LONDON, ONT. -- Neighbours, friends and fitness enthusiasts have been gathering every Sunday morning since the beginning of the pandemic to spend time sweating together in a socially distanced way. 

When gyms closed down in March, GoodLife Fitness group instructors Maureen (Mo) Hagan and Sarah Langford decided to take their skills to the streets to lead a fitness class outside Mo’s house on a quiet residential street. 

The two contacted neighbours and held their first class with a group of residents. The classes happened every Sunday morning and quickly grew as word got out.

For many it became a favourite part of their lockdown routine, and for all it was a great way to see other people, get to know their neighbours and get a good workout in. 

In the subsequent weeks the class grew. And even though gyms have reopened, the group has kept up with their weekly routine.

“It’s a diverse group – everyone from younger people to seniors, men and women of all different fitness levels,” explained Nikki Dionysakopoulos, who comes to the class every week.

Nikki says her fitness experience suffered during the pandemic lockdown. Virtual classes just aren’t the same as the live ones.

“We will definitely continue doing the outdoor class until it’s too cold or too snowy.”  

Dan Dawson joined the class early on. At age 71, Dan is retired and has been active most of his life. He has built the weekly class into his schedule and enjoys the chance to workout with a diverse group of people.

“Since the pandemic started, things have been a bit too quiet, especially because I’m retired. At the beginning this was something regular and positive to do. Now that gyms are open, we’re still at it. I’m sure we’ll keep going through the winter. Weather doesn’t stop this group.” 

The group plans to meet outdoors for the fitness class every Sunday at 11 a.m. on Christie Street. Organizers encourage everyone, even those who don’t live in the area, to join them for the 45 minutes of fun and exercise.