With health and fitness clubs closed across the nation in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are increasingly turning to home workouts to supplement the loss of gym time.
Keeping that glorious six-pack pristine is not the only motivation for exercising while working from home. Group workouts while home are the perfect outlet for people to maintain social interactions and reduce the stress that comes with sheltering at home for an extended period. In the wake of unrest and uncertainty, people have sought out activities that bring a sense of normalcy to an abnormal situation.
Group fitness style classes that have become increasingly popular in recent years have quickly shifted their lessons online to virtual meeting platforms like Zoom. Online classes offer people a social outlet without putting themselves at risk, allowing them to burn a few calories in the process. The important thing is that fitness is mainstream. Trends related to a healthy lifestyle have been becoming more prevalent, but with the pandemic, it’s different now. There’s this notion that if you are not actively trying to improve, then you are not taking care of yourself properly.
So what is the best way for people to get moving while at home?
24-year-old Christopher Grant, a dancer with the New York City Ballet, says to “start out by setting a reasonable goal for yourself, a goal that’s too ambitious may not be sustainable. Ask yourself how you can be more active than you were yesterday.” Grant says that “for someone with little experience, start with the basics, pushups, pullups, and squats, this should offer a taste, and I can assure you that you’ll like what you find.”
The popularity of home fitness demonstrates how healthy living is becoming a priority for many Americans and, luckily for them, for the first time ever Americans have the online infrastructure to facilitate the transition from group to home exercise. Sales of fitness equipment, specifically treadmills, dumbbells, and stationary bikes like the Peloton bike have increased by an estimated 55% during the period of coronavirus lockdowns. Another popular piece of home fitness technology that has enjoyed the influx of new customers is the interactive home fitness mirror, of course called “Mirror,” and its major competitor, an online interactive mirror made by Tonal.
Another growing factor contributing to this trend has been the proliferation of fitness-influenced social media content. Given how deeply ingrained social media is in our society, it has naturally become one of the focal points of the wellness movement. Influencer fitness has become very popular. The market has grown, creating opportunities for fitness instructors who once taught in person to become social media influencers that operate on YouTube and Instagram. Some, like Bradley Martyn and Jen Selter, have become household names.
Fitness Influencers have been presented with the ideal climate to flourish and have taken advantage of the unique opportunity to capitalize on the wellness movement as it coincides with technological advancements, social distancing and sheltering in place. The perfect storm.
What does this mean for the average American who may not have a passion for fitness? Well, many times one’s Instagram feed has the propensity to become a competition, and although that may sound like a generally positive thing, it also makes it more difficult for those struggling to find the motivation to exercise. Constantly being compared to others can cause insecurities, and may actually do more harm than good in certain situations. Nonetheless, I feel these trends are here to stay. So let’s get moving.
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