Exercise Trends: Virtual Fitness Classes

When gyms and fitness studios temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, exercise enthusiasts needed to find new ways to work out on their own. Luckily for San Diegans, the agreeable climate made going for walks, runs, hikes, or socially distanced workouts in the park much easier than for those living in other parts of the country. For those who chose to get their workouts in the safety of their own home, many turned to virtual fitness classes. Fitness instructors pivoted from in-class workouts to offering classes over Zoom or YouTube, and many gyms got on-board with offering a digital complement to their class schedule. 

While most fitness studios have safely re-opened as restrictions in California have relaxed, the convenience of working out on your own schedule and not having a commute to a gym means that for many, virtual fitness is here to stay. 

Here are 5 places to find virtual fitness classes: 


YouTube is an absolute treasure chest of the best online workouts for free! From senior-friendly seated exercises, to high-intensity cardio workouts, there is a workout for everyone. A lot of instructors put workouts for free on YouTube as a way to build followers to join paid programs via their websites, so this is a great way to try things out before making a bigger commitment.
Cost: Free


Peloton is best known for their cycling classes, but their app offers 1000s of on-demand classes and workout programs in a variety of disciplines including strength, yoga, cardio, bootcamp, barre, stretching and meditation. They also have scenic rides so you can pedal through Hawaii or another stunning location, all from home! Their app can be used anywhere, and can be shared with an unlimited amount of household members.
Cost: Membership to the class is $39 a month, and bike packages start at $1895. A no-interest financing plan is available. 


TikTok videos are less than a minute long, and while that might seem too short for a workout, you’d be surprised by the wealth of exercise moves, tips, tricks — along with some comic relief — you can find there. Search the fitness-related hashtags to find accounts you like and want to follow for inspiration.
Cost: Free app for both Android and iOS 


Beachbody has over 1,500 on-demand classes available via their free app. Members use preferences and goals to customize a training schedule. They also offer nutritional support and meal plans, plus a community feature to help keep each other accountable.
Cost: Rates vary depending on if you are only subscribing to on-demand classes or also purchasing nutritional supplements. Membership plans are approximately $99 annually. 


One of the newest entries into the virtual fitness game is Mirror, which is essentially a large mirror that plays workouts for you to follow, with advanced algorithms that deliver in-workout adjustments to help you meet your goals. They have over 50 genres of workouts including dance, yoga, boxing, barre, bootcamp, and more.
Cost: The Mirror starts at $1,497 and can be paid in installments. The subscription allows you to share access with up to six household members. 

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Virtual Fitness Class

  • Choose a time that works for your schedule where you are least likely to want to cancel, and make it a routine.
  • Dedicate a spot in your home for working out so you begin to associate it with fitness.
  • Keep your mat, weights, or other workout accessories in a place that’s easy to retrieve them — if they are buried under things in your closet, you’ll be less likely to want to get them out! 
  • Invite a friend. You can take a class over Zoom together, or pull up an on-demand class and one of you can share your screen. Working out with a friend is great for accountability and making it feel like a social activity instead of work. 
  • If possible, use your TV to do your workout rather than your laptop or tablet. The bigger screen will make you feel more like you are in a real class, and you’ll be able to see the moves more easily than if you’re squinting at a small screen.
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