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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.
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.