Marla K. Kuhlman

| This week group

Resources are available for residents of central Ohio who may have gained unwanted weight during the pandemic – or what some refer to as COVID-19 pounds.

The YMCA in Central Ohio and several local parks and recreation departments offer virtual fitness programs as companies try to keep up with demand for exercise equipment.

Kisha Swift, YMCA director of marketing and communications, said one workout of the day was available to everyone for free Virtual YMCA online at

The Y WODs (workouts of the day) will lead a participant’s home fitness journey created by Y health and wellness professionals as per the website.

“We helped our members by providing virtual workouts, but didn’t use their feedback to see what really helped them lose weight,” said Swift. “One area we are focusing on now is providing virtual resources to our older adult populations to support their mental and physical health.”

She said there are some virtual offerings available that are free for a limited time, each focusing on a different audience and different levels of access.

“Our virtual YMCA is a new space for us and something we’re still developing,” said Swift.

More virtual program options will be offered in February and March, she said.

According to Swift, online workouts are recorded and help people stay physically active, boost immune systems, and improve mental health.

As the director of health and wellness, she said, the Y realizes that everyone has a different level of comfort when leaving the house during the pandemic and wants its members and the communities to know that the Y is still there for them is.

Central Ohio’s YMCA, a nonprofit community empowerment organization, is focused on developing the potential of children, improving individual health and wellbeing, returning and supporting neighbors.

The facilities are located in Canal Winchester, Columbus, Delaware, Gahanna, Grove City, Hilliard, Columbus Hilltop, Powell, Reynoldsburg and Whitehall.

Virtual evolution

Mike Phillips, Superintendent of Leisure and Operations at Westerville Parks & Recreation, said people should look online for Westerville’s Virtual Rec Center

“We’re expanding it,” he said. “We videotaped a number of fitness classes. We’ll be introducing a virtual package that you can access through our website for access to a range and variety of virtual experiences, from culinary to some craft courses. “

He said the virtual recreation center is here to stay.

“It’s not just because of COVID,” he said. “Because of COVID, it’s a quick run for us. Many people have busy lives and we want to reach them wherever they are. This virtual side of things allows us to have access to them in their homes in order to continue receiving high quality programs and courses that we will be offering. “

Brett Rybak, Public Relations Specialist for Westerville Parks & Recreation, said several virtual fitness programs are available for dance, along with strength, yoga, fitness and tone for seniors and low impact country gymnastics.

He said more would be added in the coming months and that some free programs would be available to everyone, but some only to those with a Westerville Community Center Pass.

“We’ve learned so much more (since spring) to really expand our foundation,” said Phillips. “We need to reach the people in their homes now. Once COVID is over, we will have so many offers that people can come and take the COVID-19 off and socialize and re-acclimatize. “

CrossFit champion classes

Trainer Shellie Edington of Edington Family Fitness is a 2016 CrossFit Games Master offering online classes for all ages in parks and recreational departments in central Ohio in Gahanna, Powell, Reynoldsburg and Upper Arlington. She also works with Westerville and has a program for children only.

She said the classes are for all fitness levels and include warm up exercises, strength development, workouts, and cooldowns.

“We mainly focus on body weight movements, so little to no equipment is required,” Edington said. “We recommend a weighted backpack, but if you have dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell, these can be used.”

The fitness with Shellie courses for adults include a workout on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. She said the courses are live from 6 am to 6:45 am and then she shares a zoom link with everyone who has enrolled. The links are valid for five days.

“As we step into 2021, it will be a wonderful time to reset, refocus and take control of the controllable in our lives,” said Edington. “Take time for yourself (and) take an hour a day to exercise, organize your thoughts, and just be in the process of improving your mood and metabolism.”

She recommends planning a menu for the week and including healthy vitamins and rich foods to help boost the immune system and strengthen the body. Edington also suggests getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

“All of these disciplines are controllable, and we won’t always be 100% involved, but these steps will be a great start to your health journey,” said Edington.

You can find more information about their Gahanna courses, costs and registration online at

Carrin Wester, communications manager at Gahanna, said courses are discounted for residents of Gahanna, but anyone can enroll. The class size is limited, so it is recommended that you register early.

Find classes by going to and clicking Join Now Button. Then click on “Strength & Stretching” under “Fitness + Health & Wellness” or scroll down to “Fit Kids” under “Tumblin4Kids”.

To register for Reynoldsburg courses, go to

To register for Westerville’s “PE Class with Coach Shellie” go to

The courses from Upper Arlington are online at

Home gyms

Chris Shaw, regional manager of G&G fitness equipment, 2656 Sawmill Place Blvd., Columbus, said the demand for home fitness equipment has grown tremendously.

“People wait up to two months,” he said. “Manufacturers can’t get it to us fast enough.”

He said the demand is for almost all types of equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, home gyms, and rowing machines, with plates and free weights being the most popular.

“When it all happened in March, the most important thing to us was when the gyms closed on March 23,” Shaw said. “It went from day to night very quickly. Our business has absolutely exploded. We are making enormous progress in every segment of our company. “

Dominic Sanzo, owner of Play it one more sport, 718 N. State St. in Westerville, said its business had also grown tremendously.

“As of May 12th, when we were allowed to reopen, our new fitness sales were up 226%,” he said. “Our used fitness has increased by 14% because nobody is selling us their fitness equipment.”

Sanzo said dumbbells and weight plates were hard for him to come by because the manufacturers were also sold out.

“We’ve definitely had a pretty good summer,” said Sanzo. “We are still behind because we missed two of our busiest months. We were closed for 60 days. “

He said he was definitely pleasantly surprised by the business boom.

“Until September, I thought people were going to sell their things back to us and it just didn’t happen,” Sanzo said.

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