COVID-19 has changed the way we workout. Google searches for terms like “home workouts”, “home gym equipment”, and “HIIT workouts” surged throughout lockdown across the world.
This pandemic has forced trainers and dietitians to change the way they interact with their clients, meaning virtual health and fitness has never been better. Companies offering digital, “business-in-a-box” solutions have been inundated with trainers looking to expand the way they work.
As the world begins to relax lockdown restrictions from country to country, many people have weighed in with their predictions on what this means for fitness post-lockdown.
1. Virtual training
Exercising virtually helps to break down the barriers and fears that some people have about exercising in front of others. The abundance of digital resources that have been available during global lockdown means many people who wouldn’t otherwise exercise, have started to. This is a positive shift for the way we workout moving forward.
“The majority of people have adapted smoothly to virtual training. Armed with no more than a couple of dumbbells, perhaps a kettlebell and some resistance bands, people have been enjoying new ways of training outside of the big lifts,” says George Pearse, Personal Trainer at Fresh Fit London.
Affordability and flexibility are the two biggest advantages of virtual training. Since the sessions aren’t done in-person, you can choose the best time to work out, whether you workout at home or in the gym. You’ll save money too as online training programs cost less per month than most hour-long in-person training sessions.
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2. Exercising for mental health
Learning to manage stress and anxiety has become an essential part of wellness during lockdown. Moving your body, whether inside the house or out, is critical to wellness. Looking after your physical health will not only help your immune system stay healthy, but it will help relieve stress and anxiety. It also allows you to maintain a sense of structure and routine during this ever-changing situation.
Breath-focused exercises such as yoga, meditation, tai chi have become increasingly popular. Yoga and meditation are great ways to practice long, slow, deep breaths. Meditation will also help calm you when you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety.
“Bodyweight training and running have been people’s favored ways of training these past 7 weeks. Yoga will continue to grow in popularity as people explore new, exciting methods of moving their bodies and calming their minds. Whilst gyms remain closed and social distancing measures stay in place, I can see a rise in the outdoor bootcamp market, as people begin to interact with one another once more.” says George Pearse, Personal Trainer at Fresh Fit London.
3. Group training
We are social beings! Lockdown has highlighted the importance of community and human connection.
Just as virtual training has removed many barriers holding some back from training, lockdown has also given new meaning and value to training with others.
“The lockdown has brought people together into fitness communities like never before and I think there will be a surge in people continuing with group training whether it be online or offline,” says Joe Mitton Personal Trainer at MittFit.
4. Coping without gyms
The closure of gyms has forced us to learn to train from home, using the equipment we already have. This isn’t a bad thing! Knowing how to get a decent workout without relying on the gym is a game-changer for the fitness industry moving forward.
“People will miss the gym, but the fact that they are adjusting so well to having intense, effective workouts at home and outside will change the mindset for many – plus, it will be a while before they feel safe in gyms again,” says Keith McNiven, personal trainer and founder of Right Path Fitness.
5. IG/FB LIVE fitness sessions
Combining the benefits of virtual fitness with group training and a strong sense of community, IG and Facebook LIVE workout sessions have been an excellent tool. Not only to allow trainers to actively engage with their clients but also to foster that feeling of connection with others when we’re feeling socially isolated.
“The rise of Instagram live sessions has seen the public exposed to a huge range of different options,” says Personal Trainer George Pearse, at Fresh Fit London
People have been really keen to keep training, despite the gym being out of bounds. The need to keep moving, even if it’s not exactly like they were doing before. This raises interesting questions on the other side of lockdown – will people want to rush back to the gym floor? The customer is going to be a bit more discerning on the other side.”
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