We all know that exercise is important for our physical wellbeing.
But with gyms and classes being shut down due to lockdown laws, what has happened to the fitness industry? Are people still working out? And how much does it help your mental wellbeing?
BeyondBlue says that by moving our bodies we are positively influencing mental health in the following ways.
- Promotes the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain, like endorphins and serotonin
- It helps you sleep better so you rest fully at night and feel more energised during the day
- Gives you a sense of accomplishment as your fitness improves and you start achieving your goals.
With this in mind, the data on fitness and wellbeing since the COVID-19 pandemic is pretty promising – with huge numbers of people adopting new technologies and adapting their routines to include digital workout options.
Google Play Store recorded that in March 2020, “Home Workout – No Equipment” was downloaded approximately 2.6 million times to mobile devices worldwide. (Statista.com)
During the month of March the search terms “home gym” and “home workouts” rose 66% and 55% respectively. (Forbes)
Home Fitness app downloads have risen 288% in 2020.(marketwatch.com)
Luckily, some premium sites and apps have recently either reduced fees or have extended free trial periods for those who are looking for new ways to exercise our bodies and minds. We’ve compiled a handy list below:
Peloton – Is offering access to online classes for cycling, walking, running, bootcamp, strength and outdoor activities with this free 30 day trial.
Adidas’ Runtastic is offering free access for 90 days and includes 180+ workouts and lots of 7 minute home workouts https://www.runtastic.com/
Closer to home, The Robards Method (our The Bachelor friend Tim Robbards) is offering a six week program called 12 Minute Abs Challenge for free with the code, FREEABS and download here.
Nike has waived its usual monthly fee for its premium service indefinitely. The app grants people access to more than 185 free workouts across a variety of styles, as well as nutrition and wellness guides.
For less traditional workouts
Queensland Ballet is offering free online classes – take them for a twirl! https://www.queenslandballet.com.au/classes/dance-classes
There are also some terrific resources that you can access through NSW Government’s Office of Sport with a variety of activities and suggestions for a range of ages and abilities. https://sport.nsw.gov.au/stayingactive
My Virtual Mission allows you to use a gamified fitness tracker for teams, families, friends or colleagues. It can be done while running, walking, cycling or swimming. You can access well-known routes like the Great Wall of China, Route 66 and even share your progress with others to arrange for donations to charity. https://www.myvirtualmission.com/
With Zombies, Run! you can walk, jog or run anywhere in the world. Hear your mission and music through your headphones. If you’re chased by zombies, you’ll have to speed up and you can collect supplies as well.
Fitness RPG maps your progress more directly. You’re training a team of heroes, and every step you take gains you energy you can use to level up your heroes. The app uses the hardware in your smartphone to track your steps, serving as both a pedometer and a fun game. Download Fitness RPG on the Apple App Store or Google Play
And don’t discount games like Pokemon Go either – it can be great for long walks or runs as restrictions start to ease, download here.
One thing though – don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Make sure whatever you do is manageable and achievable within the schedule of your new routine. This isn’t a competition. Enjoy!