Looking for new ways to give back? Forward Fitness, an Old Metairie Pilates studio, is offering a weekly donation-based workout via Instagram Live. The first class, which took place on Thursday, April 9, raised over $700 which in turn was used to feed front line workers at Ochsner Medical Center.

Forward Fitness KR

Katharine Renton, owner and instructor 

Katharine Renton, owner of Forward Fitness, said that the class was a win-win for everyone. "The clients get a workout, local restaurants are making money and making food, and local healthcare workers are being fed and shown our appreciation." Following the initial success, Renton said donation-based classes will be offered every Thursday for as long as people are able to donate. The suggested minimum donation is $10 and class details will be provided on Instagram

The idea came about during a phone call with a friend. Renton mentioned that she missed teaching classes and felt that she couldn't charge clients to take virtual classes, since the majority of Forward Fitness's classes are done on machines. A donation-based class proved to be the perfect solution. "This is such a weird time for everyone and to be able to restore a little bit of normalcy by continuing to teach is a very big thing."

Forward Fitness Class

In the first Instagram Live class, participants were a mix of clients and newcomers. Renton said that many donations came from people who were unable to take the class, but still wanted to do their part. 

While the Instagram Live videos are only available for 24 hours, the studio created an Instagram account (@fwd_athome) which offers short at-home workouts featuring her team of talented and giving instructors.

"We all want to do what we can to help others out. That is a huge part of being a fitness instructor: you have to want to make people feel good about themselves and have the ability to do so. Forward's instructors all have different fitness backgrounds, making us a diverse but united team. We are here to continue teaching our previous, existing, and future clients!"

Forward Fitness is located at 3345 Metairie Road.