There is no question that the past year has had a grave impact on the mental, physical and emotional well being of people around the world.

“An online survey of Albertans who have reached out for help during the COVID-19 crisis suggests the pandemic is taking a toll on mental health, with increased signs of obsessive behaviour, stress and depression.” – CTV News

Early in the pandemic, so many people curled up in their pyjamas and binged on Netflix that “viewership of the streaming service has soared since shelter-in-place orders swept the country in March. In April, Netflix reported the addition of a record 15.77 million paid subscribers globally in the first quarter — double the new subscribers it expected”. This, alongside working online from home all hours the day, attending school online all day, the closure of fitness studios and global government restrictions against physical activity or high-risk activity (especially for the immunocompromised), has led our world into the dangerous territory of sedentary lifestyle.

“Only 4.8% of children and 0.6% of youth were meeting combined movement behaviour guidelines during COVID-19 restrictions. Children and youth had lower PA levels, less outside time, higher SB (including leisure screen time), and more sleep during the outbreak.” – https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12966-020-00987-8

Alas, fitness instructors across the country are eager to keep people moving. While many people have become accustomed to the lifestyle of relaxing at home, and despite the fact that the leaders in fitness and wellness might be forced to close down their studios, these community fitness leaders are not ready to stop encouraging movement and physical fitness. Here are 3 creative solutions to staying fit all pandemic long.

  1. Window Workouts windowworkout.com @windowworkout

This creative and innovative idea was sparked after a Toronto based yoga teacher noticed her students wanted private fitness classes, but couldn’t figure out how to do them. It felt too unsafe to do them in person, too public to do them socially distanced in parks and too technology-based to do them online. The solution: a crew of courageous fitness instructors speckled across the country that will literally show up at your porch or back door, call you on your phone for audio and then guide you through face to face personal workouts through the Covid-Safe barrier of your window. For the immunocompromised or elderly who couldn’t leave their homes even if studios were open, this is the best solution out there.

  1. Online Studios https://www.leelapod.com/, www.kardiaathletica.com, https://www.jafferyoga.com/virtual-yoga-membership

Visit your favourite fitness studio website right now and we can almost guarantee you that they have developed a technology platform to present livestream and recorded fitness classes. While online fitness streaming was previously limited to a few big online platforms, now every studio (and many independent teachers as well) are offering their classes for the masses. Through much trial and error, many online studios have learned over the past year that the earlier classes tend to garner more interest, that people prefer access to recorded over live classes, that people do not want to have their video on while they work out, and that the online fitness platform is lacking one thing: accountability. Many students who pay for online classes do not show up.

  1. Fitness Equipment Rentals https://philosophyfitness.com/, https://rocketcycle.ca/bike-rentals/

Everybody seems to know somebody who went on Kijiji early in the pandemic and bought a used (or new) stationary bike, elliptical or benchpress. If we could actually go into our friends homes again it might start to feel like being in a small town during the 80s when purchasing gym equipment really became popularized. Some genius studios have even rented out everything from spin bikes to pilates reformers, linking them to subscription programs from their own teachers.

It doesn’t matter what approach you choose to take to keep your heart rate pumping and your mind clear during this pandemic, but what matter is this – there are teachers out there willing to do everything from workout in the snow with you to learn online video editing for you. There are fitness teachers willing to get more creative than anyone would have ever imagined possible in the fitness world, and when you are ready, so are they.