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Trending: Virtual Fitness

by Organic Spa Magazine

From busy schedules, tight budgets and over-crowded gyms to plain old social anxiety, there are plenty of reasons why people have trouble sticking with a fitness plan. And if you expect to overindulge on pumpkin pie and hot toddies over the holidays (who doesn’t?), it’s good to have a plan that will help you get back in shape!

With the latest technology and a little discipline, virtual fitness—a growing trend at small spas and boutique hotels—may be a great solution.

How It Works

With roots in the fitness tapes of the 1980s (anyone remember Jane Fonda’s Original Workout?) virtual fitness options attempt to minimize the hassle of joining a fitness plan--and getting yourself to the gym--by using the ubiquity of Internet access. Whether at a gym in front of a larger-than-life projection, or at home on your laptop or TV, anyone can have access to a personal trainer.

With hundreds of gym owners and equipment manufacturers rushing to release their own virtual classes, each plan will have a wide variety of fitness choices. From cardio to strength and endurance training, here are a few different ways you can get involved in the digital-wellness era.

On Demand

Much like pay-per-view television, on-demand programs allow you to start a class at your own convenience. Many at-home exercise bikes have access to pre-recorded workout plans built-in, but all you need is an Internet connection and some floor space to get started with a simple yoga or Pilates course. If you have a non-traditional work schedule, or prefer to exercise in the comfort of your own home, an on-demand class is the perfect fit.

Group Classes

Are you the type of person who has a hard time getting to the gym, but gets the most out of it once you’re there? A group class at your local gym might be right for you. Many local gyms are offering virtual lessons in groups via projector screens for people who miss live classes, or want to get the benefits of a celebrity trainer-led routine.

This is the perfect plan for people who are motivated by others. Group environments often offer subtle competition between members as a way to push everyone closer to their goals. From soothing yoga to high intensity cardio, group classes offer a wide range of plans depending on your goals. Add the charisma of a celebrity trainer to the mix, and there’s no telling how many calories you’ll burn.

Virtual Reality

As technology continues to advance, many companies are utilizing virtual and augmented reality to bring you closer to your fitness goals.

If you have the budget, companies like VirZoom, Peloton, and Mirror are creating virtual reality programs for those who struggle to stay motivated during a workout, from simple cycling routines disguised as riding through fantasy worlds, to full body workouts framed as high-tech action movies. There’s no doubt that the casual-couch potato will find a new sense of motivation here. Be on the lookout for Mirror's new augmented-reality equipment, featuring conference-style classes on barre, yoga, boxing, and pilates.

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