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Well, we can officially say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021 (thank goodness). I think we can all agree the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented wasn’t what anybody expected—and we certainly weren’t prepared for it. I know I wasn’t the only one leaping from Target to Target to stock up on boxes of pasta and toilet paper. (Okay, and maybe a little bit of wine, don’t at me.)
On top of that, our go-to second homes (AKA: fitness studios) were forced to go through multiple openings and closings to help keep our communities safe and healthy. When that happened, us fitness-minded folks also needed to pivot the way we get our daily workouts in— routines abruptly changed overnight. One day we’re toweling off after our favorite spin class, the next day we were looking for an at-home spin bike—and finding a decent one was like winning the lottery.
But amid all this chaos, fitness studios near and far worked fast to make sure all of us fitness junkies didn’t turn into Netflix-binging couch potatoes by providing us with virtual fitness classes. From sweating it out in a virtual HIIT class to getting our asana at-home in virtual yoga, people all over the country were able to get a healthy dose of fitness whenever they needed it. This just goes to show, that even though we’re going through a pandemic, our wellness routines will always be there for us no matter what.
So, as we shut the door on the dumpster fire that was 2020, these are the fitness trends you can expect to see in 2021:
Even though fitness studios in some states are currently allowed to host in-studio classes, the convenience of working out from home is something that most folks can’t pass up. Not to mention, virtual options are typically cheaper and require zero commute time. So, for those of you who hit the snooze button at least twice before getting up, you can still get the morning workout in before the workday starts—or if that late afternoon meeting runs a little late, you can still make that yoga class.
Another advantage? You can also get a taste of new types of fitness classes that might not be offered in your area. I certainly jumped on the bandwagon ASAP and figured it was the perfect time to switch up my regular workout routine. Check out my articles on the virtual classes I tried:
And you can check out these articles from some of my esteemed colleagues here:
The COVID-19 pandemic turned our day-to-day routines upside down—even our work schedules changed with loads of people now working from home instead of going into an office. However, with the slew of lockdowns triggered by coronavirus, this means childcare, work, and our fitness routines are all now happening in the same place. With so much going on at home at any given time, we're forced to get a sweat sesh in whatever little free time we have.
That’s where bite-size fitness classes come into play. In fact, nearly four in ten Americans say their workouts are now a half-hour or less. Shorter fitness classes are also helping folks stay motivated while working out at home. I don’t know about you, but I find myself getting distracted or suffering from screen fatigue once that Pilates class hits that 30-minute marker. Instead of focusing on my abs, I start wondering what’s for dinner or tapping out early to enjoy a glass of rosé.
But with more and more fitness studios adding shorter workout classes to their schedules, we can all stay on top of our fitness goals and still have time to juggle the many responsibilities that come with sheltering-in-place.
Hey, we’ve all been there—trying out a new type of fitness class can be a scary thing. I’ll be honest, gymtimidation (gym intimidation, get it?) is the main reason I haven’t tried an in-person HIIT class yet. But one I can do by myself in the comfort of my own home? Now you’re speaking my language. If you also feel this way, please know you’re not alone. In fact, 56% of Americans are right there with you. So, if getting in better shape or the fear of the unknown have been what’s holding you back from trying that spin class or starting your yoga practice, virtual classes can help ease you into your fitness journey until you’re ready to strut your stuff in an actual studio.
Change is tough, but the way the fitness industry changed to help us all stay on-track with our wellness goals was nothing short of inspiring. Now, missing a fitness class because it didn’t fit into our schedules or because we were stuck in traffic are things of the past.
Ready to make 2021 the year you actually stick to your resolution of being a happier, healthier you?
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Want an even more in-depth look into the fitness trends you can expect to see in 2021? Check out this blog.
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.