Unite Fitness, these other gyms offer COVID-safe workouts as the weather turns colder

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — If you’ve been playing it safe during the pandemic, avoiding the gym and taking your workout outdoors, you might be worrying about what to do as the weather turns colder.

So we rounded up some workouts to take you through the winter; some indoors, some outside and some a hybrid — but all with a strong focus on keeping you safe.

Unite Fitness
Unite at the Armory
23rd and Ranstead Streets, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103

Unite One-on-One Personal Training
26 S. 20th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103
267-534-3230

Unite Live & On-Demand Virtual Classes
Commit to a year and it’s $300 for unlimited live and on-demand virtual classes.

SPECIAL DEAL FOR FYI PHILLY VIEWERS
*Select Streaming Intro Trial and enter the code FYIPHILLY at checkout to receive complimentary 14 days full access to Unite Live and On-Demand, plus two Guest Live Class Reservations.

Amrita Yoga & Wellness
Offering Sculpture Courtyard & Barn Classes that are also live-streamed and available on-demand
1717 N. Hancock Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19122

JP Sneed Personal Fitness Studio
One-on-one & small group training in Sculpture Courtyard & Barn
1714 N. Mascher Street (entrance also on 1717 N. Hancock Street ), Philadelphia, Pa. 19122

The Training Station | 5 Part Pandemic Plan | Workout Reservations
533 Spring Garden Street, #D1, Philadelphia, Pa. 19123
215-964-9558

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Northwest Houston bars hope to weather COVID-19 restrictions that keep them closed

Bars across Texas reopened their doors following Gov. Greg Abbott’s Oct. 7 order allowing individual counties to determine if it’s safe.

However, Harris County is still not allowing bars that don’t serve food to reopen, including some in northwest Harris County. The county still has a high degree of community spread of the virus, county officials said.

“Indoor, maskless gatherings should not be taking place right now, and this applies to bars as well,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo tweeted in response to Abbott’s order.


While some bars have been able to reopen because they sell food, those without a kitchen or food truck are still left not knowing when they’ll be able to open again.

Franklin’s Tower, at 4307 Treaschwig Road in Spring, first closed in March for the initial shutdown, and was only open for a few weeks after being allowed to reopen in May.

“It’s absolutely terrible,” Franklin’s Tower owner Brandi Neal said. “We’re in the neighborhood where my venue has provided not only a lot of jobs, but also a community atmosphere around here.”

Neal said her bar was a community staple in Spring, offering local artists space to paint murals, live performances from area musicians every weekend and homemade goods from small business owners close by.

“Basically, I’m just trying to hold on,” Neal said. “I really thought we’d be able to stay open.”

Neal said she is working on acquiring a food truck for her bar so they can reopen. She said she wanted to be back open months ago but at this point isn’t sure when that will be possible.

She has applied for business loans to try to keep the bar afloat but said everything she applied for has either been denied or pending. Many of her employees are still waiting for the bar to reopen to start working again.

“Luckily, our customers have been really good for them, and they’ve been cleaning houses or mowing lawns or running errands for them,” Neal said. “Some have gotten a little part-time work with bars in other counties, but they’re all waiting for us to be open.”

Meanwhile, Ultra Bar, 744 Cypress Creek Parkway, was planning to debut in March before the pandemic hit, setting back their opening indefinitely.

“We were devastated,” Ultra Bar Co-Owner Jamie Woo-Hughley said. “We don’t know what the future is for the bar industry.”

Woo-Hughley said they had done a total reconstruction for their building, but didn’t add a kitchen — so now they’re unable to open their bar. Now, she said, they plan to add a food truck outside in hopes they will be able to open.

“That’s really the only thing we have to try and recover other than just acting as a venue,” she said. “Even with that, you don’t know how many people can come in.”

With indoor bars, Harris County epidemiologist Maria Rivera said it’s harder to stop the spread of viruses

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DC gyms and fitness studios adapt, hope for mild weather or close for good as winter nears

D.C. gyms and fitness studios have been faced with a daunting realization: winter is coming. See how they are making changes, building workout pods, opening new facilities and also closing for good due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Students joined Betsy Poos of Realignment Studio on Capitol Hill for one of the last yoga classes before the studio closes at the end of October. (WTOP/Dan Friedell)

WTOP/Dan Friedell

Marcus Lowe leads a class at Cut Seven’s new location off 14th Street NW. (WTOP/Dan Friedell)

WTOP/Dan Friedell

Election Studio, on H Street NE., has built individual workout pods hoping that students will come back to spinning classes this winter. (WTOP/Dan Friedell)

Courtesy Candice Geller

Reggie Smith, the co-owner of BOOMBOX, has been leading classes on the roof of Union Market during the pandemic. (WTOP/Dan Friedell)

Courtesy Reggie Smith

Chris and Alex Perrin, who own Cut Seven, leased and renovated a new space so they could run a hybrid indoor/outdoor class out of an old auto garage. (WTOP/Dan Friedell)

WTOP/Dan Friedell

Betsy Poos will continue leading online classes during the winter, as will her studio’s teachers, even though Realignment Studio will close at the end of October. (WTOP/Dan Friedell)

WTOP/Dan Friedell

David Guisao leads a BOOMBOX class on the roof of Union Market. Reggie Smith said he hopes people are willing to come back and exercise indoors when it gets cold outside. (WTOP/Dan Friedell)

Courtesy Reggie Smith

When the coronavirus pandemic swept across North America in March, it closed schools, businesses, restaurants and fitness centers, forcing many people to work from home and limit their mixing in society.

There was one silver lining: the weather, while brisk and blustery some of the time, was generally good, and getting better. It made exercising outside tolerable, and even appealing most days.

While many people continued their fitness programs over the last seven months with Zoom classes or dripping sweat on a treadmill or Peloton bike indoors, many moved outside.

Lured by good weather in the spring and fall, some people even survived the sultriest days by working out early in the morning or late in the evening.

But now, winter is coming.

What will fitness studios and gyms, many of which have moved workouts outside, do at the end of October as days get shorter and frigid mornings make it harder for clients to peel back the blankets and get out of bed?

For the owners of four D.C. independent fitness studios, there are four distinct choices: invest in a new studio that supports a hybrid indoor/outdoor workout; encourage athletes to come back indoors while working out in masks and maintaining their distance; build individual workout “pods” separated by a frame and plastic sheeting; or, sadly, decide to shut down for good.

For Chris and Alex Perrin, the husband and wife team who own Cut Seven, a facility that offers an intense, boot-camp style workout in Logan Circle, the pandemic put on hold expansion plans, moved classes outside onto a D.C. school’s soccer field, and

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