A trip to a fitness class is the perfect break in the routine of our day to day lives – it’s a 45-minute escape to blow off steam, stop thinking, and just move. Group fitness provides us with the opportunity to de-stress, boost endorphins, and find the level of connection that we crave. Boutique studios and gyms intentionally develop the experience and touch points to enhance all of these things. We’re all missing in-studio experiences right now — so here are seven ways to bring your favorite group fitness elements home with you.
1. Convenience Views for Days: Exercising in the Great Outdoors
Missing Dryft’s epic SF views of the Marina Green and Ocean Beach? Stream your favorite virtual classes from outside — make the trek out to your front yard, back yard, or rooftop. Get out of your living room to get some fresh air while you exercise — plus a little vitamin D does the body a lot of good.
2. Loungewear, but Make It Cute: Athleisure!
Trade your groutfit, sweatpants or old college t-shirt for an athleisure set that you’d normally wear to your favorite boutique fitness class. If you look good, you’ll feel more confident and energized to hustle through your at-home workout. Plus, like endorphins, bright colors and the resurgence of tie-dye can make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands (or quarantine partners). Instructor-approved leggings, shorts, and crop tops come from brands such as Year of Ours, The Upside, and Outdoor Voices.
3. Turn It Up: Tune Into a Bangin’ Playlist
A killer playlist curated by your favorite instructors always makes working out more fun. A high energy track or big beat drop can sometimes be just what you need to make it through that last set of burpees. Even if you’re looking for the motivation to make it off your couch, check out playlists from Dryft on Spotify or workout playlists by instructors like one I made titled “QuaranTONED”. They can also soundtrack your half-marathon from the fridge to the living room.
4. The Cool Down: DIY Eucalyptus Towels
Missing the small touches and amenities that enhance your in-studio experience? You can DIY some of your favorite post-class refreshments like eucalyptus towels at home. Create this little luxury for yourself in the following simple steps:
- Fill a big bowl with ice water
- Add 8-10 drops of eucalyptus oil
- Submerge a few small hand towels in the scented water
- Wring them out
- Roll them up and place them in a container the fridge
- Grab a towel after your workout and enjoy the cool, stress-relieving sensation
5. Zen Vibes Only: Create Candlelit Moments
Bring the zen vibes of your favorite yoga studios to your living room or bedroom by setting the ~mood~. Roll out your mat, turn down your lights and light a candle or two when you’re live streaming flows from your favorite yogis. Bonus points for burning incense during a slow burn vinyasa.
6.Treat Yourself: Blend Your Own Post-Class Smoothie
Refuel after class and treat yourself to a homemade smoothie. Sure, you have to make it yourself but at least there are no lines in your kitchen and your beverage of choice will be less than half the price of your favorite juice bar (however, if your local juice bar is still open, you could always pay them a visit — help a small business out). If you’re blending your smoothie in-house, here’s a fun recipe that’s also comforting because it’s inspired by PB&J:
- 1 cups frozen blueberries
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- ¾ cup unsweetened oat milk or other milk/nut milk of choice
- 2 Tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
- Top with granola, bee pollen or any other topping of choice
7. Creating Connection: Lights, Camera, Action on Zoom
Miss the IRL energy of sweating it out with your crew? While it’s hard to replicate the in-person experience, join a class on zoom and try turning your camera AND sound on. It’ll help you stay accountable and make the virtual experience far more engaging. While “camera on” may seem intimidating, in the long run you’ll benefit because your trainer can watch you move and help you improve your form. Plus, you get to interact with the other participants – it’s a fun way to see friends or bond with your team, plus you never know who you could meet when you hang back to chat with the instructor or other participants after class!
Group fitness classes give us that bit of time to put ourselves first. In recent times, as the days blur together we often forget the value of setting aside dedicated personal time or creating rituals for ourselves. Gyms and studios specifically design atmosphere and amenities that help us enjoy taking time out of our day to focus on our health and wellbeing. Bringing these aspects of the studio fitness experience into your home is a great way to spark more joy in your wellness routine or step up your self-care game.