Exercise online together [on your own at home]
Guest Blog from Breathe Fitness – our team network partner
We are currently experiencing history in the making. As the COVID-19 pandemic takes a hold on a global scale, here in Canada, we’re experiencing unprecedented measures taken by the federal, provincial and municipal governments to help mitigate (or, at least, slow down) the spread of this novel virus.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen conferences and events with large gatherings cancelled, schools have closed, recreation centres and libraries are closed indefinitely, people travelling abroad have been advised to urgently come home as the border tightens up and insurance policies become void, and many businesses are completely shutting their doors or forcing their employees to work from home. We have been told to “socially distance” ourselves, a new expression that has now become a part of everyone’s basic terminology.
All of these measures are being taken in the hope we can save lives by slowing down the transmission of the virus; therefore, not overwhelming the health care system all in one fell swoop. Everyone is being asked to do their part. This is a group effort.
Online-ONLY Fitness Training Breathe Fitness is a boutique-style personal training and small group training business. As a small business owner, we (my partner and I) understand we have a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of our staff, clients, and their respective families – this is, hands down, definitely our top priority. We have made the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily shut our (physical) doors, to do our part in ‘social distancing’.To weather this storm the best we can, and to maintain our livelihood at the same time, we have quickly realized we needed to completely shift our business model to adapt to the evolving COVID-19 situation.
Personalized ‘Social Distance’ Training
Although we have stopped training our clients in-person at our studio, we still want to offer an alternative method to provide our main service: training individuals, couples and small groups face-to-face. Over a 24-hour period, we shifted from training solely in-person, to exclusively training our clientele virtually with video conferencing via Zoom (two-way video platform, similar to FaceTime or Skype).
This means we’re starting something we may not feel ready for, but nonetheless, we must challenge our versatility and pursue other ways to provide our service. It is similar to a cyclist needing to “attack the hill”, we are confronting this situation head-on with determination and resiliency. As coaches and trainers, we have come to realize after a couple dozen online sessions in hand, that the skill sets we have developed over the years match this new training paradigm very well. It is still about perfecting exercise technique, first and foremost – while connecting with our clients on a cerebral and (for now) a slightly altered physical plane.
Create your new ‘Normal’
Unfortunately, during times of heightened stress and anxiety, people often stop exercising; however, this is one of the most important times to be active! Moderate exercise has been shown to support your immunity, help cope with stress and anxiety, improve your energy and mental well-being.
Many of our personal training clients also come to us for accountability and moral support. This time, more than ever, we still want to be able to provide honest support in respect to physical, nutritional and positive daily habit-forming advice for our clients. Training clients from their homes via online video chat is the best method which allows us to continue helping our clients maintain their workouts on a consistent basis. It is also the best medium to maintain the personal contact required to commiserate, be compassionate, and continue fostering the friendships we have with our clients.
Working from home, having the kids at home, and ‘social distancing’ ourselves may become the new ‘normal’ for weeks or months to come. With people spending the majority of their day at home, it provides an amazing opportunity for us to create new routines and newly formed habits. People may find they possess a very valuable currency: an abundance of unstructured free time. This is the time for people to learn how to model their day and time around physical activity and sound nutrition. Even though our children are no longer going to school, I am confident no parent wants to pause their child’s learning. As parents, we will provide them with the necessary tools to continue to foster learning and not just place them in front of the television all day. Likewise, the same mindset should be applied to our own physical well-being. We should not be pausing our physical health at this time.
Keeping Online Training ‘Personal’
With the use of online meeting/class platforms, such as Zoom and Punchpass, and training Apps such as Trainerize, we are hoping we can help even more people improve their physical and nutritional health during this time of uncertainty. People want a sense of normalcy. This can be achieved by staying physically active, or creating a new routine around reasonable, moderate daily physical activity. We believe working with clients live, online, ‘in-person’ will prove to be an effective means to helping our current and future clients continue to improve their physical and mental well-being.
When we no longer have to ‘social distance’, schools and city run facilities re-open, and life returns to “business as usual” per se, it is difficult to forecast how our business, like many other businesses, will be operating. Most likely, many of our regular clientele will choose to return to our studio for in-person training; however, some may choose to continue training online from their homes – the convenience of not having to spend additional time traveling to and from the gym may prove to be the game changer between having a workout or not. We expect that our business model will continue to evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath; however, we are hopeful that when we look back on these times, it will have acted as the instigator that made us broaden our services to have an even greater impact on more people than ever before.
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