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MANSFIELD — With the coronavirus affecting and interrupting many lives, people must think of more ways to stay active and healthy during this pandemic. 

On Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine made the order to close all gyms and fitness centers in Ohio for an indefinite period of time. 

The decision has left avid gym members scrambling to find a way to keep up with their workout routines. 

Strive to Thrive contestant Eddie Gallo was on his way inside the OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center when he saw a sign on the door stating they were closing.

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Strive to Thrive contestants Rachel Barr (front) and Tia Angelo (back) participate in a yoga instructed class at OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness.

“It wasn’t a complete shock. Obviously there were a lot of concerns for everybody right now, so we have to do our due diligence,” Gallo said, regarding DeWine’s order. 

While Gallo has not lost a substantial amount of weight as the other contestants, he’s seen a change in himself and physically and currently stands in third place for losing 5.25% body fat. 

Since joining the competition, the Ontario councilman reached a point where he looks forward to going to the gym. With the gyms closed, however, he said that he wants to remain disciplined and start thinking about life after the competition ends.  

“At some point we’ve got to be able to go off on our own—all of the contestants—and continue the gains we’ve made through our own self-discipline. So it (the gym closing) may be just a challenge before we were expecting it,” Gallo said. 

Although the local gyms such as the Shelby YMCA, OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center and the Planet Fitness in Ontario have closed, they haven’t left their members without a solution to their issues. 

The Shelby YMCA has put monthly membership dues on hold for the rest of the month and annual membership dues will be extended, according to a press release they sent out on Monday. They encourage those who are able to donate dues in order to “help them meet the needs of the community in creative ways.”

Planet Fitness has now offered online at-home workouts streamed live on their Facebook page at 7 p.m. ET each day.

OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center will also be streaming at-home workouts starting this week on Richland Source. See the first one below!

Carol Mabry, exercise physiologist at OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center, said it’s important for people to keep up their physical strength and health to ward off diseases or even the common cold. 

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OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center will be streaming at-home workouts starting this week. 

“We also want more of that psychological benefit that exercise can provide,” Mabry said in terms of “getting the mind away from worrying about the coronavirus, work situations or other things that may be weighing heavy on people’s minds.” 

Here’s a top five list of things to do to remain active while under quarantine, according to Mabry:

Get outside if you can 

Although it’s important at this time to practice social distancing, don’t be afraid to get outside from time to time and take a walk around the yard or even the neighborhood. Elevate your heart rate for 10 minutes at a time or longer if you can.  

Dust off that old exercise equipment

It couldn’t be a better time to go down to the basement or your storage unit and bring out that exercise equipment you haven’t touched in years. And if you don’t have any equipment around, get creative and look around for things you can use as replacement weights, or a chair at the kitchen table to do your lunges. 

Seek out online workout videos or television programs

There are so many resources available online such as the ones listed above, YouTube videos and television programs that allow you to follow along. Research and find the exercises/workouts that suit you or ones that may challenge you. 

Stretch! 

Stretching can be one of the most overlooked or forgotten acts of fitness, according to Mabry. During these times where there’s high levels of stress, it’s important to incorporate stretching exercises into your workouts. Deep breathing not only helps with physical efforts, but also mental efforts as well. 

Play with your kids and/or animals 

For the parents out there, making sure the kids and animals are active can lead to you getting active as well. Take them outside in the yard, run around with them or find active games around the house to play. Don’t be afraid to make a mess! You’ll get even more exercise while cleaning it up afterward.

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Thrive Reporter

Tierra Thomas is the Thrive Reporter. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. When she's not writing news, she's writing fiction or taking photos.