I was presenting with Mo Hagan – VP of Program Innovation & Fitness Development at canfitpro and Goodlife Fitness, an anti-aging specialist, international fitness educator, and someone I’ve watched with respect since the beginning of my career in the fitness industry.
I am proud to teach the FIS program! I had lots to say about how the Fitness Instructor certification fits into the landscape of virtual fitness.
I wanted to dive into this from the perspective of the fitness consumer, as well. Please check out my podcast to determine which is better: Virtual Fitness or Live, In-Person Fitness?
Benefits to Virtual Fitness:
- Accessibility – it’s available anytime, so it fits your schedule
- Lots of variety – from virtual classes at Goodlife, to websites like Bodyrock TV, livestream on Facebook Live, YouTube videos. Workout apps like Aaptive. Of course there’s old school workout dvds – many are available at the library.
What to Expect from a Virtual Fitness Experience:
- The Instructor is certificatied, with safe programming that you don’t need a lot of equipment for
- It’s effective, motivating and fun!
Benefits to Working Out in a Live Class:
I believe your wellbeing is enhanced by participating in group fitness. Countless clients have told me: they don’t push themselves as hard when they’re on their own. They need the accountability and commitment they get from the group. The support. The energy.
There is a camaraderie that is so powerful when people show up to class for themselves, and for others. There’s strength built in our bodies, our minds, and in our emotional health through the relationships we form in classes.
At CareerFit Mom, we’ve supported people through illness, the loss of a spouse, the loss of a child. Horrific challenges. I think when there’s a community around you, you build up a resilience and support system for the difficult times. For many people that community may come from their workout environment. I think it’s a mindful way of building resilience when you workout in a group environment. You build physical, mental, and emotional resilience. You are strengthening your body, mind, and emotional health as soon as you walk into your class.
For certain populations I would absolutely prefer they’re in a live group environment. New moms, older adults, those at risk of isolation. It’s crucial to get them out, talking to others, and moving. It will make a tremendous difference in their physical and mental health.
What to Expect from a Live Class:
- A teacher and a coach – someone who can demonstrate and teach proper form and technique
- A facilitator – it’s not the instructor’s workout. It’s yours!
- A connector – the instructor knows your name, introduces you to others, and makes eye contact. Eye contact is scientifically proven to make a person feel recognized, understood and validated.
- You should feel like your instructor is taking care of you, because they’re engaging with you in a warm, welcoming, compassionate way. They’re smiling. They’re not centering you out – they’re creating a safe environment of learning and expressing yourself through movement
- A meaningful experience – with education, motivation, fun. The instructor should never take themselves too seriously. We all make mistakes and we’re all learning. So a workout class should be a group learning opportunity
- Attraction to the energy an instructor brings to class. You should see them enjoying themselves. When someone is enjoying what they’re doing and they bring you into that enjoyment with them, as an active participant, it is truly a magical feeling.
Bottom Line: when you workout in a group, you work harder. You get better results
Research from the Department of Psychology out of Santa Clara University showed that people workout harder when they exercise next to someone who is more fit.
There’s a Shift in How People Experience Fitness:
I say, try virtual fitness – it’s a great starting place if you’re feeling intimidated to go to a class, or classes don’t work with your schedule or needs. Then enhance your experience by attending live classes. You will absolutely feel the difference on so many levels.
Our attention is incredibly fragmented in today’s digital world. When you’re in a class, it’s hard to walk away, lose attention, think about your to-do list, or your troubles. You are engaged in mindful movement – whether it’s yoga or weight lifting or hiit.
Try a class and notice the difference:
If you’re in East Toronto we’d love to have you try CareerFit Mom classes and we have an intro offer so you can attend for only $10 – CareerFit Mom.ca/fitness. We’d love to help you get to the next level in a welcoming, fun environment!