I know, I know, virtual fitness is not for you, but hear me out; I didn’t think it was for me either, and then I did it and I liked it, not just as the instructor but as a participant and what we discovered last year, is that others liked it too. There are some definite advantages to working out online but to make the most of it, you need to get yourself set up for it, mentally and physically. This does not require loads of fancy tech and equipment, just simple adjustments and maybe a few purchases based on your budget.
The Advantages of Virtual Live Fitness Classes:
Accountability & Commitment
- You must book your class in advance thus increasing the likelihood that you’ll attend the class. If you don’t there will be consequences such as penalty fees, and losing booking privileges, etc. Making this appointment gives you more accountability and helps to keep you committed to your goals. If you are relying on yourself to turn on a pre-recorded class after a tough day of work, your success rate significantly decreases. It takes a special kind of person to commit to home fitness regularly; if you’re that person, amazing, but many of us need to go to the gym, make the appointment, and look forward to the social interactions that come with group fitness.
- I have taken some online fitness classes from a few different places and certainly preferred the classes where the instructor greeted me by name, engaged with me while I was working out and where the other members were also engaged with each other. It’s not the easiest thing to do when you have large groups, which is why I prefer small group fitness classes both in person and online. With Studio MoFitness, even if we haven’t met you in person, we know your name when you sign up for classes and we learn about your strengths and weaknesses so that when you sign up for more classes, we know how to challenge you and what your limitations are. Being a team of 3 Coaches, we share this knowledge with each other to make sure that every time you show up to class you get what you need from it.
- With our small groups, we can check your posture and give you cues in real time tailored to you. We can also answer any questions you have and address particular exercises that may not feel right for you. We can also modify exercises based on the equipment you have at home.
- A Live Virtual class is more social; when you log in for class we usually have a few minutes to chat before we get started, last year we had members who had never met in person, start to engage with each other online. Most everyone was working from home or just plain old stuck at home so this social interaction, however small, was something we all looked forward to each day. PS…I’m open to starting an online drink and flow on Sat evenings where we can have a glass of wine or cup of tea, do a little yoga, have a little chat. Let me know if that interests you!
- A Live Virtual Class means you don’t have to walk your sweaty self home in sub-zero temperatures, you can go straight from workout to shower to pajamas with a cup of tea and movie without leaving the warmth and comfort of your home.
It’s Just Better than the Alternative
- Finally, and probably most importantly, the gyms are closed for who knows how long and while it may seem easier to sit and do nothing, you will regret not sticking with your fitness regimen. Winter is already a much more sedentary time; don’t give in to the sofa and the comfort foods without taking time to move our body in a positive and meaningful way. It’s going to be hella cold this week, would you rather sit and complain about it or get up a move and feel great regardless?
Tips on How to Get the Most out of Virtual Fitness Classes
Screen Set Up
- It can be awkward to have to constantly adjust your computer screen so we can see you and you can see us. The best option is to put your computer or tablet up in a high position that takes in as much of the room as possible. If you can hook up your TV to act as a monitor, that’s a great system too! My advice is to test out the placement of your technology so that you don’t need to adjust it throughout class.
Sound Set Up
- More on tech, sound can be an issue and depending on your home situation (roommates, kids, partners) you may not be able to have the sound on at full volume, in that case a pair of earbuds will be very beneficial. If noise is not an issue, connect to a bluetooth speaker to increase the volume as needed.
Space Set Up
- We know space is at a premium in our city apartments, some of you may be able to have a dedicated workout zone in your home but many of us have to push the coffee table aside and clear away the mountains of laundry, toys, paperwork, etc. First of all…no judgement on your clutter, we’re all living that life at some point. For most of our virtual classes, you need enough space to lay down your yoga mat and put your equipment out of the way so you don’t trip over it. You also want to be able to do jumping jacks without knocking things down. We occasionally incorporate chairs and walls into our workouts so additional space for a chair is ideal. I have had members leave the room to use available wall space, or have to go out of camera view to do an incline glute bridge, we just have to adapt as needed.
- Downstairs neighbours don’t like to hear you jumping around? Another city living problem, one we try to rectify by reducing the amount of hard impact exercises we do online. Don’t worry, you can still get a good sweat without shaking your neighbours photos off the wall. Some people may inform their neighbours of the potential noise if they are on good terms with them. You can simply let them know (verbally or in writing) that you will be working out at a set time a few times a week and will try to keep the noise to a minimum but sometimes they may hear some banging. Hopefully your neighbours understand and you can always invite them to join the workout too!
Equipment Set Up
- Finally, in terms of equipment; most of MoFitness Virtual workouts can be done with a pair of dumbbells and a resistance band. If you can manage it, then a pair of light and heavier dumbbells will serve you well and you can use them like kettlebells. An open end resistance band is the most versatile as you can tie it around your legs to use like a mini band or leave the ends open for pull and press exercises. If you’re wondering where to get reasonably priced exercise equipment, our best suggestions are Decathlon (McGill Metro, Brossard, Laval, etc) and Canadian Tire. Winners often has a pretty solid selection of resistance bands and most recently I saw a huge stock of bands, gliders, mats, dumbbells, and kettlebells at Provigo St Jacques (prices were a bit higher than standard). I’ve seen resistance bands, small dumbbells, and yoga blocks at dollarama. Some of our members last year used soup cans for dumbbells and that worked just fine so you don’t need a pile of fancy equipment to get a good workout.
- Engage with the instructor and the other members…we don’t really love to shout instructions at a screen all day long so interact with us with both verbal and non-verbal cues. During group classes, we do ask that you keep yourself muted most of the time because the screen switches based on the noise being picked up and the other members need to have the instructor screen at full size. That being said, if you have a question, you want to compliment someone’s burpee or house plant, or just want to tell the Coaches that we’re crazy, unmute and speak freely! Alternatively, you can use the chat feature to send us questions or encouraging messages to the group.
Challenge, Plan, Reward
- We know it’s hard to stay on track through these lockdowns and harder still to convince yourself to workout online so if you struggle with motivation, set yourself up a reward system (not food based). For example, giving yourself a little leisure time post workout, or if you stick to your exercise goals for the month, reward yourself by buying a new pair of leggings or a weekly ‘me time’ session. I quit smoking ‘cold turkey’ by setting up a reward system (after 3 days a small reward, after 3 weeks a medium reward, after 3 months a large reward, after 1 year do something to honour yourself). Sign up for a challenge or start one with a group of friends, a challenge should help you jump start a healthy and sustainable lifestyle change.
Invite a Friend
- Lastly, if you feel like you might need some additional accountability or moral support, invite a friend to do it with you. The best part is that your friend doesn’t even have to be in the same time zone, so it’s a great way to stay in touch with a friend in another city. Refer a friend and we’ll give you and your friend a free class to say thank you!
Book a class here: http://www.mofitness.ca/bookings/