The Reality of Virtual Fitness

Local gyms and studios bring training into the home via online technology

One of the most difficult hurdles for anyone trying to make exercise a consistent part of life can be getting to the gym when things are hectic. The problem? Life feels hectic more often than not for many of us. Aided by advances in online technology, several local gyms are taking steps to make it easier for fitness enthusiasts to receive instruction even if they don’t have time to make it to the studio. Fit rounded up a handful and detailed their virtual offerings.

Yoga-Well-Being
1890 Northwest Blvd., www.yoga-well-being.net
Yoga-Well-Being began live streaming its classes at the beginning of the year as a way to accommodate a former student now living in Sweden, and it offers its namesake “Yoga Well Being” class virtually for up to nine participants on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Owner and class instructor Sipra Pimputkar said this capability is particularly helpful for older practitioners, young moms and traveling students. “Our online classes are fully interactive,” she said, “so the home participant doesn’t have a feeling of practicing to a DVD, but gets the individualized attention throughout the class that our in-studio students receive.”

System of Strength
1479 Delashmut Ave., systemofstrength.com
This exercise system aims to sculpt well-rounded physiques by improving cardio, flexibility, definition and tone through six targeted classes. A year and a half ago, System of Strength began offering five- to 30-minute “Express.o.s.” videos online that incorporate the same moves and equipment from classes. “Our ideal situation would be for someone to come into the studio and use the videos when they are not able to make a live workout,” said co-owner Keri Croft. “However, there are people out there who would rather work out in the privacy of their own home, and the Express.o.s. videos are a great fit for those people as well.”

barre3
8882 Moreland Street, Powell; 1735 W. Lane Ave., www.barre3.com
Headquartered in Portland, Ore., barre3’s two Columbus-area studios supply workouts that merge the regimen’s trademark combination of yoga, Pilates and ballet barre exercises. The barre3 website offers more than 150 interchangeable workouts of varying lengths for creating customized routines that are searchable by target body area (core, upper-body, etc.). Online subscriptions give users access to an array of original, healthy recipes developed by nutritionists, with new recipes added seasonally. They also have a mobile app that provides 10-minute workouts set to users’ music, daily wellness tips and a grocery-list builder.

Yoga on High
1081 N. High Street, www.yogaonhigh.com
Sometimes teachers are the beneficiaries of virtual classes, as Yoga on High provides future instructors with one course on yoga breathing and another on Urban Zen via the Internet, though a couple in-person sessions are also required. “All the sessions are recorded so that students can play back the sessions and practice the techniques whenever they like,” said Jasmine Grace, owner of Yoga on High. “Both these courses result in a certification so being able to practice when you like increases the chance of passing the evaluations easily.” In 2015, the studio also plans to provide basic yoga teacher training and prenatal teacher training online, in addition to some of the regular yoga classes.

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