Online fitness training or in-person workouts: pros and cons


Online training involves the use of digital streaming technology to deliver exercise programs for groups or individuals, and encompasses both live streamed and pre-recorded workouts. Today, with the Omicron variant racing across the world and many gym goers considering a return to online education, this trend appears to be here to stay. Or at least a version of it.

“I predict that a hybrid model will be the trend of the future,” said Jennifer Rewkowski, vice president of community health and wellness at the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, which offers in-person workouts and in line. “The world has changed so much in the last 19 months when it comes to people’s hours and places of work, education, etc. For some people, the on-demand world really works,” she said. by email.

But is one training format better than another? Experts say it depends. Here are several factors to consider when deciding whether you want to hit the gym or your living room for your next workout.

Important note: Before starting any new exercise program, consult your doctor. Stop immediately if you experience pain. Also, be sure to check out the Covid-19 guidelines in your area.

Online workouts are more accessible and cheaper

One of the most popular reasons for working on an online video is that it provides ultimate convenience. No need to get out of bed at 5 a.m. to take this 6 a.m. boot camp course, which can end up being full when you arrive. Instead, you can turn it on at home at your convenience. What if you’re on the road? No problem. You can access your workout via your phone, tablet or laptop.

Another advantage is the price. Gym memberships can be expensive, while online workouts are less expensive and sometimes even free. that of Chicago YMCA of Irving Park, for example, charges $ 52 per month for an adult membership (27 and over), plus a membership fee of $ 52. The online The Mills + program, on the other hand, offers a 30-day free trial of its more than 1,500 workouts. If you like them, it’s only $ 9.99 per month when you sign up for a year.

There is a catch when it comes to the price though. Some online workouts require specific equipment, such as stability balls or weights, which you may need to purchase. And if you fall in love with the popular Peloton home workout and just need to have one of its specialty bikes, be prepared to shell out between $ 1,500 and $ 2,500.

A person rides a Peloton exercise bike at their home in San Anselmo, Calif., April 6, 2020.

In-person workouts are generally safer

One of the main disadvantages of online workouts is that there is no experienced instructor to give you feedback. “When you’re in a structured, supervised environment, someone who knows what they’re doing can help,” said John Quindry, president of the School of Integrative Physiology and Athletic Training at the University of Montana. . “If your form is wrong, or if you are going too hard or not hard enough, these things can be fixed under supervision.”

Martina Knight gives a smaller barre class, with participants observing social distancing, at the SLO Yoga Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif., On March 3, 2021.

Plus, if you exercise at home alone and fall, or have a heart or metabolic problem, you could really be in trouble. That being said, face-to-face classes aren’t perfect when it comes to security. Instructors may not notice someone’s poor form if a class is crowded or someone intentionally stepped in the back out of embarrassment, Quindry said.

Whether you choose a fitness center or an online option, make sure the instructors are qualified, especially if you have a health concern of concern. Anyone can post an exercise video online, and some fitness centers hire instructors with minimal qualifications.

In-person workouts can hold you more accountable

If you take a yoga or barre class with your best friend every Tuesday, you might go even on days you don’t feel like it. You won’t want to disappoint them, after all. But no one will know if you don’t activate an online workout.

You may be more motivated by the variety of online workout options

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Your in-person training options are highly dependent on the facility. Smaller fitness centers may only offer a handful of classes, such as yoga, cycling, and kickboxing. Other institutions may have a wide variety of courses available, but they charge additional fees. Online options, on the other hand, usually offer a huge assortment of courses. And this buffet of options may be just what you need to avoid boredom and stay motivated to sweat regularly.

Whether you prefer in-person workouts, online sessions, or a little bit of each, the key to remember is to stay active, said Jafra Thomas, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Public Health at California Polytechnic State. University in San Luis Obispo.

“Unfortunately, the cultures around exercise encourage you to compare yourself to artificial beauty standards or adopt unrealistic expectations about when you will see benefits,” he said. “While the appreciation of movement is rarely encouraged by platform builders or instructors, physical activity offers many health benefits. “

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