ADRIAN — One challenge when people are told to stay home is staying physically active, especially for those used to exercising away from home.

Local fitness clubs are working to make sure that the residents of Lenawee County stay as active and connected as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic and the stay-home orders of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Rather than in-person classes and training sessions, two fitness centers in Adrian, the Christian Family Centre and Mission Fitness, have found ways to stay in touch with their members.

“We do want to serve our community, and we want to have a healthier community, and we want to make sure we do our part in the community to promote wellness and to promote stronger families,” Mike Orta, sales and service director for The Centre, said.

The Centre, in addition to providing services to members, has been also been sharing various exercise and daily workout videos via its social media channels from its partnerships with Silver&Fit and SilverShoes. Also available on The Centre's social media channels are a couple of “live trivia-style game shows.”

“Really, our mission was hoping to provide an opportunity to engage in something other than just something on TV and to be able to engage as a family as well,” Orta said. “Our very first game show night, I know that there was a family that was on there that had their sons playing, and the sons were having a good time as well, so it's just something that we were able to do that created a little bit of family time that's a little bit different than just watching a movie or something like that.”

During the pandemic, The Centre has also invited anyone in Lenawee County to email its staff for a personalized workout plan, even people who are not a member.

“Anybody in the community is welcome to send an email to (wellness@thecentre.info),” Orta said, “and what will happen is either our wellness director or one of our personal trainers will respond to that email and inquire a little bit on what your fitness levels are, and, based on your responses, we will send certain exercises that we might recommend.”

At Mission Fitness, CEO Eric Driver and his staff were able to respond quickly for their members when the initial shutdown occurred, including ramping up online training programs that they had offered from time to time.

“We knew that we were going to find a way to continue to give fitness to (members),” Driver said, “… We wanted to do what we could, as soon as we could, to give our members access to training. There's so many of them that rely on us for their fitness, and we didn't want them to just stop doing anything.”

Driver and his staff began putting out livestreamed workouts via Facebook Live on their members-only page within days of the shutdown and have been able to stay in contact with members through various workouts and activities with streaming through Facebook Live and the Zoom app.

“Our numbers have been outstanding,” Driver said. “We have people who were partially inconsistent at times be active with the workouts, it's been really, really good.”

For members of Mission who were signed up for its small-group training, Mission not only loaned out most of its equipment to those members who needed it but also developed workout programs for those members so they could continue with their fitness programs while at home.

In the past week, Mission has begun to expand its online classes for its members by using the Mindbody app that it used for its scheduling prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. It allows members to sign up for various classes that are streamed by Mission's personal trainers using Zoom.

“We wanted to make sure that members that are getting private training could continue getting the coaching that they need, but more or less it's the accountability,” Driver said. “It's not just putting stuff on the internet and hoping our members watch it. It's that we're calling and checking in on our members weekly to see that they're being held accountable, being pushed with their fitness and staying with their programs.”

When the coronavirus pandemic struck Michigan and forced the statewide shutdown, The Centre had to furlough all of its personal training staff, but has brought them back on as of May 4 and are discussing ways to get them involved.

“We are hoping that moving forward that we can take advantage of the opportunity to be able to create more content, more daily classes and different things like that,” Orta said. “It hasn't been fully decided yet and how we're going to go about doing that. It's difficult to produce a quality video and still have people work from home and making sure that everybody have the equipment and things like that, so now that everybody has been brought on staff at this point, we're evaluating what the needs would be for us to facilitate various exercise classes online.”