There is a growing trend in demand for outdoor classes, which is recognized by all sports managers surveyed.
Trainer Mārtiņš Druvkalns, co-founder of “Rīdzene Functional Fitness,” pointed out: “From December, we challenged both ourselves and our club members and moved under the clear sky. We adapted to the circumstances. We had no idea how it would work or fail, but we checked, and we proved that our members and exercise enthusiasts were strong enough and ready to move in the winter. Given that this winter was relatively harsh.”
“The hardest part is getting up, getting into the car and coming to the place. When “diving” into the class, everyone always notes afterwards that the pace takes over and the external conditions are forgotten,” said Druvkalns who holds classes in Ķīpsala.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Riga, Miera dārzs is occupied by coach Kārlis Vanags, and he points out that the greatest stumbling block is weather.
“Everything else is good. People come, try and are very happy. Many even like it more than indoors. Also, the clients who've been practicing outside all winter don't want to go back to the gym. They realize it can be done even in the winter, safely,” the coach says.
Co-owner of the yoga studio Vinyasa, yoga instructor Līva Jasmane said that before the Covid-19 pandemic, she had been looking for opportunities for outdoor yoga, but it had depended on the weather and demand. The pandemic has made adjustments, and the yoga lessons outside are scheduled to be organized regularly.
Free outdoor sports initiative Sporto Rīga has not been created by the pandemic. It will start the seventh season in May, when it will offer free classes in more than 20 places in the Rīga suburbs. Coach Veronika Dolgina is among the instructors at Sporto Rīga.
In her opinion, pandemic time will boost demand for outdoor lessons: “We have unlimited opportunities. Starting with parks, beaches, forests and ending with trails and lakes. Go outside, go to the parks. It's the only option where a coach can show himself, work and do things. Everything that happened earlier indoors now goes out. Therefore, it also looks like Latvian residents are exercisers. It is pleasing. I very much hope it is contagious and people who have not been involved in sports or are interested in it, see it and want to join.”
She hopes that, with the activities outside, there will be more and more exercise going on.