Home gym workouts are here to stay
As gyms prepare to reopen their doors, our in-house health coach speculates on the future of tech-based home fitness
As a result of lockdown — and by virtue, the closure of gyms — live-streamed fitness classes have boomed — even becoming the new norm; mainstream gyms are now offering as many as six live on-demand virtual workouts per day.
This big question now is: with gyms reopening in less than a month, will you or won’t you be going back? Our in-house health coach looks at the factors guiding your decision.
The rise and rise of virtual fitness communities
Leading brands in the health and wellness industry have fine-tuned their virtual offerings to attract a global market. Location, it turns out, no longer determines which fitness tribe you choose to belong to. From your sitting room, you can now run, cycle, dance with like-minded individuals around the world.
A leader in the market for live-streamed cycling and treadmill activities, Peloton has become a household name. Its global membership has risen to nearly 1.75 million subscribers and revenues of nearly $4bn dollars are forecast for 2021.
Why? Because its 33 instructors, all of whom are engaging showmen and offer excellent coaching expertise, have built a following of dedicated fans that together form influential virtual fitness communities that keep you inspired and on track. Many have become influencers in their own right and have cult-like celebrity status.
In need of motivation and encouragement? Plug in and you’ll forget you’re at home alone in a heartbeat.
Soul Cycle's at-home bike
Variety on demand
The luxury fitness club Equinox has introduced Equinox Plus, a game-changing digital platform which gives access to hundreds of streamed classes from some of the best-known brand names, including Soul Cycle (which has also released an at-home bike), Precision Run and Pure Yoga. Tune in to enjoy curated playlists and, in some cases, classes devised in collaboration with celebrities — Beyoncé recently teamed up with Peloton to offer spin, bootcamp and strength workouts for its subscription members. With so much choice on demand, the structured gym timetable is looking less and less appealing. Don’t you think?
Track your fitness metrics for added mojo
Powered by Apple Watch, Apple Fitness + offers world-class workouts by world class trainers. Personalised metrics, which can be tracked on your Apple device, encourage the goal oriented among us to push a little harder and get more from our performance — even when sweating at home.
Oura, a ring for your finger, claims to give you the most accurate guide to sleep, readiness and activity, while the Strava app tracks just about any performance metric you can imagine, whilst running or cycling. You can analyse the data to enhance performance or share it with like-minded friends or athletes – a kind of social network for cyclists and runners that will keep you goal-focused and on track.
Enjoy your home vibe
Despite the many positives of digital fitness, a lot of people don’t actually wish to replicate the noisy, collaborative sweat of cardio classes — whatever the brand — and have opted to create a quiet and calming gym space at home.
By investing in just a few pieces of quality, effective training equipment, (think kettlebell, Swiss ball, barbell, Pilates balls, wall frame, TRX and yoga blocks and belts), you can devise your own resistance workouts, yoga practices and Pilates sessions at home — in minimal space.
For a multi-tasking DIY exercise option, join the growing band of ‘walk and talk’ workers attending meetings whilst burning through Fitbit’s suggested daily quota of steps.
LIIT stretch class
Home fitness boasts many advantages: potential cost savings, time efficiencies, increasingly sophisticated and enjoyable streamed offerings, comfortable, safe corona-free spaces, and flexibility in terms of choice.
However, after a year of social deprivation and too much time spent staring at our familiar four walls, we expect many of you will be craving face-to-face gym or studio-based exercise. With a return to the workplace, many might even revert to old ways and escape the office at lunchtime for a blast of cardio!
With us all in need of a bit of pampering, expect to see the return of the ‘one-stop-wellness shops’ too. Many offer a combination of tranquil, luxurious surroundings, a vibrant and convivial atmosphere, a wide range of holistic treatments, and maybe even a healthy gourmet cafe to assuage our pandemic social starvation. Just what we need!
The pool at Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre
London’s Triyoga will remain the essential destination for yoga, meditation, and personal development, and offers over 300 different therapies and treatments; Harrods’ Wellness Clinic offers an exclusive setting for a myriad of holistic treatments, including cryotherapy, massage, invitro infusions, and personalised fitness solutions; Bamford Wellness Spa, Brompton Cross, is also a popular choice, with its ethos to recharge, restore and nourish the mind, body and spirit.
As with the home-office workplace debate, it seems with the home/studio fitness question, it’ll be a bit of both — the best of each depending on the day of the week maybe. A future that blends home-based digital workouts with external (gym/studio/spa) based-exercise sounds about right in this new multi-hyphen way of life.