By Colleen Sparks
If you are looking for an easy way to get or stay in shape but you’re not ready to return to a health club, you can take free, online fitness classes and help support a non-profit organization.
North Central Phoenix resident Christy O’Gara, an instructor at Life Time Biltmore, currently is teaching fitness classes through Zoom. The classes are free of charge but O’Gara asks students if they are interested in donating whatever they would like to Andre House, a non-profit organization that provides a clothes closet, meals, laundry, showers, office services, lockers and other services to help people in need.
O’Gara, a mother of six children, teaches hour-long fitness classes on Zoom for people of all levels at 7 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays that she calls F.I.I.T. (Friends In It Together). Students use weights or water bottles or soup cans and engage in different types of workouts including core exercises and high-intensity interval training. O’Gara said students connect emotionally when they see each other on video in the classes.
“We’re stronger together; that’s one of my statements,” she said. “Maybe there’s somebody inside of this Zoom team that needs you and they need to feel supported.”
Anyone in the class who donates to Andre House receives a F.I.I.T. sticker. O’Gara aims to keep students having fun including having a “hat day,” where they were encouraged to wear hats and a “Wear your favorite T-shirt” day.
She said it is important to stay physically active in order to be healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic. Usually 50 to 60 people participate in the classes.
To take one of O’Gara’s Zoom classes, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.