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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.
Picture this... we’re about a year into a global pandemic, it’s dark by 5 p.m. before you even get off work, and it’s a crisp 40-50 degrees outside at night (a bit chilly for an outdoor spin ride). Not only have you watched every show and movie on Netflix, Hulu, and possibly even Disney Plus—you’ve scrolled through every virtual workout class in your general range of fitness. Put simply, you’re bored and craving something that makes you feel alive—that pre-COVID connection and sweat. Something out-of-the-box that feels like the summer of 2016 when you wore real clothes, and the world was your oyster.
Okay, now that I’ve set the scene—this was exactly where I was at, mentally, when I downloaded Mindbody Flex. A part of me wanted to download it as motivation to exercise more, but I also wanted to experience working out virtually with real people and instructors, from all over the US.
So, I’m scrolling through my class options for the day, and I think to myself, “let’s see what’s going on in Miami.” I mean, why not? Miami is the healthiest and happiest city in the US, I was curious. I was immediately blown away by my options. I was expecting yoga, barre, meditation, and sculpt classes, but Tai Chi, sound meditation, self-defense, life coaching, kickboxing—all in one place? All for the same price of one pre-paid pass? I had never seen so many diverse and unique classes in one place. I wanted to take a week's vacation just to try as many as I could. The world, and my choices, felt big for the first time in months.
After a few moments passed and I was able to process all that was in front of me—I had this epiphany moment. I was going to make it my goal to try the most out-of-the-box, fun, and interesting classes. After almost a year of being in my comfort zone, I desperately craved the feeling of switching it up and learning something new. I made this my mission and got to work signing up for classes.
Since the app lets you see workout classes and their times weeks in advance, I was able to plan my classes out for two weeks. I decided on a Barre class with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, a twerk-aholics class, beginner’s Tai Chi, a sound meditation, and kickboxing to name a few. Even though I wasn’t leaving my house for these workouts, I felt like I was going places. It made me so happy to get that same excited and partially nervous feeling of trying something new, with other people who would also be doing the same thing.
Like a cliché rom-com, the hero of this story fell back in love with her past-love turned enemy. Just like you’d expect. But it reminded me why I loved going to group classes so much in the first place. With livestream real-time workouts I instantly had that feeling of being coached when you go to a new class and step on your mat, bike, or on that machine, you’ve never been on before—whatever that feeling looks like to you. I looked around and saw real people just like me that were about to take that same journey. While I didn’t get to see those people face-to-face, they were there with me. We took those classes together.
I also loved getting to try such a wide variety of classes without signing up for five different memberships or studios. It was a great way to see what clicks for me. I mean, the chances of me getting to fly to Dallas for a single workout with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders? Ambitious, but unlikely. I could start my day and pick a workout that fit my mood. Raining and gloomy? Let’s do a cleansing sound meditation. A case of the Mondays? Time to release some steam with a kickboxing class. The possibilities are endless and personalized to me.
Ab-so-lute-ly, yes. Even if you’re not silently resenting your current virtual workouts and colder weather outdoor classes, I would suggest you try this out. I say this because I believe we could all benefit from that feeling of traveling, getting out of the house, trying something new, and connecting with other people who have the same interests as us. It’s comforting to be reminded that we’re all in this together and the world is still much bigger than the places we’re hunkering down. Workouts can still be riveting, and we can still try new things that get us a bit more out of our comfort zones with each new virtual experience!
I know I’m not the only one who feels like they have fallen into a virtual fitness rut as of late. This is precisely why it’s the perfect time for you to expand your horizons when it comes to your at-home workout routine.