How studios are dealing with your membership right now
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Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.
Social distancing might just be the most buzzworthy phrase of 2020—and maybe the most discouraging.
Our world has been flipped upside down over the past few weeks/months, and we’ve had to quickly rethink any semblance of what a "normal" routine looks like. From local restaurants turning to take-out only to our favorite studios/salons shuttering their doors for the time being, our connection to community hangs in the balance of social media and Zoom meetings.
So how can we keep our seven dimensions of wellness (and workout regimen) inspired and intact in a time like this? By staying connected through group fitness and making ourselves a priority—because this girl wants to come out of quarantine fit as a fiddle with her friends.
Whether it’s working out from home with virtual fitness classes, making DIY facials, or finding ways to keep our extrovertedness intact, the new (wellness) norm is about getting creative with our well-being (and budget). Here are three reasons why working out with others and investing in ourselves should be a priority, especially in time of pandemic.
Even though we aren’t physically sweating side-by-side on the reformer or squat racks doesn’t mean we can’t workout together. Many of us might be missing our 6 am barre class with our best friends, but that shouldn’t get you down (unless you’re letting lower with your leg lifts at home). Leverage the thousands of virtual, on-demand workouts on Mindbody.io and the Mindbody app and meet new workout buddies (or get your faraway family sweating). From the comfort of your home (it’s our new reality), there’s something to be said about strength in numbers, even if you’re streaming solo. By virtually working out with others, you’ll feel the benefits of real-time face time, including pushing yourself harder, a sense of accountability, increased endorphins (hello happiness!), and external motivation. Just the sight of a new studio that you’ve been dying to try or the smile of your favorite instructor through your screens will do wonders for your wellness—physically, mentally, emotionally and beyond.
With all the uncertainty flying around, tapping into what supports our well-being is essential—and that includes staying connected to what kept us feeling fierce before parts of society shut down. Now more than ever we need to give ourselves, our relationships, and our small businesses a little love.
By continuing to financially invest in our fitness and wellness routines, we are investing in ourselves during this emotional time. Did you know you can inquire about updating your membership if the current payment cadence isn’t working for your budget right now? Not only are we supporting what makes us feel good, we are spreading positivity and purpose amongst those closest to us. And maybe we will inspire them to join our next on-demand workout.
Whether it’s streaming mat Pilates to sweat out that stress or zoning out with mindful meditation after a long day of working from home with your S/O, staying connected to the studios that support every aspect of our strength will help us to stay focused—not fearful.
It’s not shocking that emotions are currently running high (like at warp speed)—and panic is running rampant. Empty store shelves, COVID-19 taking over the news, layoffs... the current social and economic climate is just plain daunting. Plus, we can’t leave the house to even vent to our friends the local bar. So, is group fitness the answer? When it comes to your personal wellness, we’d like to believe so. You know that feeling when you leave your Vinyasa class feeling renewed, refreshed and calm? Channel that. Now think of your next virtual group fitness class as an inspirational interaction. Even though you’re plugged in to stream the class, disconnect your mind from drama, be more mindful, and let your emotions eat up all those feel-good endorphins. Reset your mind, body, and soul. Just let it go and flow.
Use virtual classes as your outlet to yes, connect with others, but to also connect with yourself. You might surprise yourself with what you’re able to accomplish from the mat in your living room. Embrace the good energy and gratitude post-class and spread it around, whether it’s a quick call to Mom across the country or a motivational quote on social media. We are human and though we can bend pretty far, we don’t want to break. And in times when things feel out of control, you can control what makes you feel amazing.
We encourage you to find the good in group fitness, especially right now. From yoga and barre, to HIIT and Pilates, and everything in between, fitness can keep us focused and connected, and invested in ourselves—wherever we, whatever we want to achieve.
By now, we all know the benefits of virtual and online fitness classes, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about some of the struggles. To adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, studios and instructors all over the world had to get crafty, many with little-to-no experience with live streaming or recording workouts at home (so, if you haven’t, make sure you send your instructors a quick thank you—because they deserve it). Now that we’ve realized virtual fitness is here to stay—and we’ve all had lots of practice—the virtual experience is getting a whole lot better.
Here’s what your favorite studios and instructors are doing to improve their virtual fitness classes right now:
Everything seems harder than it must be right now...which is why jumping through hoops to get into a class should be the last thing on your mind. As with most things, the simpler, the better (unless we’re talking about the actual workout). Studios are working on creating a one-button experience to join a class. You sign up, get an email, press ‘join,’ and you’re in. And if something happens with your WiFi and you end up getting kicked out, no worries. One button click and you’re back in, without even missing a circuit.
If there's one thing more annoying than not having easy access to classes, it’s bad quality and connection. We’ve all found ourselves in online classes where you literally can’t follow along due to poor connectivity causing instructors to freeze every five seconds. Or if it’s an on-demand class that doesn’t buffer, you’re stuck looking at a spinning wheel as your heart rate decreases at the worst possible time. Not fun.
Now, studios and instructors are doing their absolute best to make sure they have top-notch WiFi and streaming services so we can work out without delays. Better cameras, lighting, and space setups are just a few of the investments instructors and studios are making to make virtual workouts as close to the in-studio experience as possible.
For most, working out with music is a must. But figuring out how to balance tunes with the instructor’s voice can be a challenge. In the studio, they have state-of-the-art speakers blasting playlists throughout class, and oftentimes they have headset mics—all adjusted to the perfect volume so you can sweat to the beat, without missing a beat.
But at home, it’s a little more difficult. Now that instructors have had some time to work on it, they’re figuring it out. Some instructors suggest playlists for you, others have mastered the perfect music to voice volume ratio, and some have invested in some high-quality mic setups for their home studios. In yoga instructor, Dani Schenone’s words, “Instructors are Jedi masters at the music-to-voice volume ratio at this point. When necessary, external microphones offer an amazingly clear experience. I record my classes and listen back, noticing any audio issues I need to address the next time around.” We’re getting there together, and again, thank your instructors. This isn’t easy.
With instructors improving their own spaces for filming workouts, we need to be doing the same as attendees. An instructor’s key to creating a good virtual experience is making it all replicable—creating a space and using equipment that’s realistic for anyone to mimic at home. If they're using weights, they should let you know ahead of time, and maybe even give some household items you can use as alternatives.
Instructors are people too, and they know this. They’re coming up with tons of creative ways to make the experience easier for you, whether it’s propping up their cameras so you can see their entire setup and body, notifying you of equipment needs early in the booking process, or teaching classes that can realistically fit in most spaces.
Have you seen the videos of teachers trying to keep their kindergarteners engaged over Zoom? Fitness classes are not much different. Signing up for group fitness classes means more motivation and encouragement, so we can’t skip out on the hard moves and cut our workouts short when we’re feeling tired. Instructors, though, have an interesting challenge—keeping that spirit up through a computer or phone screen. And right now (as always), they’re stepping up in several ways:
• They’re always on time, beginning and ending class right when they say they will.
• They talk through all the moves, so you don’t constantly have to be looking at the screen, and demo them at least twice in case you missed the first one.
• They shout out words of encouragement and call people out by name, just as they would at an in-studio class.
• They give tips and pointers for perfecting your form, even if they can’t always see you.
• They have a positive attitude throughout the class and are consistent with their delivery, so we always know what to expect.
• They’re our superstars, and we love them for it.
Shifting from IRL to virtual fitness has not come without its own set of complications, but let’s not forget about the struggles of the people on the other side of that screen. Our instructors are working hard out here to make these classes better because they genuinely care about our health, well-being, and sense of community.
Virtual classes are here to stay, and they’re just going to keep getting better and better. Thank you, instructors.