When the Governor declared businesses to close and individuals to shelter at home, one of the many questions asked was, “How are we going to be able to exercise?” With fitness on the brain, our Wellness Team jumped into action to adapt their programs and meet the residents’ needs to help them stay fit during the pandemic.
Staying active at home
The residents’ eagerness to keep moving despite the wellness center being closed was a positive notion in the eyes of the Wellness Team. “While it was unfortunate to close down Wellness,” said Comfort Richardson, Wellness Manager, “We were so pleased to see residents calling to borrow equipment.” The continued interest in staying fit gave the Wellness Team the opportunity to jump on the virtual bandwagon.
The Wellness Team began producing classes to post on Bishop Gadsden’s intranet site, BGLife. Our Wellness Team describes these classes as “a basic rendition of what the residents were used to.” To ensure residents remained safe in their homes, the team was careful not to present any new exercises or program classes that required much equipment, and the team designed all virtual classes seated to keep safety a priority.
Shifting into a new routine
As we slowly ease back into the routine of classes and activities, being cautious, adhering to social distancing, and being mindful of good hand hygiene and PPE, our Wellness team continues to be creative in how to keep the Community moving. “To ensure the social distancing rule of six feet between each person, we moved all fitness classes to Blackmer Hall,” said Comfort. Moving classes to Blackmer Hall gives residents the opportunity to spread out in small group classes and gives our Wellness Team the opportunity to utilize the space and reintroduce equipment into classes.
With the Wellness Center and classes starting back up, there are now a few new guidelines. The Wellness Center is limited to 15 people, and group classes are limited to 10 residents per class. Hours and class times are limited since the team always needs to have a monitor in place to ensure residents follow sanitizing procedures, and residents are scheduled by appointment only for both the Wellness Center and classes.
Each visitor to the Wellness Center or participant in a class must have their temperature taken upon arrival and sanitize their hands before entering. As for PPE, residents can take off their masks while exercising, but when transitioning from machine to machine, or waiting for the fitness class to begin, we ask residents to keep their masks on for the safety of all.
With all the changes, residents and the Wellness Team are still as positive as ever. According to Comfort, “Many residents who have never come to the Wellness Center are asking to take classes.” Many suggestions and ideas have come to light, and we are thrilled to see how they will come to life as the year goes on.