Working out is one of the things that many people have incorporated into the groove of their daily lives, with their new-found free time during the pandemic allowing many to break out of a sedentary lifestyle. However, little to no access to gyms and sports facilities due to social distancing protocols led to the rise of online workout guides, functioning as a way for people to have the opportunity to start or continue their fitness journey from their own homes.
With major shifts from the pre-pandemic fitness scene, different workout solutions emerged amid the challenging times. These included group workout classes held over mobile workout applications and online guides to fitness routines from the internet among many others.
Fitness at home
Different people choose to exercise for different reasons. Bianca Manzano (I, BSA) considered workout videos she found online at the start of the pandemic when she saw her peers were exercising and staying fit despite social distancing protocols. Sharing that she was initially aimed to achieve a “glow up”, exercising for health eventually became her priority.
On the other hand, Katrisse Torre (II, AB-LIT) tried to follow along YouTube workout videos to return to a certain fitness level she once had when she was an athlete. She discloses that after comparing her previous photos to her current ones, she became motivated to take her insecurities away and be active once again.
While there is an overwhelming amount of fitness videos posted on various social media platforms, people must cautiously discern who among these “fitness content creators” are credible enough to help them achieve healthier lifestyles—both physically and mentally.
Knowing that individuals’ fitness and overall health is at stake, listening to creators who rely on science-based fitness and nutrition can steer one in the right direction and attain sustainable progress. Maxine Reynaldo (III, AB-OCM) stuck to a similar route along her journey, attempting to optimize her program using evidence and facts. “There are licensed trainers who upload specialized workout videos on their YouTube channels. They’re the ones I refer to most often because they have great feedback, [and] they go as far as educating their viewers about the different techniques and dynamics of becoming fit and staying fit,” she conveys.
Staying fit is a challenge in itself, but mental toughness is undoubtedly a characteristic one must possess in order to meet their personal goals. With so many people posting their impressive progress pictures on social media, Reynaldo decides to focus more on herself rather than comparing her fitness journey to that of others. She asserts, “I try not to let myself get enthralled with fitness personalities because I end up comparing myself with them. It kind of spirals out so I stay motivated just by sheer will.” This mindset also allowed her to practice discipline which she believes is crucial in pursuing her fitness goals.
Everyone comes from different backgrounds especially with working out; there is no one-size-fits-all regimen that can help an individual achieve their fitness goals. In Torre’s experience. she spent time browsing through different workouts only to find out that not they were not effective for her, sharing, “I spent a lot of time doing workouts that did not suit my body type and physicality level.”
Finding their niche
As gyms and sports facilities are once again open, fitness enthusiasts are no longer constrained within their own homes. Many people have forgone mainstream workout trends from the height of the pandemic and sought the equipment and environment offered by gyms. Despite the general shift away from home workouts, online fitness videos still play a pivotal role in many people’s fitness journeys.
One of many fitness enthusiasts who are happy to see gyms open once again is Aldrich Que (I, BS-ENT)—who explains that these facilities aid in promoting holistic health. “I still encourage everyone to go to the gym because it can help us enhance our physique and mental health.” He believes, however, that YouTube fitness videos were a crucial supplement to his regime, allowing him to “explore different workout routines that helped my body be healthy and fit.”
Despite the benefits that traditional gyms have, Manzano shares that online videos still provide her much value despite many fitness centers being open once again. She opines, “I would still refer to [workout videos even though gyms are open again], especially when I’m creating a new workout regimen for my goal of the month.” For the first-year student, these online references allow her to build up her confidence and ability before further investing in a physical program. “I mostly follow YouTube videos for days I dedicate to pilates, since I don’t think I’m still physically ready to enroll myself in onsite [classes].”
With the pandemic seeming to slowly yet surely fade away and gyms open at full capacity once again, workout videos can nonetheless still be referred to by many. Having been a staple for many, online routines and fitness guides managed to find a niche among those who have no experience in performing certain routines while oftentimes acting as a substitute for facilities that are not easily accessible to help them maintain their newly found or reestablished fitness habits.