How Has COVID-19 Changed Fitness Routines?
COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in our plans. Whether you were hopping around your city trying all the best yoga studios, just 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:
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.
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 lot, virtual 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.
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?