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Stuck at home, Valley Streamers switch up their exercise routines


Among the myriad disruptions the coronavirus epidemic has inflicted on everyday life, the statewide closure of gyms has dealt a stinging blow to the fitness minded. Now, stuck at home following social distancing and self-isolation guidelines, Valley Streamers have been forced to adapt, and are developing new routines to stay in shape.

Resident Nick Maggio said he has been going for frequent walks.

“I try to keep a routine now,” he said, “but the weather affects if I walk outside or not.”

Before the coronavirus hit, Maggio said he would meet on scheduled days after work with a personal trainer at the Planet Fitness in Carle Place.

“The gym was a stress reducer for me because it helped me to focus on an activity and block out the outside world for a short time,” he said. “The gym also left me feeling better when I achieved goals.”

After its closure, he started walking around the path in Hendrickson Park for exercise, but due to the crowds there Maggio later switched to walking the side streets. It’s not a complete replacement for his previous workout, he said, but he finds it relaxing.

“I miss the gym, but I really enjoy walking around the neighborhood,” he said. “I enjoy spending time outside in the sun and fresh air, which is a peaceful and calming feeling.” 

Resident Tina Rodriguez-Correa used to go to the 24 Hour Fitness in the Green Acres Commons, which she said helped her with chronic pain due to fibromyalgia. 

The more active she was the less pain she felt, but two weeks after the gyms closed, she said the symptoms returned. After initially trying a home workout routine Rodriguez-Correa said she has shifted to more outdoor activities. Now she rides her bike, roller skates and goes for frequent walks.  

“I’m starting to feel my symptoms reduce again now that I’m once again moving,” she said. “I definitely miss the gym. I miss the pool, steam room and Jacuzzi, but I am enjoying the fresh air.”

Other residents have also been participating in online gym classes or have turned to YouTube workout videos, which they have said has helped them cope with the stresses of being in a pandemic. 

Resident, Qumyka Howell said has been taking part in free live Zumba classes on FaceBook since the closure of her gym. A local Long Island Zumba instructor has been broadcasting the classes every night, she said. 

“This has been a big stress reliever for me because I work from home full time, and I have to manage homeschooling a teen and a tween,” she said. “Maggie the Zumba Lady is my life saver during this pandemic.”

“I’ve been doing Leslie Sansone walking videos on YouTube, with or without hand weights, when I can’t walk around the neighborhood,” Resident Karen Perri Sarli said in response to a Herald social media inquiry.

And at least one other resident has been running his own virtual workout classes in an effort to provide a bit of familiarity in a period of great uncertainty.

“I’m teaching classes online so I get my workout,” Valley Streamer Darryl Granum said. “ I have also been able to help my regulars feel a sense of normalcy during this crazy time.”