Filipino fitness instructor finds financial and physical relief hosting virtual workout classes

LOS ANGELES — The fitness industry is among the hardest hit by the stay at home ordinances, but one instructor is finding many types of relief by bringing his classes online.
For fitness-minded folks, getting that gym workout in with shelter in place orders is impossible — but thanks to technology, the community has us covered.
The first few days of California’s shelter-in-place order, which shut down gyms, was difficult for instructor Sam Sahugun of San Diego, who teaches fitness classes at several gyms.
With classes cancelled, it was off to the unemployment line for him.
“My situation, all my income is gone, thankfully my employers offered to pay me throughout the week, through the pay period, stuff like that, for me, it takes me back to why I got so involved in fitness on a full-time basis. Six years ago I got laid off from my job in IT of 11 years, so I poured myself into fitness. So the feelings came back the first couple days —  what am I gonna do, what am I gonna do.”
But after huddling up with his fellow World of Dance U-Jam instructors, they decided to keep the steps going virtually.
“People need to destress. I don’t care what you think about working out, its some sort of therapy. It clears the mind, gets people’s blood flowing. It’s the reason we have packed classes.”
At first, Sahugun was skeptical on how he can personally interact with students whom he can’t see.
“I see the connection now more than ever, and I think its because we know we physically can be with each other or touch each other this whole pandemic situation.”
And the connection grew even stronger than he imagined as students have begun donating to him during these tough times.
“It’s just amazing to see what’s possible. It’s gonna keep me good for a while. I’ve been worried about this, I’m crying on the internet here, talking about how am I gonna provide. Luckily, I have support from my wife and family here, but to have your income drop to zero because all of a sudden you’re told not to go to work… at least we can provide some sort of relief.”
While it’s not as active as his pre-shelter in place days, Sam is now up to a morning class every day, throwing in a few night classes throughout the week, while also hyping up his colleagues.
While these virtual classes have offered some good cardio, it’s also good for the heart.
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