Although they live hours apart, Meg Miles and her mom Noelle both start their day the exact same way – by going to the gym.
So when Miles, who lives in Crown Heights, tried to convince her mom to stay home to avoid exposure to COVID-19, Noelle was desperate for an alternative.
Miles devised a plan to make the transition easier on her mom. She created a Google spreadsheet that lists online resources and links for doing workouts and yoga sessions at home. That way, she thought, her mom could stay healthy and active without putting herself in danger.
“I hope this gave her some comfort, if nothing else,” Miles said. “It was a good way for me to show her that I cared.”
At first, it was a tough sell. Gyms in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where her mother is located, remained open over the past several days, and it hadn’t yet set in that locals could be passing along the virus without knowing it.
Miles’ community in Brooklyn had already been hit hard by the virus, with government officials racing to keep up with ever-increasing rates of infection. She knew that it was only a matter of time before the illness would become widespread in her mom’s neighborhood, too.
Miles shared her spreadsheet with colleagues, friends and a local Facebook group, hoping it would encourage others to opt for online workouts as a safer alternative to going to the gym. She asked everyone to add links of their own in order to build a community around doing workouts at home.
The interactive document now has a few dozen entries with a diverse mix of workout genres including Pilates, dance, kickboxing and yoga. It also includes information about whether a particular online resource is free or requires a subscription.
Meanwhile, local yoga and workout instructors are making use of the spreadsheet in order to advertise upcoming livestreams they’ll be hosting. Without a way to make a standard income, fitness trainers are increasingly relying on online lessons and donation-based streaming services in order to make ends meet. Miles said she hopes her resource will encourage people to financially support the workout and yoga instructors they would typically visit in-person by participating in online events.
The document is also meant to serve as a lighthearted break from the constant bombardment of dire news coverage from the past week. Miles incorporated cheesy puns like “Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin’ inside, stayin’ inside” to help people feel a little better about being stuck at home.
“Everything is very, very heavy right now,” she said. “I have always used humor to sort of see light in the dark.”
As for Miles, the crowd-sourced spreadsheet has helped her as much as anyone else. She said the new set of resources, “will help me fall asleep a little bit easier at night and, even though we are working remotely, keep my routine fairly similar and burn off a little emotional steam.”
You can contribute to Miles’ spreadsheet or view the workout routines that have already been added here.