Are you struggling with making the switch to online fitness classes?
Across the country, many gyms are closed or operating at reduced capacity. This situation is likely to continue because exercise facilities pose special health challenges due to crowded spaces and heavy breathing.
Still, there are some advantages. You can say goodbye to commuting across town or waiting in line to shower. The extra privacy may be nice, too, if you feel self-conscious working out in a crowded room.
Most importantly, you can get an effective workout at home.
Try these tips for taking online fitness classes.
What to Do Before Your Online Fitness Class:
1. Explore your options. You can sample classes from anywhere in the world in a single day. Rotating among a variety of instructors and formats will also make your workouts more interesting, so you’re less likely to skip a day.
2. Support local teachers. On the other hand, you may appreciate the value of supporting small local businesses. Taking classes taught nearby is one way to give back to your community.
3. Create a space. Set up a dedicated area for working out. Ensure that you have enough room to move around safely without injuring yourself or breaking anything.
4. Position your screen. Most activities will be easier if you place your screen at your eye level standing up. Larger sizes help too, so use your TV instead of your phone if possible.
5. Check your flooring. Protect your joints if you’re doing high impact movements. Use mats or consider doing any jumping outside on the grass.
6. Arrange a playlist. Many teachers arrange music for their sessions, but you can pick your own tunes when you’re at home. Be sure to mute your songs when class starts and adjust the volume so that you can hear the instructions.
7. Buy gear. Check ahead to see if you need any special equipment, like stability balls or hand weights. Wear appropriate clothing, especially footwear designed for what you’ll be doing.
8. Set goals. Knowing your purpose increases your motivation and makes your workouts more effective. Think about what you want to accomplish in each class. Specific objectives also make it easier to evaluate your progress.
What to Do During and After Your Online Fitness Class:
1. Avoid distractions. Resist the urge to multitask. Save the laundry for later and pay attention to your teacher.
2. Pace yourself. Without an instructor in the room, you’ll need to monitor yourself. Slow down or take a break if you’re having trouble breathing or the class is too intense. Work your way up gradually to reduce the risk of injuries. Talk with your doctor about any individual concerns.
3. Stop and look. Protect your neck and other vulnerable areas if you’re in a position where it’s awkward to see the screen. Stand or sit up for a moment to see what the teacher is demonstrating.
4. Cross train. Maybe you love a specific kind of class, but it doesn’t provide a full workout. Plan other activities for the rest of the week to balance things out. You might take 3 days of spin classes with 2 days of strength training in between. Allow yourself time for rest and recovery too.
5. Seek interaction. What if you still miss the excitement and camaraderie of live classes? Look for other ways to engage. Maybe you can find a teacher who gives students time to chat and ask questions after class.
With a little planning and effort, you can make online fitness classes more productive and enjoyable. You may find that you prefer the convenience of working out at home or you can keep yourself in shape until your local gym reopens.