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It’s been almost a year since we were encouraged to shift our activities in order to “flatten the curve.” For many of us, it’s also been almost a year since we jumped into taking virtual fitness classes from our homes. And just like anything else, what started out as exciting and novel may start to seem stale after a while. Let’s talk about how to keep your virtual fitness routine fresh and fun!
Eventually, I too found myself in a fitness rut. It was time to get creative. I decided to sign up for Mindbody Flex, an online gym membership that gives you access to thousands of fitness classes located all over the country. After seeing classes available from hundreds of different studios, I challenged myself to virtually “travel” to 50 remote fitness classes across the country. It was both challenging and enlightening!
When it comes to staying motivated with your fitness and supporting the studios you love, I’m offering six tips based on my virtual fitness tour of classes to help you keep the virtual fitness flame alive.
Just like collecting stars in our Starbucks app or closing the rings on our watches, having a simple goal is a fun way to encourage a certain behavior. If your studio is having a challenge, jump in on the fun! However, you don’t have to wait for someone to invite you to a challenge—create your own! Whether it’s attending a certain number of classes in a set time period or taking a virtual class in a different city, set your goal and make a commitment to it.
What’s the fun of a goal without a little reward? When you’re setting your goal, think of a reward that could help support your healthy habits. Perhaps it’s a recovery session, like a massage or an at-home spa kit. Maybe it’s a new addition to your home gym, like a new yoga mat or heavier kettlebell. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but make sure to create an incentive that gets you excited.
You know the goal you just set? Time to talk about it. Do it in a way that feels motivating and supportive for you. For some, that could mean posting a post-workout selfie on social media. For others, this could mean sending a check-in text to a close friend after you complete your workouts. Take the time to determine who in your network will be your best cheerleader.
Your best friend who moved to a different city? Your college roommates who are spread all over the country? Thanks to virtual fitness options, your besties can now be your virtual workout buddies in your fitness classes. Take turns choosing the studio or type of workout, giving your pals an opportunity to share what they love (or what classes they’d like to try). Having trouble finding a class that fits your shared schedule? Use the Mindbody app’s time filter to find the perfect class.
Shake it off...and by “it,” I’m talking about “gymtimidation” here. You know, that nervous feeling you may get when a friend asks you to try a new class with them. If you haven’t felt it, there’s a good chance that a friend has felt the feeling of insecurity when trying something new. The beautiful thing about virtual classes is that there is a sense of security in trying something new on your own turf (and you always have the option to go camera off if you’re shakin’ what your mama gave you). Even if it’s uncomfortable to try something new, know that discomfort is where growth happens!
Sticking to any routine can be exhausting. Anyone can become stuck, hit a plateau, or face a creativity block. For me, taking classes from 50 different studios around the country widened my perspective, enabling me to see the world through the lens of studio owners and instructors in a variety of communities. It was rejuvenating! You can break out, too.
Continue to challenge yourself, getting out of your routine and your comfort zone. Take it to social media and ask your friends what fitness workouts they’ve been loving lately. You don’t have to complete 50 remote classes as I did, but you can find your own way to keep yourself passionate about your fitness goals. Be open to sharing your experiences. Try new studios, new formats, and new class times. With an online gym membership like Mindbody Flex, you’ll get access to an unmatched selection of live streaming classes right at your fingertips for less than $5 per class to help keep your at-home fitness routine fresh.
There are a number of reasons to try Mindbody Flex. Get ready to experience a world of fitness—available to you right in the comfort of your living room. Mindbody Flex is your passport to new live streaming workouts you can experience from wherever fits your life, whenever is best for you.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.