Stress is high during the pandemic due to fear, changes and difficulties which affect mental and physical health. The CDC has offered several ways to reduce stress including taking breaks from reading the news, practicing self-care, making time to unwind and connecting with others.
Practice taking simple steps toward creating a healthier lifestyle during isolation. Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.
As many of our fitness routines have been interrupted by closed studios and gyms, it is important to find ways to continue on your fitness journey. Take the time to research one of the many classes and programs now available online. Yoga, HIIT, weight-lifting and kickboxing are a few of my favorite workouts that can easily be found on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or your studio’s homepage.
Create an area in your home, garage or yard dedicated to working out. Schedule a time to workout daily and practice by taking small steps to incorporate the routine in your day-to-day.
A large number of fitness and wellness studios that previously relied on physical locations and on-site staff have moved to virtual platforms. Social media and video conferencing platforms have provided studios and individuals with the opportunity to continue fitness routines without much interference or cost.
Fitness enthusiast and founder of My Virtual Mission, Adam El-Agez says virtual fitness platforms “give people a sense of purpose to move!”
El-Agez created My Virtual Mission to help people stay motivated during their fitness journey. He created the platform after he set the goal of running the length of New Zealand where he used a paper road map to track the approximate location for each run he completed.
Today, there are several virtual fitness platforms and applications covering every type of workout with varying difficulty levels. Whether your studio has switched to Instagram Live, Zoom or is using a platform like My Virtual Mission, do your research, dedicate a day to testing different platforms to find the one that best suits your needs. Be sure to consider the platform’s ease of use and one that will keep you motivated.
Technology Impacting The Fitness Industry
There has been a dramatic shift in demand for virtual fitness technology as the coronavirus has swept the globe. In order to maintain audiences, fitness organizations have quickly adopted virtual technologies to continue class. Individuals who are sheltering in place are switching to at-home workouts and relying on virtual technology to demonstrate fitness workouts and stay connected.
El-Agez says, “During COVID-19, we have seen a huge increase in demand from individuals around the world wanting to stay on top of their fitness while under various states of lock-down. We have also seen significant demand from race organizers and charities wanting to set up their own virtual fitness challenges on our platform as a way to engage with their audience as well as provide revenue for themselves due to the many race cancellations around the world.”
Virtual technology and social media platforms have seen a huge spike in user engagement. With over 3 billion global social media users calculated prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, social media user activity is expected to increase during isolation. The platforms are also being used to target current and potential customers looking for at-home workouts, mental health and wellness tips. A study revealed that social media users believe YouTube will see the highest growth rate with 63.7%, followed by Facebook with 62.3% and Instagram with 43.1% increase.
Future of Fitness
As we continue to seek ways to shift and adapt to the new way of life, an interesting uptick in virtual technology has positively contributed to the ongoing success of many fitness studios. In turn these technologies are helping people stay stress-free and providing studios with a channel to stay connected, reach a wider audience and make money.
For example, running organizations that have had to cancel races have recently turned to virtual platforms such as My Virtual Mission to virtually carry out the competition. This has helped people continue their fitness journey and not lose sight of their goals. Additionally, organizations are able to carry on business and generate revenue through donations or paywalls.
El-Agez adds, “We have just recently launched our virtual Race Host platform that allows event organizers, charities and other virtual race companies to use our technology to develop their own virtual fitness events. Race hosts can set their own entry fees for their challenges and monetize their audiences in an easily scalable way compared with real-world events.”
The TriFactory launched the ‘Stay Safe Marathon,’ a 42K, ten day indoor marathon powered by My Virtual Mission to encourage participants to run or walk while sheltering in place. Winners receive a finisher medal delivered directly to their homes. The TriFactory customized their race and extended the motivation to join. Participants also earn Endurance League Points and part of the ticket proceeds go toward the Egyptian Cure Bank to help find a cure for coronavirus.
As the virus continues to affect several important aspects of our daily lives, implementing a simple health and fitness routine is important for your mental and physical well-being. With the adoption of virtual technology in the fitness industry, staying healthy and fit is easier than ever – it just takes a little motivation. Improving your mental and physical health through fitness will help reduce stress. Living a healthy, well-balanced life is crucial during this time. Remember, we are all in this together and your health is invaluable.