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How Sacramento gyms are adapting during social distancing | Coronavirus in Context

Maintaining a fitness routine can be especially challenging right now but trainers are finding new ways to use video and social media to stay connected.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Maintaining a fitness routine can be especially challenging right now but trainers in Sacramento are finding new ways to keep people healthy and engaged with their community.

"This is like peoples' sanity," Christina Sanghera told ABC10. 

Sanghera has been a co-owner of Inspired Wellness in Curtis Park for 13 years but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced her to close her gym doors for the very first time. 

"This is being able to get away and take care of yourself when your kids are screaming at home," Sanghera said. "This is getting off of work and being able to work off your stress and all of a sudden that's ripped from you. That's a big deal."

Sanghera is just one of many members of the fitness community who have pivoted to digital as clients are relegated to at-home workouts in the age of social distancing.

"We've just been moving everything towards online," said Chris Lene of East Sac Fitness. "I'm doing daily videos, I started a YouTube channel, I'm doing everything from Zoom to live workouts to writing custom workouts."

With the uncertainty of when they'll be able to open their gyms again, trainers are bringing the gym to you through a phone or laptop. Some boutique gyms in the Sacramento area are even offering equipment rentals for their members to use at home. Lene, who has been in business since 2001, said he has loaned out upwards of $60,000 worth of equipment.

Bryan Washington of All City Riders, an indoor cycling studio in downtown Sacramento, said his bike rentals have been so popular there's a 40-person waitlist. 

Washington, who also owns The Academy Training and Performance Center in Sacramento, has been offering youth P.E. classes and adult workouts on Instagram Live as a way to encourage people of all ages to remain active in quarantine. He's received an overwhelmingly positive response from people who have been searching for some motivation to get moving.

"This gives us the opportunity to still push people and give them that same feel again like they are in the studio but at home. My goal is to bring you that exact same energy at your home that we bring inside the studio," Washington said.  "The response has been that people are happy that we didn't forget about them. Giving them that sense of community. One of the slogans we use is 'powered by the people' and we really believe that our company is powered by the people, this city's powered by the people."

When living in isolation, feeling a sense of community can be vital to one's mental health. Whether it's through InstagramLive or Zoom, connecting with others within the community has proven to be just as important as the workout itself for these Sacramento business owners.

"I think that when you build something that's more than just that workout this is what happens," Sanghera said. "People stay connected and they're determined to stay connected."

Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can e-mail Lina at LWashington@abc10.com. 



According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine; however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.


Some people have compared the low overall death toll to the flu's high annual death toll in the United States as a reason not to be concerned about COVID-19, however, doctors and health officials are concerned for three main reasons:

  1. There's no vaccine yet and won't be one for until early 2021, at the soonest. Scientists are still researching what other medications could help patients. 
  2. Some people have built up immunity to the flu, but few have immunity to COVID-19 version of coronavirus
  3. Both the flu and COVID-19 are spread by droplets, but COVID-19 might be spread in the air. Scientists are researching exactly how COVID-19 spreads.