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at-home fitness collage
Fitness
Published Thursday Sep 10, 2020 by Sara Lesher

How Has COVID-19 Changed Fitness Routines?

Fitness
COVID-19

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in our plans. Whether you were hopping around your city trying all the best yoga studiosjust getting into the groove with some in-person HIIT classes, working on finding the perfect gym membership, or all of the above like me, you were probably just a little disappointed when the world shut down (to say the least). 

But what I didn’t expect when I was sulking around my apartment and struggling my way through at-home yoga was that fitness would take on an entirely new form.  

Once we realized this isn’t as temporary as we thought, we had to decide: Be sad about the whole thing... or adapt. And because we’re humans—and we prioritize our wellness—we chose the latter. We came together as a wellness community in more ways than one, and we figured out how to make this work for us.  

To discover how we’re all adapting to this new normal of fitness, we polled our Instagram followers, asking you all how your fitness routines have changed over the past six months. 

Here’s what you had to say: 

Bar chart showing how fitness routines have changed

1.    Trying new (online) classes became a must

Although many are probably religiously taking the online versions of their pre-COVID go-to fitness classes, 64% of those polled have tried new online classes during the pandemic as well. Maybe it’s the whole being stuck at home thing, maybe we all just want a little excitement in our lives, I don’t know, but I like it. I personally have tried out some new classes, and it has made my fitness routine fun and exciting in a time when I’m feeling the monotony of working, working out, eating, sleeping—you know, everything—from home. 
 


2.    Taking it outside reintroduced us to some normalcy. 


Somewhere along the line (month 3, 4, 5? I’ve lost count...) studios all over the country started to introduce outdoor workouts. Beaches, parks, rooftops, parking lots, you name it, people are working out there. Fifty seven percent of those who responded to the poll have tried (and loved) outdoor workouts—I know I have. I’ve been hitting the open road, AKA the Cycletribe SLO parking lot, twice a week and spinning to the beat in the great outdoors. I’ve been getting to sweat alongside real live people and be coached and encouraged by real live instructors—it’s been SO GREAT (I mean, check this out).  


3.    Being flexible with our schedules has worked in our favor. 


With work-from-home mandates, commute cut-outs, new homeschool/daycare duties, and more, we’ve all seen some major schedule changes in 2020. Because of this, 77% of us are now working out at a different time of day than previously. While I used to commute 2.5 hours a day, I now just hop from my bed to my desk, and I have plenty more time to work out. I’m exercising now more than ever, and sometimes I can even squeeze in a 30-minute class on my lunch break! Gotta find those silver linings. 

Pie chart of man stretching

4.    Going for the gusto (and gains) is the new yoga

While yoga is consistently our most popular category, it seems like strength and cardio may be catching up. According to our poll, 60% of respondents have been doing more live stream and on demand strength or cardio classes than yoga. I can’t speak for everyone, but at this point, I know I’m pretty restless. That combined with the fact that I’m totally adjusted to my new schedule and WFH situation means that I can rely a little less on yoga and jump back into the HIIT classes I was skipping out on for so long.


5.    Brevity has proven popular. 


On the other side of the whole restless thing, we also have some short attention spans (or long to-do lists? Or short lunch breaks?). Fifty-seven percent of those polled say the ideal length of a virtual class is 0-30 minutes, while the other 43% prefer 45-75 mins. You know I’m in that first boat... I love a good lunch break workout (and I just can't last very long).  

 

6.    The debate between using weights or bodyweight continues (sorta). 

Do you even HIIT, bro? We asked our community if they prefer using weights for their workouts or if their own bodyweight will suffice. While 52% of those polled say they prefer to work out in groups (versus all alone 😢), 72% also said they definitely use props in their workouts, with 80% admitting they own their own set of weights. One who draws conclusions may assume that the majority of people who own weights and prefer to use props would use weights in their workouts (or resistance bands, which 70% of you said you most definitely utilize). However, when asked directly, it was a 50/50 split: 50% prefer classes that use weights, and 50% prefer those that use bodyweights. Also, shoutout to the one person that said they prefer to use sledgehammers in their workouts


7.    We’ve all learned to love the virtual. 


The one thing we know for sure: despite our love-hate relationships with live stream and on demand workouts, they’re here to stay. Although we miss our studios a lotvirtual classes give us the option to find and take affordable classes from the comfort of our homes, which can be really convenient. After “this is all over,” 75% said they’d continue taking virtual classes in addition to returning to their studios. We’re living in a hybrid world now, and we’re embracing it with open arms! 


8.    We’re staying connected and spreading the love. 


Our last question to our followers was about which studios and instructors were their favorites for virtual workouts, and let me tell ya, we got a ton of responses. It was so awesome to see everyone spreading the love to their favorite fitness pros and reminding us all that we’re still one big happy wellness community, no matter how long we go without seeing one another in person.  
 

chat bubbles with studios and instructors


Leave it to the fitness community to find the silver linings, adapt, and come together during these crazy times. We’re all trying our best to prioritize wellness, support our favorite studios, adapt and move forward with positive attitudes and open minds—and it shows. 

If you’d like to hop on the train and try out some virtual fitness classes, tons of studios are offering Intro Offers right now to help you get started for a great deal. What are you waiting for? 

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Lifecycle Program Manager
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. A former English major, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).
what is wellness
Wellness
Published Wednesday Oct 06, 2021 by Denise Prichard

What is Wellness?

Expert Advice
Wellness

To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.

Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.

If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.

Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.

Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.

Here’s what you all had to say.

Wellness is more important to you than ever

According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.

I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.

What wellness means to the pros

Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.

Here’s what they had to say.

“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights

“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center

“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio

“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates

Putting wellness into action

I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.

Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Senior Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.