherry Perez is doing her part to connect community through online fitness.
A fourth year student in the School of Business at Trent Durham, Ms. Perez is also the manager of program development and group fitness, supporting all nine (soon to be 12) YMCA Health & Fitness locations across the Greater Toronto Area.
Through her role with the YMCA GTA, she is helping the organization take its wide range of fitness classes online through Facebook Live with free access for the community.
“I was definitely excited to have such a big audience. But what surprised me most was my own reaction. After I taught the first class, I realized how much I needed it,” Ms. Perez recalls after teaching her first online class. “It totally lit up my heart and was so refreshing after spending the few days beforehand on the phone for work meetings.”
After receiving such a positive response from the community the YMCA decided to provide even more online resources. In addition to the fitness classes, their early childhood educators are doing live streams of story-time and singalongs, in addition to other activities for families.
“We knew people needed the benefits of those classes now more than ever. There’s so much stressful news we’re hearing all day, every day, so we could all use a little physical activity to help relieve that stress, and release a nice rush of endorphins to help us stay positive,” explains Ms. Perez. “The best part, in my mind, is that we’re streaming these classes live, so people taking the classes can chat with me and with each other in real time.”
Ms. Perez and the team at the YMCA are doing their part to continue to serve and support the physical, mental and social needs of the community, while also creating a sense of community, particularly for those who may be feeling isolated at home.
“We all need to do our part and keep our physical distance,” Ms. Perez says. “The only way we’re going to get through this is together, and I think moving, sweating, and connecting with one another — even digitally — is one way we can stay strong as a community.”