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Hell or High Water? How People Are Staying Fit During Hurricane Sandy


Pouring rain, below-zero temps, heat waves: Die-hard exercisers are known for working out in extreme conditions. But snow is one thing—what about a Category 1 hurricane?

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, the most dedicated (and perhaps slightly crazy?) fit folks say they're not going to let some wind slow them down. Even if that wind is predicted to be 85 to 115 miles per hour.

"There's a lot of shock and appreciation from our members, but so far it's one of the busiest days this year," says Ronnie Gallant, assistant general manager of Equinox Greenwich in New York City, about the chain's controversial decision to stay open as Sandy approaches. "I think it's a combination of most people not having to work today and wanting to get their workout in before the brunt of the storm."

He adds that fitness is a way of life for most Equinox members and even though most other gyms, such as Crunch and New York Sports Clubs, have closed for weather, Gallant says their goal is to keep all the gyms open for normal hours. "We want to show our members that we're always here for them."

They did make preparations for other contingencies and have water and food, he says. "Since we knew about this in advance, we also partnered with other businesses in the neighborhood that are staying open." 

Caitlin Croswell of Cait Plus Ate in Hartford, CT, was one of those rushing to the gym this morning. "I made sure to wake up and get to the gym by 8 in case the power went out there later. I did both cardio and weights to fit in as much as I could while I still can."

However many exercisers, including Noelle McKenzie of Fitness a Way of Life, opted to sweat at home rather than risk the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. "If time and place doesn't matter, than Sandy shouldn't hold you back either," McKenzie says. "Working out should not depend on luxury or convenience. It's about fitting it in wherever possible, even if it means making do with what you have."

Related: Try this no-equipment home workout to work up a sweat in your living room.

Others are planning to rest. "I rearranged my running training schedule so that the two potentially worst days I'll be able to cross-train or rest," says Erika Howder of MCM Mama. That way I'm not dependent on being able to get outside to run or having electricity for the treadmill."

And Jessica Morrison of 30 Something Mother Runner agrees that it's not worth risking the weather. "I was planning on running six miles today and tomorrow—instead I will have to make up the mileage later in the week."

Then there are the exercisers choosing to stay out of the storm and focus on other aspects of healthy living. Amanda Rosenberg-Giovanis of Happy Mother Runner in New York City says she's most concerned with keeping her family happy, healthy, and safe. "I am preparing a full house for the storm. I knew getting a workout in would be difficult with a scared toddler. So I made sure that all our food is healthy and natural."

Emily Bates of Philadelphia who was initially disappointed her gym would be closed, has a different approach: She now plans to do "the not-so-popular vacuum-the-whole-house-and-deep-clean-three-bathrooms workout to keep me busy!"

If you're in a high-risk area, we encourage you to stay safe first and foremost! But if you have some time (and electricity), let us know what your plans are for weathering the storm as healthfully as possible!




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