Lindsay Wellness Center gets creative to stay open

The wellness center has transitioned to outdoor workout classes to keep the community safe and active

LINDSAY – When fitness centers in Tulare County were ordered to close, people were forced to get innovative in order to stay in shape. The Lindsay Wellness Center made it easier for their members by offering outdoor fitness classes in addition to bringing some exercise equipment outside.

A little over a month after reopening, the wellness center had to close the inside of their facility on July 13. As a result, they had to get creative to continue serving the Lindsay community.

“Our wellness center is unique because we have a large outdoor area,” wellness center director Lisa Davis said. “Currently we have six pieces of equipment that do not require power to it, so we have three rowing machines and three bikes that we put outside on the second story mezzanine. We also moved all classes outside, classes that don’t require equipment that has to be touched like dumbbells.”

The wellness center offers various classes throughout the mornings which begin at 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays or at 8:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The pool is open for members from 5:30 to 11 a.m. while the outside walkway and mezzanine is open from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Every two hours the center will shut down for 30 minutes to sanitize equipment.

The Lindsay Wellness Center also offers an athletic training classes for students which takes place in the pool from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As the school year starts back up without sports programs, the center hopes to work with the Lindsay Unified School District to offer more fitness classes for Lindsay’s youth.

“We hope to continue [that class] as soon as we learn from the schools in regards to how they’re going to manage student’s time with distance learning,” Davis said. “We hope that maybe we can partner [with them] or offer additional classes so we can get the youth out and back into their fitness routine.”

In addition to offering more classes, the wellness center is hoping to put together weekly fitness videos that students can access from their homes. This will include different classes they were offering in the past such as mindfulness yoga and circuit training classes.

Back in March before closures began, the Lindsay Wellness Center had 513 members which was a record number in their 18-year history. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the wellness center had suffered 91 membership cancellations as of July 28. Thankfully they still have more members than two years ago when they had less than 300. The hope is that once they’re able to fully reopen then those memberships will come back. In the meantime, they’ve been renting out their pool to local water polo and swimming clubs in order to recoup the lost revenue.

“Since we can’t offer the swim lessons, we got creative and we have five different teams renting to use our space to generate revenue: Exeter Water Polo Club, Blazer Water Polo Club, TNT Swimming in Tulare and Visalia, and Roadrunner Aquatics out of Bakersfield,” Davis said. “They love our pool and how much space we have and are happy with how we’re doing our maintenance and cleaning in between each session of the individual groups.”

When the center is allowed to reopen on the inside, they are hoping to continue offering outdoor classes as members have responded favorably. They are now working on a plan to bring electrical power to more areas outside, so they can bring even more exercise equipment out there.

“The silver lining in all of this is that we learned that we have all of that square footage out there that wasn’t being utilized to its fullest [extent], so now it will be. Members are really enjoying the outside area. It gets a nice wind breeze so it isn’t unbearable on really hot days,” Davis said.

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