Virtual classes make a difference, for you and the studios
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In recent weeks, we’ve all had to make adjustments to our day-to-day lives—many of us changing our statuses to WFH indefinitely, choosing to self-quarantine, or undergoing mandatory lockdown or “shelter in place.” While working to protect your physical well-being, you may also be searching for ways to maintain social wellness despite the quarantine. Although we aren’t going into the office each day or scheduling in-person happy hours, we can still find many ways to stay connected to our loved ones and support one another throughout this time. We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite ideas to get you started!
Whether you live with your parents, spouse, significant other, or roommates, you may be a little worried about getting sick of them in such tight quarters. Look at this time as an opportunity to connect with them in a way you may not usually get to. Learn more about their typical workday and what goes on in their lives when you’re usually apart. Go on your lunch breaks at the same time so you can chat before retreating to your individual rooms to work. Try holding your own group fitness class. Find a new series to binge-watch together. Kick it old school and work on some puzzles or play board games. The opportunities are endless. And if you don’t have a human housemate, spend some quality time with your pets! We’re sure they appreciate your extra hours at home.
If you live alone or want to spend quality time with people outside of your housemates, try taking your next hangout online. You can schedule a dinner (think of it as a potluck—everyone cooks, but you only eat what you prepared). Sit at the table and turn on your webcam, so you can all share a meal (almost) IRL. Don’t feel like chewing into the mic? Just have everyone sip on some wine and call it happy hour! Want to make it even more entertaining? Try playing games or sharing stories, anything you’d usually do if you were together in person (thanks, technology!).
Writing is both an art form and a means of expression. Even if you don’t think you’re a “good writer,” you should never be intimidated to put your thoughts on paper. If you don’t want your work to be seen by others, you can write to your past self, your future self, or anything in between. Although it’s a solitary act, writing is still communicating and will give you an outlet for sharing ideas, thoughts, and feelings, even if it’s just with yourself.
If you’d rather have a small audience for your writing, try sending letters or emails to your loved ones. Right now, many people are feeling afraid and experiencing a loss of control. A comforting note from a friend or family member may be exactly what they need. Plus, getting a response from them in your inbox will be equally exciting!
If you want to take it one step further and share your thoughts with the world, try blogging or writing a book. Maybe this is something you’ve always wanted to do but never had time to pursue. There are plenty of blogging sites online (Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, etc.) where you can create a space to share your work. And for shorter form writing, you can even leverage social media as a sharing platform.
If you routinely have lunch or coffee with the same people at work, there’s no need to stop just because you’re remote now. Schedule virtual video calls as you would for regular meetings at work during your lunch or coffee hour and enjoy each other’s company. Not only will this help you maintain relationships with coworkers, but it will keep you in a steady routine and help you adjust to your new WFH status.
I’m sure many of you have already been using this time as an opportunity to binge all the shows and movies you just didn’t have time for before. But there’s something a little more fun about watching with friends. Trying to watch someone else’s TV over FaceTime doesn’t work out too well (trust me, I tried watching The Bachelor this way in college when I didn’t have cable). But luckily, there’s a super cool Chrome extension called Netflix Party, where you can play a show at the same time as your friends and discuss it in a little chat box in real-time!
Hint: If you’re a little burnt out on TV, you could also consider hosting a virtual book club!
If you’re a fan of multiplayer video games (or even if you’re not), now might be the time to hop on and start gaming. Whether you’re on an Xbox with a headset, GamePigeon on your iPhone, or even playing checkers over FaceTime, there are tons of options for playing games with your friends! Think back to your favorite gaming app trend (remember Words with Friends and Draw Something?!) and tell your friends to reignite the fun—because nothing kills time like a little friendly competition.
As we’re all adjusting to this new reality, we must remember to stay connected to those we love and keep in mind that we’re all in this together. So, get creative! These tips are just to get you started.
Have a tip of your own? Share the love by posting it on your Instagram story, and don’t forget to tag @mindbody!
Have you ever watched that oh-so-sweaty person leave their workout machine without wiping it down? Yuck. The Clorox wipes, paper towels, bottles of sanitizing spray are at your gym (and studio) for a reason— because no one wants to share bacteria. But now that our living quarters, even that tiny Upper Westside studio, have become our own personal fitness paradise, we’ve got one question: Is your at-home workout equipment *really* clean?
Research has found that bacteria can live on some gym equipment (weights, mats, you name it) for three days. That’s right, 72 full hours. And your yoga mat or those dumbbells you just got delivered from Amazon so you can slay that new virtual class you just booked on Mindbody are susceptible to the same stat. While it may seem silly to clean your own “stuff” because you’re the only one using it, think about where your hands have been before you pick up those weights. Perhaps your apartment complex’s keypad? Bacteria knows no boundaries.
From your resistance bands to your brand spanking new (and yes, most likely backordered) kettlebell, the gear you’re using at home could use a good wash, rinse, repeat—especially if you’re sharing it with someone you’re stuck at home with (like your S/O or stir-crazy housemate). Even if you’re the queen of clean (like me... just ask my co-worker, Natalie), here are six tips on how to keep your gear germ-free and looking good. Because we know all those classes you’ve been streaming are making you a fitness guru.
You not only want to clean the dirt off your workout equipment, you want to sanitize it. Clean gets the dirt, sanitizing takes care of the bad stuff (aka bacteria). Before you start getting crazy with the bleach or a DIY deodorizer, you’ll want to take into account the surface you are about to wipe down. Something like your treadmill, Peleton bike, resistance bands or bench press bench can be damaged by certain chemicals and at-home cleaners. If you’re worried about your equipment, opt for disinfectant wipes especially made for gym equipment, like all-natural Wipex. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to keep some hand sanitizer next to your workout station.
Clorox wipes have become the hottest household item of 2020—and we are guessing so has virtual yoga. If you’re not a huge fan of using chemicals you can’t pronounce and throw-away wipes on equipment like your Manduka mat, there are all-natural antibacterial cleaning options that will make Mother Earth proud. Who doesn’t want to make their cleaning routine a little more green? Companies like cleancult (we called them out in our 20/20 trends), offer effective, all-natural products delivered right to your door in recycled milk cartons —and they pair perfectly with your go-to disinfectants. Cleancult’s versatile All-Purpose Cleaner is my fave for wiping down workout gear, especially yoga mats (and almost everything in my home). The Saponified Coconut Oil acts as the “heavy lifter” without harsh chemicals. After working out, spray your surface(s), wait for a couple of seconds and wipe away with a reusable towel (or an old gym t-shirt you use as a rag).
While knowing what surface you’re cleaning is key, some of your equipment might benefit from DIY solutions. Before you roll up your sleeves and become the Harry Potter of cleaning solutions, invest in a glass spray bottle (or reuse an old plastic one). Oh, and break out the essential oils because they are about to boost your at-home fitness (and cleaning) routine. Most of the DIY cleaning “recipes” you find on Pinterest include ingredients you have at home—like vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. My must-use DIY cleaner is vinegar-based (with 10-12 drops of essential oils). It’s powerful yet natural enough that I feel more confident laying facedown in Savasana with my oh-so-sensitive skin after that yoga class in NYC I just streamed from San Diego.
Now that cleaning your at-home workout gear is part of your routine (hint, hint), letting your equipment dry is key. If you’re cleaning your more expensive exercise machine with some cleaning solutions that have a “smell” or you want it to dry faster, trying turning on a fan or crack open the window to keep the air circulating. If you’re just cleaned a more porous surface (like your yoga mat) hang it outside to dry—over a railing, a chair, bike rack... you get the gist. While fresh air is good, UV rays are not. Certain materials that make workout gear can breakdown in the sun, and you don’t want to get burned before your next workout sesh.
While cleaning your equipment might seem like a no-brainer, it can be easy to ignore the surrounding area where you work out. The title of this section tells you what you need to know—don’t forget to clean and sanitize the floor where you exercise. Just think of it this way, while you’re killing it in your virtual fitness class, your hard work is being noticed, by the floor that is, as your sweat beads go flying. And last time I checked; vacuuming doesn’t do the trick for dried sweat. After class, wipe down the area around your workout space with cleaning products that are conducive to the floor. Working out on carpet? Consider switching areas or look into sanitizing and deodorizing spray for material surfaces.
The most important part of cleaning and sanitizing your workout equipment is sticking to a schedule. If you’re forgetful (like me), keep your supplies adjacent to the area where you enjoy working out. And do it on the daily. Seeing the supplies will be a reminder to clean and sanitize before (and after) you get your sweat on—because who doesn’t love starting out their class on a cleanly note? Mother would be proud! PS: don’t forget to wash your hands!
Do you have any at-home cleaning and sanitizing tips you swear by when it comes to your workout routine? From DIY to cult-favorite products, we want to know! Tag @mindbody on Instagram to let us know! Stay clean, safe and sanitized our friends!