2020 has been a tumultuous year, to say the least. COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us in a plethora of ways. We’ve had to learn to adapt to lockdowns and social distancing while still finding a way to live our daily lives with some semblance of normality. Luckily, for most of us, the internet has been our saving grace. Online platforms, like Zoom and Skype, have allowed us to stay in virtual contact with friends and family, manage home-schooling, and work from home. We’ve been able to shop online, order a take-away, and play video games. We’ve also been able to keep fit. In fact, lockdown has been the catalyst for a home fitness revolution (or perhaps we should say, a revival).
During a lockdown, it would be all too easy to remain sedentary. Working from home and sitting for long hours at a desk combined with binge watching TV series, online gambling, or even getting sucked into a good book, doesn’t do our bodies any good – and let’s not forget how much more we eat when we’re bored. But if a global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to make our health a priority. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to tend to both our mental and physical well-being, and it helps boost our immune system.
The YouTube Workouts
When the gyms closed and outdoor exercise was actively discouraged, the online community of fitness experts came to our rescue. A quick YouTube search will reveal a huge range of online exercise videos that you can follow along at home. Yoga, kickboxing, Zumba, HIIT, and Tai Chi classes can all be found online, and many of them are free. However, when the first lockdown came into effect in the UK back in March, one fitness expert stepped up and took the YouTube exercise class to a new level. Joe Wicks started P.E. with Joe – free, online, P.E. classes in real time. Every morning, P.E. with Joe encouraged kids (and their families) all across the country to get up and get moving. At the height of lockdown, P.E. with Joe drew in up to 800,000 live views per day.
High-Tech Home-Fitness Equipment
The home fitness revolution was not just relegated to the realm of YouTube. People that could afford to invest in home exercise equipment during lockdown found plenty of options. Peloton, for example, saw a huge spike in sales of their fitness system. In fact, Peloton is touted as being a clear example of how a modern, home-based fitness system can end up being more appealing than signing up for a gym membership.
The Peloton system is an interactive training system combined with a state-of-the-art static bike. Users can race against other riders in a virtual simulation of real tracks and roads. Riders all over the country were competing against each other during lockdown and using that competition as incentive to keep going every day. For many, the Peloton now represents the best of both worlds – home-based exercise with a competitive edge.
Lockdown also saw a huge boost of sales for gaming platforms that offer fitness-style games. The WiiFit, in particular, proved to be a winner for gaming fans that needed to introduce some movement into their play time. The appeal of these games is the element of fun. Players were dancing the days away with Zumba, throwing punches with Fitness Boxing, or going on a fitness adventure with the Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure. And those lucky enough to own an Oculus Quest or Oculus Rift took their home-fitness into the realm of virtual reality. With VR, players have virtual sparring partners in the boxing ring, and dance partners to go up against in dance-offs, making the whole experience feel so much more satisfying than watching a YouTube video. It definitely beats sitting in a chair in front of the PC and passively playing popular slots in a Merkur Magie Casino.
The Future of Fitness
While the pandemic still rages through much of the world, and lockdowns and gym closures still plague many areas, the home-fitness trend looks set to see us well into the new year and beyond. The question is, will fitness fanatics return to gyms once things get back to normal? Gym owners are certainly worried that the tide has turned.
The convenience of a home-fitness system will have won over a large number of fitness fanatics, many of whom may never return to their old exercise stomping grounds. Cutting out travel time allows for more time spent exercising, and home-fitness is by far the cheaper option. However, the social aspect of the gym shouldn’t be discounted. While many people have managed to keep fit at home during lockdown, they’ll be happy to rush back to the gym as soon as the opportunity presents itself.