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woman working out from home with dumbbells
Fitness
Published Thursday Feb 25, 2021 by Chris Beer

Industry-Tested Ways To Fall Back In Love With Virtual Workouts (If You’ve Lost the Spark)

Fitness
Virtual Classes

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. 

1. Challenge yourself. 

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.

2. Treat yourself.

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. 

3. Hold yourself accountable. 

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.

4. Get a virtual workout buddy.

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.

5. Push yourself.

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!

6. Continue to challenge yourself.

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. 

About the author
Chris Beer, the founder of B.Well Consulting, has a diverse background rooted in finance, driven by data, grounded by giving, fueled by entrepreneurial passion and made possible by hard work and grit.

After a 20 year career in finance, Chris became a Mindbody-Certified Business Consultant to further her ability to help fitness and wellness owners make data-driven decisions that propel their organizations forward. Chris specializes in the development and implementation of business operating systems -- your company's unique way of doing things -- how it operates, goes to market, produces and deals with its clients. An effective business operating system transcends the people who are doing and managing the work, and is more valuable as a result. A business that effectively operates without you is always more attractive to public and private sources of capital.

As a well-respected thought leader in the fitness and wellness industry, Chris is a frequent content contributor to Mindbody, FitGrid, Boutique Fitness Solutions and BrandBot’s webinars and blog posts.

With a strong passion for philanthropy, Chris donates 10% of her annual consulting income to non profit organizations that support access to literacy, physical activity and mental healthcare.

Driven to be humble and helpful, Chris works with small businesses to create more success while working more efficiently and gaining a better understanding of what drives their revenue.
stress definition
Wellness
Published Thursday May 06, 2021 by Denise Prichard

How Stress Has Impacted These 10 US Cities

Fitness
Self-care
Mental health

Welcome to my regular cadence of blog posts where we talk about—you guessed it—stress. This past year, we’ve been talking about it A LOT. If that’s not the understatement of the century, then I don’t know what is. Oh, and ICYMI April was Stress Awareness Month—and even though that month is over that doesn’t mean our “awareness” of the stress in our lives just magically disappears. Ask me how I know. In fact, I was stressed even thinking of a title for this piece. STRESS IS REAL PEOPLE. 

With 67% of adults reporting their stress levels have skyrocketed over this past year, odds are you’ve probably been plagued by this unfortunate feeling quite a bit. In fact, it’s been so overwhelmingly apparent that stress plays a big role in most of our day-to-day lives that it was a major component of the 2021 Mindbody Wellness Index. This year, the survey set out to understand who has been affected the most by surveying the 50 most populous cities in the US.  

If you see your city on this list, please know that you are not alone and there are many ways to combat stress—like chilling out in a yoga class, venting in your journal, and leaning on your bestie for advice. Heck—we even have a guide to help you learn how to keep your chill.  

So, without further ado, here are the most stressed-out cities in the US according to our Mindbody Wellness Index.  

1. Oakland, CA  

I hate to break it to you, Oaklanders—but you topped our list as the most-stressed city in the US. But you all aren’t just succumbing to pressure—you also said you’re making a solid effort to get your health and wellness back on track. Out of all the cities on this list, you had the highest number of people who used meditation as a stress reducer during the pandemic (30%).  

Now that we’re starting to get back to some form of normalcy, might I suggest taking a stroll around your neighborhood and appreciating the sizable gnome population as an instant mood-booster?  

2. Minneapolis, MN 

Coming in at number two is Minneapolis. Unfortunately, 61% of you reported feeling an abundance of stress during the pandemic. However, like Oakland, you’re also making some serious strides to decrease your stress by leaning into your fitness routines. How are you doing this? By focusing on weight and strength training, partaking in cardio, and practicing yoga.  

Minneapolis—if you’re ever feeling stressed, just remember that your city is home to one of the greatest musicians of all time—Prince. So go ahead and “Party Like it’s 1999” whenever you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. 

3. Oklahoma City, OK  

Next up is Oklahoma City.  While you experience a great deal of stress, you’re also making some serious moves to increase happiness and wellness with 63% of you exercising once a week or more. However, you also had the smallest percentage of folks putting more focus on health and wellness throughout the past year. 

Here’s a fun fact that may just put a smile on your face—Oklahoma City recently adopted the nickname “The Big Friendly.”  

4. El Paso, TX 

El Paso does sit pretty high up on this list in the number four spot. Y’all may want to pay special attention to catching some z’s each night since you had the highest percentage of folks lacking in the sleep department—which is a major contributor to stress. On top of that, you also said you feel the least connected to their community among the 50 cities surveyed. 

There’s nothing that a giant dose of Vitamin D can’t fix (at least that’s what my doctor says)—so get outside and enjoy the 302 days of sunshine that your city has to offer! 

5. Los Angeles, CA 

Ahhh the City of Angels. According to our survey, you came in as the fifth most-stressed city. But in true LA fashion you are using healthy coping mechanisms to regain a peaceful state of mind—almost 80% of you exercise once a week or more. Also, literally like none of you smoke which can also help you find balance.  

There are a lot of fun facts about your city, but I decided to hit with a funny fact instead. Did you know that Charlie Sheen once bought 2,615 outfield seats at Angels Stadium so he could catch a home run ball? And guess what—he walked out empty-handed.  

6. Tulsa, OK 

Unlike LA, Tulsa has the most smokers out of all the cities on this list. You also don’t make exercise a top priority with your city ranking third to last in exercising consistently and second to last in getting a good night’s sleep.  

Mmmbop...sorry for getting that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day—but we have your city to thank for the Hanson brothers. Also, does anybody else think they are the Russian Dolls on this season of The Masked Singer, or is that just me?  

7. New Orleans, LA 

To say your city has been through a lot over the years would be an understatement. This year, we also learned you were in the bottom ten for having close relationships with family and friends—which isn’t surprising given the fact that we were all forced to shelter-in-place for the majority of the year.  Hopefully, as fitness studios and wellness businesses start to welcome more and more people back, the stress you are all experiencing will quickly dissipate.  

With vaccines becoming more available to the general public, happy hours are a thing again! Get together with some of your friends and (responsibly) enjoy some  iconic drinks your city has to offer.  

8. Miami, FL 

Though your city made this list for experiencing high stress, you also topped the list for several wellness practices. In fact, 86% of you say you get a good workout sesh in once a week or more. On top of that, you were quick to take advantage of virtual fitness classes, with 75% of you saying you regularly work out from home. You are also the number one city to receive massages, partake in strength training group classes, aerobics, and dance fitness classes.  

I think we can all agree that any demonstration of girl power is something to be happy about. Did you know that your city is the only major US city to be founded by a woman? It’s true—Miami officially became a city in 1896 after local businesswoman Julia Tuttle encouraged one railroad mogul to expand into the area. 

9. Altana, GA 

Seventy-one percent of you turned to health and wellness when the pandemic made our daily routines come to a screeching halt. You stepped up by taking advantage of health and life coaching the most out of any other city and you also came in second for using meditation to de-stress during the pandemic. 

Hi—it’s me again here to hit you with not one but TWO funny facts about Atlanta. Did you know that it was once illegal to put an ice cream cone in your back pocket? Oh, and it’s also illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole. Umm what. 

10. Denver, CO 

Denver—you may have made this list, but you’re straight up flexing to help combat stress. In fact, you top the list when it comes to incorporating weight and strength training into your workout routines. On top of that, 20% of you are also tapping into a blissful state of mind by practicing yoga regularly.  

As Matthew McConaughey once cleverly said, the "man who invented the hamburger was smart," but the "man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius." Well, Denver, that genius just happens to be from your city. Louis Ballast began selling them in 1935 at the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In.  

If your city made this list, don’t...stress? There are a number of classes available to you on the Mindbody app that are designed to help you keep calm and carry on. Or, if you want to take your at-home routine to the next level, you can get your daily dose of virtual chill pills by booking classes through Mindbody Flex.   

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
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.