Online workouts help Kenyans stay fit during COVID-19 pandemic

NAIROBI (XINHUA) – For the past one week, Vincent Akatch, who works with a non-state organization in Nairobi, Kenyan capital, has been working every morning to stay fit.

Due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Akatch, like hundreds of other Kenyans, has plenty of time as he stays at home to beat the virus. Before the pandemic, he would have maintained a strict gym schedule. But he does not go to the gym for his workout session since the facilities having been closed due to the disease outbreak.

Akatch exercises from the balcony of his house with the help of a virtual trainer.

It all starts with the accountant connecting his smartphone to the WiFi network and through an online programme, follows the instructions given by the trainer.

At least nine other people follow the virtual lessons offered by the trainer in different parts of the capital. The virtual workouts have become the norm in the East African nation as gym instructors and citizens seeking to keep fit during the pandemic embrace them.

There are hundreds of gyms in the capital Nairobi and across the east African nation, which, however, currently remain shut due to COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, these gyms were flocked by hundreds of people every morning and evening for physical workouts.

The trainers at the facilities have now shifted their activities online, helping hundreds of citizens stay fit.

“I had gained about two kilogramme due to the stay at the home measure and besides, our gym was closed for about a month. But last week, the trainer announced the online classes and I jumped on board,” said Akatch.

Among the exercises he does with the trainer include sit-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges and bent-over row.

“The exercises have been very helpful in keeping me fit. Although I cannot access various gym equipment, they are better than staying without,” said Akatch. Danston Musyoka, one of the gym instructors offering the virtual lessons, noted that demand for the online lessons has surged in the past weeks as the crisis drags on.

“We closed our gyms and told people to wait as we monitored the pandemic. But as things stand, the crisis will drag on the reason why we are going virtual. Life has to move on,” he said.

Musyoka has scheduled the sessions at three different hours depending on the exercises chosen. That is morning, afternoon and evening, with the session being dance workouts.