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If there was ever a time to double down on your health, it’s now.

After nearly two years of restrictions during the pandemic, I’m seeing many clients at my physiotherapy practice dealing with negative physical and mental health consequences of having a reduced level of physical activity.

In addition to being at higher risk for serious health issues, lower levels of physical fitness can also make us more vulnerable to illness and reduce our ability to recover. A recent study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that being a “regular exerciser” (2.5 hours per week) even has protective benefits in reducing the likelihood of severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19.

Despite our good intentions, getting safe and appropriate exercise can be difficult at the best of times — not to mention in the middle of a Canadian winter, during a global pandemic. Even if participating in an online fitness class is something you’d never considered before, here are five reasons that I think you should reconsider.

1. Lots of variety available

Computers and the internet have transformed what working out from home looks like. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an explosion in online fitness options. Some programs offer pre-recorded content, while others provide live classes.

If you feel more confident with direct guidance, look for live classes that allow interaction with the instructor. For instance, in our Club Z Fitness Program, we love that we can see you in your living room, which helps us provide direct feedback about exercise techniques.

2. The workouts are efficient

There is no need to budget in time for travel, traffic, and parking. This can make it easier to fit a workout into a busy day.

3. Eliminate concerns about COVID-19 exposure

Despite the excellent safety practices that gyms are implementing, many of us continue to feel hesitant working out in public spaces. Working out from home eliminates this concern.

4. Feel connected to a community

This is especially true if you are participating in a program with live classes. Having the opportunity to greet each other and wish each other well during our live online fitness classes has been a great perk for our Club Z members. It’s a great way to feel connected to others in a time that has been isolating for so many of us.

5. The technology is easier to use than you think

Getting started with an online class can feel daunting at first, but don’t let this fear hold you back. Once you get your initial setup done, it’s usually much easier than you thought it’d be!

If you’re venturing into online workouts for the first time this year, give yourself time to get the hang of it. Just like any new activity, you will get better at both the exercises and using the technology with practice.

Our Club Z members have been happily surprised at how accessible, enjoyable, and effective their online workouts from home have been, and I hope the same is true for you.