A silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic has been Minnesotans embracing spending time outdoors.

Rochester Downtown Alliance leaders say they hope to make that a lasting change.

Fresh Air Fitness kicks off Tuesday, May 4, and will run every Tuesday and Thursday through June.

RDA is partnering with Winona State University and the Rochester campus’ activities board to offer outdoor workouts at Central Park with Anna Christian, owner of the Pure Barre franchise downtown, and Heather Ritenour-Sampson from Yoga Tribe.

Anna Christian, owner of Pure Barre
Anna Christian, owner of Pure Barre

Newsletter signup for email alerts

“Engagement with outdoor spaces and activities is hopefully a lasting outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kanika Couchene, RDA's director of events and strategic partnerships. “While we wait for larger events to return, we thought outdoor fitness classes were a good way to continue this newfound appreciation for the outdoors, to offer a safe and fun activity, to engage people in a healthful manner, and, of course, to invite Rochester residents to rediscover a beautiful downtown space.”

The free one-hour classes begin at 5:15 p.m. However, registration is required to ensure distancing and other COVID-19 precautions are taken. Hand-sanitizing stations will be present at the park, and participants will be asked to keep 6 feet of distance from each other.

Christian will lead the Tuesday classes, and Ritenour-Sampson will head the Thursday workouts.

Learn more and sign up at the Rochester Downtown Alliance website.