Coronavirus: Calgary fitness studios stream free classes online

Many Albertans are focusing on fitness as they practice self-isolation and social distancing, and local businesses have found new ways to keep people moving.

“On Monday, we closed at 8 a.m.,” Barre Body Studio owner Marlo Brausse said. “Within a couple hours of closing, we found a way to livestream, we found a tripod, and by 2 p.m. that afternoon, we were in the studio practicing and testing how we could get that out to people.”

Barre Body is one of several studios streaming classes for free on social media.

Brausse hopes the classes help people feel a sense of connection with others even when they’re home alone.

“The community was craving consistency — a way to make some kind of normalcy in their lives with so much uncertainty around them,” Brausse added.

“So we took the leap, did the first class Monday night, and we had over 200 people watching and moving at the same time together.”

The number of participants has grown throughout the week.

Brausse says 300 people took part in Thursday night’s session. It’s been viewed more than 4,000 times on Facebook.

The studio is one of the thousands across Canada that will lean on government support to make it through this uncertain time and economic hardship.

“There’s really little to no revenue stream coming in,” Brausse said.

“We still have overhead costs – our lease payments, utilities. We cancelled all non-essentials.

“Unless we receive assistance from government funding or aid from banks and our landlords, then the future is really unknown. I think that’s the situation for a lot of people right now.”

But the staff has hope- and a new tool at their disposal for when things return to normal.

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