Yoga Instructor Brings Fitness Online During Crisis

Aerobics instructor Jill Spangler performs a headstand on a streamed core strengthening workout broadcast Sunday.

WHEELING — While people are staying home to distance themselves from the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, a Wheeling aerobics instructor is taking the opportunity to bring her classes to the masses.

Jill Spangler is an aerobics instructor at the Howard Long Wellness Center who counts herself among the many dismayed at their inability to go outside and conduct their normal routine, including access to a gym. To remedy this on two fronts, Spangler began her Sunday morning at 6 a.m. streaming her core toning class on Facebook Live.

By Monday afternoon, Spangler’s exercise stream drew about 700 views, nearly 200 likes and more than 100 comments, each of which provided encouraging feedback. The feedback, Spangler said Monday, was her motivation to continue doing the streams as quarantine procedures continue after Gov. Jim Justice issued a state-at-home order for residents that also closes all non-essential businesses.

“I got a lot of great feedback on it, I was very excited,” she said. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but people were really appreciative. I realized it’s something that helps not only me, but the rest of the community get through a time like this.”

Spangler will have been an instructor for 20 years in July, and the feedback she received has encouraged her to make the video streams a continual part of her routine, going forward.

“I had someone who told me that, while he didn’t want to do all of what I was doing, but it did motivate him to get up off the couch,” she said. “Even if it can be something as simple as that. It was a very positive experience in a very scary time. … What’s really awesome about it is, if they want to do 10 minutes of it, fantastic. If they want to do it in their PJs, fantastic. If they just wanted to watch — some people are afraid to come to the live classes, because they don’t know what to expect. This was a non-intimidating way to show some of the exercises.

“There’s been some discussion of doing classes for free, and … anything I’m doing now is not anything people secret. It’s just me doing my own thing, and they’re just following along. I don’t think there’s any kind of conflict of interest there.”

The fitness routines can be viewed on Spangler’s public Facebook profile by searching for Jill Spangler.


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