Socially-Distanced Outdoor Fitness Classes Can Return to Hoboken This Summer — With a Twist

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The summertime means a few things in Hoboken — strolls on Pier 13, Movies Under the Stars, and, of course,  Fitness in the Park. The fact that we’re in a global pandemic makes things a biiit difficult, especially when it comes to working out. But, there might be hope to salvage some Fitness in the Park-like fun this year — an executive order was signed today in Hoboken permitting fitness clubs to use outdoor spaces in fields and parks to host socially-distanced classes. Here’s what you need to know about this initiative, plus some FAQs answered by City Hall, below:

fitness in the park hoboken

^ From a previous Fitness in the Park event!

The Executive Order 

On May 27th, Hoboken’s Mayor Bhalla signed an executive order “permitting fitness clubs to utilize certain City fields and parks in order to facilitate safe, socially distanced outdoor workouts,”  according to a press release issued the City.

“The executive order was signed in anticipation of a reduction in capacity and limitations within certain gymnasiums and fitness centers during a gradual re-opening as determined by Governor Murphy, and difficulties of social distancing in certain indoor locations. The City encourages fitness clubs to utilize outdoor space as much as practically possible for workouts given recommendations from the CDC,” the release continued.

This means that any owner or manager of a fitness center with a license to operate within Hoboken is eligible to apply to host an outdoor class of up to 15 people with social distancing guidelines — there must be at least six feet of space between each participant at all times.

Read More: Hoboken City Council Votes to Eliminate Office of Constituents, Mayor Moves to Veto Decision

“We recognize the major challenges faced during a gradual re-opening with indoor facilities not always having the room for social distancing or capability to reduce capacity. Allocating space for outdoor classes provides an added option for safe and socially distanced workouts that makes the best possible use of our public space,” Mayor Bhalla said via the press release.

The release also laid out the local parks + spaces that are available for outdoor usage, including:

  • – Church Square Park basketball court
  • – Elysian Park basketball court
  • – Multi-Service Center rink
  • – 14th Street Viaduct soccer pitch
  • – City Hall Plaza
  • – 7th and Jackson plaza and lawn
  • – Sinatra Park amphitheater
  • – 1600 Turf Field and concrete area
  • – Maxwell Park pier and lawn
  • – Southwest Park
  • – Mama Johnson field
  • – Sinatra Park field
  • – Stevens Park little league field
  • – Church Square Park turf lawn
  • – Pier A

For those interested in applying to use an outdoor space, please visit this link.

The Mayor’s EO also permits gymnasiums and fitness clubs to utilize outdoor parking lots using social distance for workouts with the permission of the property owner.

But, we still had some Qs — both as residents wanting to participate and for our business owner friends. So we reached out to City Hall to ask a few FAQs about the initiative.

Here they are, with direct quotes from Vijay Chaudhuri, the City’s Communications Director:

Will there be a schedule of classes once people register to host them?

Still to be determined.

What will the pending schedule look like {hypothetically}? Will it be all day?

The City will be prioritizing field/park space for the mornings, given the potential for other activities and public uses that are more common later in the day

We realize it’s weather dependent — but how will fitness classes be able to refund if it rains, since they can’t truly reschedule indoors?

Fitness studios may decide to cancel classes due to weather or other circumstances, which they will be responsible for communicating to their members. Fitness clubs will be responsible for their own refund policy with their members. The City will work to potentially reschedule classes with the fitness clubs when possible.

Will there be a fee for these classes? How can people pay for them, do they pay the fitness center directly?

The fees are determined by the fitness studio holding the class, and according to the executive order, should reflect the fair market value of the class they offer indoors.

How do they sign up for classes?

Each of the fitness studios will be responsible for signing up their own members for a class

Are people allowed to host their own fitness classes? Or is it just brick and mortar professionals? How will that be regulated?

Only registered/licensed gymnasiums and fitness clubs within the City of Hoboken are permitted to host fitness classes through this program. The City will grant field space after a review of the applications submitted, and only licensed gymnasiums or fitness clubs within the City will be permitted to participate in the program.


Reminiscing About Fitness in the Park

Of course, this order is very reminiscent of Fitness in the Park, Hoboken’s annual outdoor fitness series — but with a fee per class, and sign-ups needed prior to attending {whereas FIP allowed anyone at any time to pop over to any of the events and attend}.

Fitness in the Park was an annual summer event that enabled Hoboken fitness establishments to offer free introductory classes hosted by the City of Hoboken — in a variety of local parks. Businesses like CKO Kickboxing, Jane DO, Hudson Yoga Project, Powerflow Yoga, and many, many more have all previously participated in this annual summer series.

Classes ranged from total body workouts, aerobic activities, Zumba, vinyasa yoga, and more and back in 2019, Hudson Sport & Spine offered complimentary chair massages following the classes on specific days.

Of course, whether or not any of the classes being hosted this year will be offered for free is still up for grabs, but according to Hoboken, it will be managed through 

See More: Latest Jersey City + Hoboken COVID-19 Updates as of May 27, 2020

The Current Situation

This all comes just a month after NJ Governor Murphy announced a six-point plan for the reopening of New Jersey. Currently, NJ has 156,628 cases of COVID-19, with 18,132 of them right here in Hudson County.

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at hello@hobokengirl.com! We appreciate it.

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Arielle is a born-and-bred Jersey girl and like a true NJ native, half her diet consists of bagels and the other half pizza. As a graduate of both American University and City, University of London, she’s been a passionate writer ever since she wrote her first “book” in the first grade. When she’s not furiously typing away at her keyboard, she spends her time ticking places off of her “to travel to” list, trying any and all new foods, and trying to stop herself from spending too much money at Zara.


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