A lot has changed over the past 2 years for how people can access workouts. While most people prefer to go in person to a facility, sometimes it’s just not an option.
Various communities are offering their fitness classes in a Virtual format to help meet peoples needs. If you have never heard of Virtual Group Fitness classes or you are new to it and haven’t tried it, read on to learn more about this accessible option to keep you active and healthy!
How do Virtual Group Fitness Classes Work?
Platform Options for Virtual Fitness
Virtual Group Fitness classes typically use Zoom or Facebook Live to host the classes. Facebook live would have you using your Facebook profile and you would join whatever group is hosting the class. You would be able to see the coach, but they cannot see you. This is a con because how will they be able to correct your form if you are doing an exercise incorrectly? How will they be able to specifically and individually give you kudos and cheer you on? Another con is that you also cannot see the other participants and that is part of the motivation. This could lead to the feeling of lack of motivation from others participating, seeing as you were looking for Group style classes. Semi-private training, even when done online, allows for a group dynamic plus personal attention due to small class size.
On the other hand, you can participate in a fitness studio’s online classes via Zoom. This is a much more efficient, effective and connected way to workout in your own space. With Zoom, you will log in to the workout using a specific link that would be provided from the facilitator. Once you have entered the “room”, your camera on your device allows the teacher to see you in your space. Most will utilize a laptop, desk top or tablet versus a phone, but a phone will work in a pinch.
A good teacher will mute all online participants so that you do not hear any background noise from any of their environments like babies crying, phones ringing or dogs barking. In Zoom format, you will be able to hear and see the teacher so you can understand what the exercises are. If there are other participants, you will also see them in a “Brady Bunch Screen” type format which is fun! No one is watching anyone else, however, it is helpful to know others are doing the same work as you, which is very motivating! You will have your own music playing, be in your own personal space, yet be tapped into a fitness class that is professionally guided! WINNING!
Equipment Needed for Virtual Fitness Classes
Depending on the type of workout provided, what you need varies. Most of the Virtual Group Fitness classes at Feed Your Soul Fitness only utilize dumbbells (light and medium around 5-15lbs depending on your starting point) and a mat for floor work. You most certainly can use a blanket and household items if you’re unable to acquire these resources.
Benefits of Virtual Group Classes
There are many benefits of Virtual Group Classes but here are the top 3:
Childcare or Elderly Care
If you’ve got young kiddos or babies at your house where you can’t leave, attending virtual classes are a great fit. You will be able to stay home to ensure your kids are safe, but still be able to get your workout in. Same goes for caring for an elderly parent. They don’t always need us right by their side, but to leave the house is too much. Being able to pop on Virtually to get in an efficient workout feels great because you are accomplishing something for you!
The Ability to Attend from Anywhere
Whether you are at home, at work, or even traveling on the road, as long as you have WIFI, you can tap into the Virtual Workouts. The ability to create a space for yourself to get in your healthy, stress-busting workouts is at your fingertips. You would feel so empowered to say you accomplished a workout while traveling without ever having to search out a gym or even leave your Hotel/Air B n B! Imagine how your productivity would increase if you were able to workout while at work a couple times a week, without ever having to leave the office.
Travel Time and Transportation Concerns
Maybe you share a car with someone; maybe you take public transportation (like a bus or train). Sometimes, convenient and reliable transportation is a challenge. No need to worry about it with Virtual Group Classes! Being able to jump into a virtual class saves you gas money and time. The ability to workout at home is also helpful for seasonal challenges like ice storms or snow storms. Stay off the roads and safe; but continue to stay consistent with your workouts!
What to Look For in Online Fitness Classes
Pre Recorded vs Live
As I eluded to before, there is a big difference between the two.
Pre Recorded means ‘on demand’ so you can start the video of the workout whenever you want. However, that is part of the problem if you struggle with accountability and/or consistency. If you’re not hitting “start” consistently, then I would look into Live classes. Live classes will have a specific start time that class is held and most of the time these Live classes require registration, which improves accountability.
Pre Recorded workouts won’t work for you if you have tried VHS/DVD tapes before and they have just ended up collecting dust. Live classes will fit better if you appreciate someone expecting you and it has a specific start time and specific days of the week class is held.
Engagement with Members Online
A great benefit of Virtual Classes that are Live is the engagement and connection.
It feels great when the coach uses your name, gives you that extra push and helps you break through a wall. You will naturally work just a little harder when someone else is watching you and you will feel more encouraged rather than discouraged for each workout! This will lead to more consistency as well!
Level of Fitness and Style of Class
Knowing what type of class you are looking for will be helpful as you start your journey with Virtual Group classes.
If you like to dance, I’d suggest finding some online Zumba classes. If you are looking into gaining more flexibility and reducing stress, perhaps some Virtual Yoga would be best for you. Want to engage in strength training so that you can reduce body fat, be stronger and have more energy? Then I would try Feed Your Soul Fitness’ Virtual classes.
Remember, all these class styles will also offer various levels. If you look for Yoga classes and know you want more of a restorative style, you want to be sure to stay away from Power Yoga. Same thing goes with Fitness. If you have injuries or limitations, you may want to try Virtual Personal Training (also offered by FYSF).
Try Virtual Group Fitness Classes at Feed Your Soul Fitness
Overall, Virtual Fitness Classes are a great way to work through some of the bigger obstacles for most which are time, convenience, and consistency. Finding the right community that offers what you need will help you achieve your health and wellness goals. Don’t forget, you can try out FYSF and our Virtual classes with our trial offer of 7 days for $25.