Since March 24, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s (BCBSNE) wellness team has been offering virtual group exercise classes for employees.

The wellness team made the adjustment to the regular, in-person group exercise classes offered in the onsite gym at Blue Cross Centre as employees transitioned to working from home due to the pandemic.

“These classes allow employees to stay active, and it also keeps them accountable,” said Carrie Kahnk, BCBSNE wellness coordinator. “The structure of the class schedule can encourage employees to take a break from their work to move, but also it allows them to connect with other employees also taking classes.”

Since employees can’t participate in person like they were able to when working at the office, virtual classes allow them to keep an exercise routine.

“The fitness classes are an important element to my overall health,” said Kevin Boyer, IAM analyst at BCBSNE. “Along with a healthy diet, the exercise I get from these fitness classes support a strong immune system and more. Regular exercise also improves my mental health by giving me an active break during the day.”

A bonus to the online classes is that employees don’t have to be available at the time of the class to do the workout.

“They can join the live classes whenever it works for their schedule,” said Kahnk. “All classes are recorded to be viewed later for the participants. The recordings are convenient to go back and do later.”

Even if employees don’t like a certain class being offered, the wellness team adjusts the schedule every month, so new classes are cycled in.

“We have offered mindful meditation, yoga, barre, Tabata interval training, fit camp (a boot camp style workout), bodyweight strength, core synergy (a core-based workout) and super sculpt (a bodyweight-based toning workout) ,” said Kahnk

BCBSNE’s wellness center also offers one-on-one personal training sessions virtually and promotes various nonactive ways to stay healthy, such as Weight Watchers.

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