First Steps Towards Fitness Now That Your Health Club Is Closed

Advice to start an at home workout from a 25 year veteran personal trainer

Wendy Malin
Mar 19 · 4 min read
Photo by Mark Bertulfo on Unsplash

The 2 health clubs I have worked at for 20 years closed their doors due to the COVID-19 virus threat, yesterday March 16th, 2020.

The days leading up to this decision were fraught with confusion, frustration, anger and apprehension, and members expressed these emotions through as many behaviors as there are opinions and feelings about “working out”. During training sessions with clients, news of the viral threat began to hover over us and light conversations turned serious. Most of my clients kept working with me toward their goals.

Those who were immuno-compromised were the first to recognize the severity of the situation, and apologetically cancelled training sessions for a few weeks. Others began to question if coming to the club for a workout might end up doing more harm than good.

As the news reports of confirmed cases turned states from yellow to orange to red, we became anxious and out of sorts. During a time of unprecedented anxiety about the future, the one place people were able to work off stress and feel better was ironically, taken from them (whether you enjoy working out or not). That tiny invisible terrorist has turned our lives upside down.

I personal train and teach to over 100 people per week, and have been in the fitness industry for 25 years. My clients are mostly in their 40s-70s.

I am a Boomer myself. Our generation has experienced wars, multiple financial crises, 911 and except for an occasional, extreme snow storm, our health club doors have remained open. Today we are facing one of the most frightening global health and financial crises in history. I can’t control any of that. But I can use my years of experience to help some of you begin to reclaim an important part of your life.

My clients will tell you how many times I listened patiently while they told me how they couldn’t work out on their own at home. I would laugh and tell them “I understand. When you’re at your house, read a book, eat dinner with your family, entertain guests and clean your bathroom.” I would point to the gym we were in. “Then when you’re in my house, work out”.

I learned this lesson about myself in grad school when I unsuccessfully tried to study in my small apartment. All of the sudden the dishes in the sink were so important I would interrupt my studies to wash them. I learned I needed to study in the library and do the dishes (or not) at home. I realized that blocking out specific times and locations to accomplish specific things helped me achieve my goals more efficiently.

So your health club is closed. Now what?

1. Stay in touch

If you have people you share the love (or hate) of fitness with, put time aside to keep in touch with them. Text, call, FaceTime, whatever works for you.

2. Put specific time and space aside to care for your body and mind

A yoga or exercise mat is a great, simple way to designate a block of time and space for fitness. If you can, go outside into the fresh air. Upon waking, after a trip to the bathroom and before exposing yourself to the news, start your day with a minute (or longer) of deep breathing. I use my Applewatch or a timer for 1–3 minutes which helps me start my day calm and focus on gratitude.

3. Drink water

4. Stay active and on schedule

5. Be creative

I hope this helps


100% organic content to detoxify your mind and body.

Wendy Malin

Written by

ACE, AEA, AFAA certified personal trainer, STOTT Pilates Mat trained, with over 25 years experience as a fitness professional.


100% organic content to detoxify your mind and body. Join our publications growing health and fitness community for thoughtfully sourced articles on nutrition, training, mindset, and culture to become the best version of yourself mentally and physically.

More From Medium

More from ColdPressed

More from ColdPressed

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade