Fri Dec 18th, 2020
Jeremy Wade Shockley
The Southern Ute Drum
When SunUte temporarily closed due to COVID-19 back in March, staff wanted to find a way to serve the membership with activities to keep them healthy. Since that time, they have created a comprehensive list of home workouts for their members to try through SunUte Fitness with live links on the SunUte website.
SunUte stepped up their game in recent weeks with the ability to offer workout videos online — dubbed as the “Get Fit from Home!” exercise program.
“We started posting “at home” workouts and challenges on our Facebook page,” explained SunUte Fitness Director, Abel Velasquez. “We got requests for a video option, which we knew we would really have to host on our website. Now anyone can access it, anyone who can get to the SunUte website can view our group exercise videos — free of charge.”
“What we wanted was to extend our services to people to keep them healthy,” he emphasized. [Our staff] are leading the videos, the same instructors that our community knows and is motivated by!”
The backbone of the video series is the famous Les Mills workout program — which SunUte already uses for all group exercise classes. The variety of workouts include: Bodypump, Sprint, Bodycombat, Bodyflow, RPM, CX Worx, and Bodystep; plus, favorites like Zumba and yoga classes.
The nice thing about the Get Fit from Home program, is it’s led by the professional team of SunUte group exercise instructors — therefore many SunUte members already know them and are familiar with their instruction styles and techniques. Les Mills music, with an instructor leading the class — just on a video platform.
“Same music, and cues that our members have come to expect from an instructor — they are going to get that same type of experience,” Velasquez emphasized. “How excited we are at SunUte to be able to offer this to our members, the tribal membership or anyone that wants to take advantage of it!”
One of the biggest highlights, is that members can watch it at any time they want. One of the benefits of the video vs. livestream.
“What we realized was that people were either working out from home or not at all. Depending on their situation,” Velasquez said.
“We’re pretty excited, because our members have been struggling at home,” explained Sage Frane, a Fitness Trainer with SunUte’s Group Exercise Program.
“You have a face they know and trust, that can guide them from a home screen,” she said. “Instructors from the facility, like body pump class online, just with your teacher — adding that personal connection.”
“Video has been an inevitable thing,” Frane emphasized. “Les Mills has “on demand” workouts, they also have a virtual piece that allow sports clubs to project programs if an instructor is out, or during off-peak time — members have the opportunity to do that class on their own. We can successfully fulfill the needs of our members, when staff is unavailable, giving more opportunities to stay fit and motivated. Plus — It’s a great resource to feed people back into SunUte.”
Launching the online video series has taken some time to get cleared through the Tribe’s Legal Department in order to fully protect SunUte. Hosting the videos in house, on the SunUte website, was another challenge that SunUte had to overcome with the help of Southern Ute Shared Services (SUSS.)
“We would really like to thank SUSS and the Legal Dept., they helped us get this going, they made it possible for us,” Velazquez stated. “I do see this continuing, once SunUte is back open. Even before the closures happened, a lot of stuff was going online, and this allowed us to pursue that option as well.”
“Since March, we have tried digital with Facebook,” Frane said. “This platform seems to work out better — better access for members and non–members. The technology has been awesome, big thanks to Dana Kopf and SUSS.”
“With elder and youth classes, we’ve tried to design some stuff that uses less equipment,” Frane said. “Modified versions might omit equipment altogether or use whatever you have within your space. Plus, some shorted classes. Gradually work back into it — 30 mins, 45 mins, up to a full hour. We pride ourselves here at SunUte for being here for the tribal members, and the community — we want to keep those connections.”
The videos became available in early December. Since the workouts are video based, the live feedback is a missing component. If participants want feedback or have any questions, they can call SunUte Community Center at (970) 563-0214 and ask for Sage Frane to reach a trained exercise coordinator or Abel Velasquez and connect with a fitness trainer to get personalized advice on how to — Get Fit from Home!
Access workout videos directly from the SunUte website here: https://www.sunute.com/2020/12/02/get-fit-from-home/