Virtual Fitness Classes Provided to Community Members

Physical Fitness Specialist Ryan Duran completes his Body Weight Core Virtual class with a few of his participants.

Because most of us are stuck indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to find ways to stay busy. Maybe it’s time for picking up a new hobby, finishing personal projects or even working out. With the latter, the Salt River Diabetes Prevention Services Program has created virtual workout sessions for any Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member who is interested in picking fitness as their go-to activity. 

Senior Physical Fitness Specialist Dion Begay from the Diabetes Prevention Services Program explained what they are doing, how to sign up, and some tips for long-term results.

“The Diabetes Prevention Services Program staff has started offering Zoom/virtual fitness classes,” Begay said. “Also, some fitness specialists have been making [their own] programs and doing one-on-one virtual sessions for Community members. Beyond that, our program’s community health educator is also offering virtual cooking, nutrition and wellness classes.”

Begay said it’s easy to join and take part in one or all of the classes. 

“Community members can take part in these classes by emailing or and asking to be added to the email group for the fitness classes and a weekly email with the list of classes. As well as receiving links to the classes and passwords to access the class, the participant will be asked to verify their ID, as the classes are open to Community members,” Begay said. “Members can then download the Zoom app to their smartphone, tablet or computer and begin attending. Members can also email the other Diabetes Prevention Services fitness trainers directly for more information about their classes being offered.”

Some classes that are available to do over Zoom include an “Insanity” workout with Otellie Honanie, a body-weight core workout with Ryan Duran, and even a boxing interval with Michelle Long. Most classes can be done without any equipment, but some do require some type of weights. 

“For certain classes, such as my TBC class, equipment will be needed such as dumbbells, kettlebells or various types of exercise bands,” Begay said. “But modified movements can be done with basic household items or anything that can be used as weight or resistance, such as a gallon jug of water or two and a chair.”

Many people are missing their regular workout programs because their fitness centers have closed.

“Our goal is to keep Community members active and healthy in these uncertain times,” Begay said. “With the current shutdown of most gyms and fitness centers, a lot of individuals who relied on regular fitness sessions now have to find other ways to get their exercise. The Diabetes Prevention Services fitness staff hope to help ease the stress of daily life through strength training, cardio and conditioning.”

Begay finished with some advice for anybody who would like to join the virtual fitness classes.

“Have a good Wi-Fi connection! Just kidding, but that is helpful for both the participant and the trainer,” Begay said. “But in all honesty, just as with starting any fitness program, do not be intimidated by the class, just attend a class. And stick to a fitness routine. The best advice I give to all my clients … is be patient and be consistent. That’s what it will take to get healthy: patience and consistency.” 

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