London street laces up for fitness amid pandemic
LONDON, ONT. -- Two Goodlife Fitness instructors are on a mission to motivate their neighbours to get moving, from the comfort of their diveways.
Every Sunday morning on Christie Street, neighbours meet for an outdoor fitness class, led by instructors Mo Hagan and Sarah Langford.
The group has been meeting since April on the street, remaining physically distanced from one another, and limiting numbers to 25 people.
“I delivered invites to the neighbours but once people heard us and saw us and caught the vibes so to speak, it caught on,” says Langford.
Hagan and Langford say the outdoor class was sparked after gyms closed at the height of the pandemic.
“We wanted to get people energized again…we teach that standard class of cardio fitness, body weights, standing strength work, and more,” says Hagan.
It doesn’t matter your fitness level or age, anyone is welcome to join the class.
“It is unbelievable. I never thought I would be doing aerobics again, I haven’t done it for many many years,” says 83 year-old Beverley, “I have been here since we started. I haven’t missed a class.”
The body-pump class incorporates all different genres of fitness, including yoga and boxing, while keeping everyone physically distanced outdoors.
“It’s been so nice to just have an excuse to get out of the house, see some friendly faces while also keeping fit during this weird unprecedented time,” says Erin and Matt Gowdy.
While the class has encouraged exercise during a pandemic, it has also blossomed friendships amongst neighbours.
“I’ve lived on this for over 25-years, and I knew a quarter of the neighbours by name. Now I know all of them by name, I know their kids, their dogs, it’s a community,” Hagan says.
The group on Christie Street plan on continuing their tradition throughout the winter months despite fitness facilities reopening.
“We’re hoping to inspire others to do this in other neighbourhoods so people enjoy what we’re enjoying, and we’d be happy to help,” Langford says.
Willingdon Avenue has also started a fitness class led by Langford, on Fridays at 9:00 a.m.