According to Market Research’s (MRFR) virtual fitness market forecast report, the virtual fitness market is lucrative and booming.
Predicted to witness significant growth at a healthy 30.01% CAGR over the forecast period by 2026, consumers today are looking at virtual fitness to fulfil their workout goals. Online or virtual workouts such as Pilates, Spinning and Yoga are helping to ignite the next generation fitness revolution.
Offering convenience, these wellness/fitness service offer users access to instructors or trainers virtually/online rather than visiting a fitness facility. Granted the COVID-19 Pandemic no doubt accelerated this need. However due to the convenience it offers, many are now making these virtual workout sessions as their ‘go-to’ in order to achieve their fitness goals.
This booming sector has seen numerous virtual gyms being created. Some mainstay traditional gyms have also transformed their service offerings in order to capitalise on the ‘Work-Out-From-Home’ trend.
According to Pilates instructor, Gia Calhoun, virtual classes are a cost effective way for anyone to kick start their fitness journey. A well-established instructor with 14 years’ experience in the Fitness, Yoga and Pilates industry, Gia is also the Vice President of Pilates Anytime, a virtual one-stop resource for online pilates.
Delivering world-class instruction anywhere, anytime, and at an affordable price, Pilates Anytime is designed for all body types and fitness backgrounds. The platform carries a wide range of classes ranging from quick five min classes to extensive 90 min sessions.
Changing Perception For Online Fitness
Gia reveals that she’s seen an increase in people opting for online classes, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. “Even as gyms and studios have re-opened, many people still feel safer working out at home. Primarily because they can control their environment and how many people they come into contact with,” she adds. “We’ve also seen an increase in the number of people purchasing Pilates equipment and props as well, so that they can optimize their at-home practice.”
The instructor opines that the pandemic helped people see that working out at home with online classes is a more viable option than previously thought. “It’s helpful for those with busy schedules as they can take their classes when it works best for them. They also have better access to the best teachers from all over the world,” she adds.
“That said, there are still people who prefer to work out in person. However, as the pandemic continues and changes, the online options will help people stay more consistent with their practice. According to Gia, Pilates Anytime caters to a broad demographic with members from all over the world. “We have members in more than 120 countries. A majority of them residing in the U.S, UK, Canada and Australia.
If you are doing Pilates at a gym, you usually have to pay your monthly membership fee. This can be a costly recurring expense, depending on which gym you attend. A compromise would be group classes although those can get crowded. Those who want more a personalised setting such as smaller classes or one-on-one tutorials, will incur additional costs and fees.
Online fitness platforms such as Pilates Anytime makes it cost-effective and convenient for anyone to kick off their fitness journey. “With an online subscription, you usually get a trial period, to see if you like the site,” adds Gia. Pilates Anytime offers a 15-days trial. Upon becoming a member, users just need to pay a small monthly fee for unlimited access to the library of videos.
“With online Pilates, you can customize your search to find the right classes for you which makes it easier to stay consistent with your practice,” she adds. A typical membership at Pilates Anytime is priced at US$18 per month (S$24). That offers members an unlimited access to their library of over 3,500 videos.
According to Gia for those who are new to Pilates, all they really need is a mat and space to move. “Your mat should be thicker than a yoga mat as there are many exercises that require you to roll on your spine. The extra cushion will protect your spine. If you don’t have a thicker mat, you can also use a yoga mat on a carpeted floor for more padding.”
Although props aren’t required, Gia admits that having them on hand can enhance the practice. “Commonly used items are hand weights, resistance bands, balls, and foam rollers. You can make small adjustments to Pilates exercises to modify or challenge it when needed. All of our classes are sorted by level and pace. This will help you decide which class is right for you.”
Gia explains that Pilates serves as a great way to keep one’s body moving in a safe way.
“You can use it to help recover from injury, to avoid injury. It can also help you perform better in your other activities. It connects your mind and your body, making you more aware of how you are moving and feeling so that you are more centred, balanced, and present,” she adds. The instructor also adds that there are additional benefits to Pilates. “Overall, you will feel better as you stand taller, breathe more fully, and feel stronger in your entire body.”
(Images: Courtesy of Gia Calhoun and Pilates Anytime)