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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).
people in upward dog practicing yoga on mats
Fitness
Published Wednesday Jul 28, 2021 by Bree Lewis

Sweat Redemption: 5 Tips for Getting Back Into Your Hot Yoga Practice

Yoga
Fitness
Expert Advice

If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.

To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.

1. Go at your own pace

Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you.  And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!

2. Hydrate like your life depends on it (honestly, it might)

The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!  

3. Nourish your body

Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.

4. Replenish those electrolytes

Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.

5. Bring the right equipment

Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.

So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.

Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you

While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!