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There have been many updates, emails, and social posts about what studios are doing to prepare to reopen, but have you thought about what you’re going to do for yourself? While we love to see our studios taking precautions to keep us safe, to some extent, our health and safety is in our own hands.
We’re all trying to do what’s best for us in the current situation, and our safety precautions can vary for lots of reasons. Age, location, personal risk, state/county guidelines, overall anxiety, and many other factors can affect our choices regarding our own health and safety measures. That’s why we went to the source: You. We polled our Instagram audience, asking you what your plans are to stay safe and prepare for your glorious return to gyms and studios. Based on this poll, here’s what you all had to say:
Hand sanitizer is a hot commodity these days—everyone wants to get their hands on it (or get it on their hands?). 46% of you mentioned bringing your own hand sanitizer, wiping down equipment, washing your hands, or general sanitization when going back to the studio. If you didn’t wipe down machines before or after using them before (we'll try not to judge), you’re definitely thinking about doing it now.
We all love a good group fitness class—and we’re all missing our in-person sessions a lot right now. Surprisingly, even with social distancing precautions in place, 62% of you would prefer to return to your group fitness classes rather than sticking with personal training or solo exercise for a bit. But we also know our classes are probably going to look a little different when we return. In response to our question about what you’re doing to prepare and stay safe, 32% mentioned hoping for smaller class sizes, keeping distance, and/or respecting people’s space while in the studio. Even as studios limit capacity and class sizes, and increase distance between machines, we should all remember to respect the space of those around us (yes, unfortunately, that means no high fives for now).
Props. An important part of many workouts, but also a breeding ground for bacteria (sorry, gross). When it comes to props, a whopping 74% of respondents said they’d bring their own to the studio rather than going without for a bit. Whether it’s yoga mats, blocks, bands, towels, or water bottles, we’re all going BYO for now. When it comes to masks, though, most of us would prefer not to wear them during workouts. But don’t worry, we’re all willing to follow the rules. 78% said they’d wear a mask “only if it’s required,” while the other 22% said they’d wear one either way.
Although many counties are beginning to reopen studios, you may not feel comfortable returning quite yet. 21% of respondents said they would be staying home for a bit, despite gyms and studios reopening. They mentioned continuing to take virtual classes for a while, waiting until COVID numbers are down locally, and feeling safer in their homes for the time being.
Fun fact: we’re all loving virtual! 80% of respondents said they’d “totally!” continue taking virtual classes, even if they’re going to the studio as well.
Whether you’re camping outside your favorite studio’s doors, masking up and entering with caution, or sticking to virtual for a while, it’s up to you to decide how to prepare and stay safe right now. We love hearing from you—thanks for answering our questions! Be sure to head over to Instagram and keep your eye on our stories for more polls in the future.
Well, here we are—a couple of months into 2021. A year that we all (still) hope will be much better than the last. This past year was nothing short of a dumpster fire—between the pandemic, ongoing racial injustice, and the most dramatic election ever, 2020 was riddled with anxiety, grief, anger, and was just downright exhausting.
Heck—if somebody even dared to ask me how I was doing last year, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and say, “Omg I can’t even.” I mean, what other year can you think of that became its own expression? When something would go horribly awry, we would literally blame it on the year by saying, “2020, am I right?” complete with a sheepish chuckle —and eventually some tears when you realized just how many times you’ve said those words. Seriously, I lost count a long time ago. It was not healthy.
Sorry, tangent—where was I? Ah yes, 2021. The good news is there’s still hope that this year won’t make us want to roll into a tiny little ball on the floor and cry. Well, at least not as much as its predecessor—I’m not a miracle worker, you guys. However, I do have some wellness tips to help you stay just a little bit cooler, calmer, and collected-er this year.
If there’s one thing we learned last year, it’s that wellness is always here for us. Maybe at this time last year, your goal of going to Pilates five days a week came to a screeching halt as fitness studios were required to shut down to protect the community. For a time, we were all frazzled because our usual workouts and wellness routines were turned upside practically overnight. I think I speak for us all when I say that our favorite fitness class, and the community that comes with it, plays a huge role in our overall happiness. The good news is the wellness industry has come a long way in just under a year.
While it is true that some areas still aren’t allowing the in-studio experience for their workout classes due to the pandemic, we have more options to practice wellness safely than ever before. Right now, some studios are allowed to operate with in-person, socially distanced classes—and pretty much every studio broke into the virtual space to provide fitness classes you could participate in from the comfort of your own home. Not to mention, at-home virtual options are typically cheaper and allow you to try our studios from all over the country. With online gym memberships like Mindbody Flex, you can have access to thousands of live stream classes at your fingertips for less than $5 per class.
Look, 2020 was scary. After a year like that, it’s can be hard to tap into a positive mindset. But it’s more important now than ever before to let go of assumptions and focus on the good that 2021 can bring. This shift to acceptance will ultimately help you put your best foot forward in any situation that arises.
Take a step back and try to focus on the things we can be grateful for in this moment. Like what? Well, for starters more and more people are receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, which means things are slowly, but surely, getting back to normal. I, for one, am grateful that my at-risk family members have already received their first rounds of vaccinations and are on the path of staying healthy since they are protected from the coronavirus.
The best thing we can do right now for our mental health is to learn to give ourselves some grace through practicing self-care. And this can look different for everyone. Maybe your version of self-care comes in the form of daily journaling, getting a workout session in, curling up with a good book, or having that glass of wine while taking a bubble bath. Whatever makes YOU feel good—keep doing it.
To keep my mental health in check, something that I’ve started incorporating into my daily self-care routine is practicing mindfulness. Some days that means I focus on my breathwork practice—other days I may scroll through the Mindbody app to find a virtual meditation class or Yoga Nidra class. I’ve also embraced the motto there’s an app for that. Right now, I’m really loving the Headway app because it helps me set daily intentions from the moment I wake up with a morning survey and then checks in with me at the end of the day with an evening survey. Having the ability to write down my goals and hold myself accountable for them has really taken my self-care routine to the next level.
Some days we fall a little short of our goals—and guess what? THAT’S OKAY. Honestly, I think we should all just focus on being okay for the rest of the year. The past year caused us to be tough on ourselves and I encourage you to make this year kinder. Any new goals you set that involve changing habits or overhauling your lifestyle will likely have some setbacks. So, when that happens, remember to be compassionate with yourself.
If there’s anything I want you to take away from this blog post is to let go of the illusion that perfection is always the end goal. When in doubt I always remind myself of something my favorite spin instructor (hey Steph!) says: “If you look for perfection, you'll never be content. Just focus on your growth.” Allow that to sink in and make it a goal to remind yourself of this every single day.
And remember: You don’t have to—and really shouldn’t—give up hope that things will get better this year, even if you feel overwhelmed now. Having a positive mindset is never a silly thing. In fact, it is actually quite admirable; you’re an admirable badass.