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As we’re all trying to get our fitness in, support our favorite studios, practice social distancing, and stay sane during these crazy times, many of us have turned to virtual workouts as a way to come “together” and sweat over the past few months. With 91% of group fitness businesses offering or planning to offer live stream and/or on-demand classes, there are plenty to choose from, not just in your area, but all over the world.
We surveyed people who use the Mindbody app and found that, 21% of you have been attending classes at studios outside of your local areas, and a whopping 40% are booking workouts with studios you’ve never even physically visited before. Live stream and on-demand workouts are awesome for discovering new studios, connecting with friends and family across the country (or world) through fitness, and getting to try workouts you might not have had the option to before. Cardio, yoga, strength training, HIIT, barre—you can find just about any fitness classes you’re looking for, without leaving your house.
Compared to the 7% of app users who did live-streamed workouts weekly in 2019, 85% are doing so now in 2020. Nearly half of those are working out with a remote group, family, or friend, and 61% are doing it in their living rooms. Talk about we’re all in this together!
While you can take just about any class from the comfort of your home, we were curious about which ones you all booked the most over the past few months. So, we did some data digging and number crunching and got the answers.
Here are the top five most booked virtual classes during COVID-19 (to-date):
Yoga is the top booked category for fitness classes in general, so it’s no surprise that people continued booking yoga classes during quarantine (an average of nearly 22,000 bookings per day!). But on top of that, it’s likely that we have a lot of first-time yogis as well, as yoga is one of the easiest workouts to do from home (once you learn to love it).
There are a million reasons why someone would decide to try yoga right now. Whether you’re trying to support your local yoga studios, figuring out how to recreate a hot yoga vibe at home, working on getting over your exercise embarrassment, trying to stay grounded, or just not quite ready to go back to studios yet, finding your flow in your living room (or backyard, bedroom, balcony, wherever) is a great way to work on your body and mind right now.
Speaking of mental benefits, there has also been an increase in the availability and popularity of virtual meditation classes. 88% of meditation’s pre-COVID booking levels have been maintained on virtual, the highest of any category. Sound bath, anyone?
Like yoga, Pilates is also fairly easy to do from home (mat Pilates at least, unless you have a Reformer in your bedroom). Using a series of micromovements, at-home workouts in the Pilates category are all about technique and control—so you’re not gonna be running sprints or doing jump squats across your living room. It's also similar to yoga in that it helps you find your center, while improving flexibility and posture (goodbye WFH back pains).
You won’t think you’re going to be sore tomorrow from all those little movements, but just ask the thousands of you who have been taking Pilates fitness classes each day—I’m sure they’ll tell you you’ll feel it.
Book virtual Pilates on Mindbody
Maybe this one’s popular because its name—combined with a wine bottle as a weight—is the closest thing we can get to a real bar right now. Or maybe, you all have just realized the incredible benefits of this strength-building and balance-perfecting workout.
You don’t have to be a ballet dancer—or a woman—to try out a barre class. All you have to be is someone looking for a low-impact, full-body workout that won’t bother your downstairs neighbors (looks like that includes a lot of you).
Grab your grip socks, a chair, couch, or anything you have at home to keep you balanced and meet us at the (virtual) barre.
Book virtual barre on Mindbody
Ever heard of HIIT? It stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, and apparently, a lot of you have been loving it lately. If you’re feeling cooped up, fed up, or just want to get up and get some exercise, HIIT is a good way to go.
In a virtual HIIT workout class, you’ll go through some quick (and yes, intense) bursts of exercise—using all your effort—with shorter recovery periods in between. Before your heart rate can return to normal, you’ll be up and going again, but it’s all worth it for that sweet release and great after-class burn. If you’ve never tried HIIT, now’s a good time to start.
Like interval training, circuit training also involves a series of exercises with short breaks in between. But rather than focusing on the intensity of what you’re doing, you’re focusing on targeting specific, and varied, muscle groups. So, in one circuit, you could hit legs, arms, core, and back, letting one muscle rest and recharge while you work the others.
For those of you who have been enjoying circuit training workouts at home, first of all, way to get creative with your space—we’d like to see your home gym setup. But also, you’re probably feeling evenly toned and equally worked this quarantine season. It’s all about that balance, baby.
Book virtual circuit training on Mindbody
If you fit into one of these categories, you understand the appeal. If you don’t, maybe you’re thinking about a new workout to try. Either way, we hope you’re hanging in there and remembering the awesome benefits of virtual classes, despite the frustration you’re probably feeling. We’re going to get through this one way or another, and we might as well be sweating together safely in our living rooms while we do it.
Ready to try one of these class types, or maybe push another to the top of the list?
Book now on Mindbody.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.