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Low-intensity indoor group exercise now allowed in B.C.

Yoga. (via File photo)

The B.C. government has lifted restrictions on low-intensity indoor group exercises such as hatha yoga.

High-intensity indoor group exercises like spin classes and cross fit remain banned under COVID-19 public health orders, which were updated late Monday (Dec. 14).

“When community levels of COVID-19 are high, indoor exercise has been identified as higher risk activities for virus transmission, especially in communal settings with reduced ventilation (e.g. hot yoga) and during participation in high intensity activities (e.g. spin classes) or other physical activities where physical distancing cannot be maintained,” the order states.

All indoor group exercise classes were suspended across B.C. on Nov. 24 pending new guidelines to prevent virus transmission. Those new guidelines have now been published.

Examples of low intensity exercises that can now resume are:

  • Barre (lower intensity classes)
  • Exercise machines/cardio equipment (low intensity)
  • Light weightlifting
  • Pilates (lower intensity classes) 
  • Stretching 
  • Tai-Chi 
  • Yoga (hatha)

"This is not an exhaustive list," the order continues, explaining gym, studio, and fitness centre operators should use best judgement in identifying what category their group exercise classes fall into.

To resume classes, operators will have to make a number of changes to prevent the spread of the virus such as the use of floor markings, physical barriers and controlling the flow of patrons.

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