How can you stay fit and healthy despite the uncertainties brought about by this pandemic? To survive in this ever-changing world, you need to accept the current situation, be open to challenges and learn how to adapt to changes. The best thing that you can do right now is to focus on your well-being. It’s never too late to start your healthy journey.
I started my first ever small group Zoom workout with Juana Yupangco’s group (her husband Rick, sister Lil, and friends Giselle, Jody, and Erin) 18 months ago. I was using my phone at that time with a very weak Wi-Fi connection. Adjusting to the new normal was a big challenge for me. However, I became so inspired by my clients’ motivation to show up for the Zoom classes. Hence, I did everything I could to improve every online session, to give my clients the best workout experience and desired results.
Stop delaying your good intentions, hoping that everything will be back to normal soon. Do what you can right now to strengthen your immune system and to get stronger for the sake of your loved ones. Live online workouts like Zoom classes can really do wonders for your health. It’s good to follow on-demand (recorded workout sessions) or YouTube videos, but joining a live online class is safer and more effective because the instructor can correct your form, give you exercise options and appropriate feedback during the session.
Here are some ways to get started so you can maximize and balance your live Zoom workout sessions.
Find an online workout with an instructor who can match your goals, personality, and program preference.
Research available online workout programs or ask your friends who currently exercise with an online coach. Inquire more about the workout program, and then mention your concerns, health issues, and goals. I recommend that you schedule a one-on-one session first so the coach can thoroughly assess your movement patterns and fitness level before you join a group class. The session will also give you an idea about the coach’s training style and expertise. You can have numerous workouts with various instructors who offer fusion workouts, high-intensity interval training classes (HIIT), barre, yoga, Pilates, dance, etc.
I always combine cardio, core, and strength training in my group classes using light to moderate weights and other exercise props like bands and balls. Fusion workouts using functional movement patterns have always been my training style with clients. I prefer exercise moves that can target several muscle groups for an efficient calorie burn and body sculpting effects. My clients join my functional training fusion workouts because they mostly want to get core, cardio, and strength in a single workout session.
Choose other exercise sessions that can balance your current workout routines.
If you are used to lifting heavier weights in your strength training routine, explore cardio workouts like indoor cycling, dance, boxing, and mind and body classes like Pilates, yoga, and meditation.
Set up your exercise environment
Choose a workout space in your house with fewer distractions. Create enough space to perform lunges, squats, push-ups, and floor exercises. Invest in various exercise equipment and props that can motivate you to progress and move more.
Make sure that you have a strong Wi-Fi connection at home to have a great workout experience. Download the Zoom app and familiarize yourself with it. Prepare your fitness gadgets like laptops, iPad, phones, Bluetooth earphones, or speakers to get the most of your workout sessions.
Bodyweight exercises like yoga, Pilates, dance, and some HIIT workouts don’t require the use of exercise props. But the most basic exercise equipment you can have at home is your exercise mat, a pair of 2 to 5-pound light dumbbells, and an elastic band.
Track your progress and be consistent with your workouts
To sustain an active lifestyle, it is best to monitor your workouts and exercise progress. You can use a fitness wearable to track your exercises, heart rate, and calorie burn. Your fitness improvements will inspire you to stick to your exercise habit. A higher than usual average heart rate during a regular fitness workout can prompt you to give yourself some time to rest and recover.
Here are some inspiring stories and tips I got from some of my clients who have been consistently joining my Zoom classes.
TANYA MORENO-DELA PAZ, 39, HR executive
Tanya started her Zoom workouts at the start of the pandemic last March 2020. She combines our Zoom workouts with indoor cycling and treadmill workout.
“I have been a friend and client of Mitch for almost 10 years. Before the pandemic, we used to see each other three to four times a week, and I am grateful that we can continue our routine because of Zoom. Although I miss seeing her face to face, the Zoom workouts have helped keep me on track, and I admire how she is always reinventing herself. In fact, the workouts have become even harder, and I feel she is stronger than ever.
I gave birth to my third son six months before the pandemic, so my body was in postpartum shape when we went into lockdown. The Zoom workouts have definitely fast-tracked getting my old figure back, and today, I’m back to my original size. The workouts also help me move mindfully and eliminate stress. I enjoy seeing my friends in class and feel lucky to be part of this community.”
Tanya’s Zoom workout tips
“Use the right device – it makes a world of difference when using a phone, iPad, or laptop. I like using a laptop since I can easily change the camera’s angle when moving to floor exercises.
I also suggest keeping the view on “speaker view” to avoid getting distracted by seeing the other participants.
A good internet connection is also vital when doing a Zoom workout since it ruins your groove if the connection keeps cutting in and out.”
MARGA CUNANAN-KWOK, 44, owner, Cunanan Ensaymada
Marga started joining the Zoom classes last June 2019. She already started joining indoor cycling before our Zoom workouts. Her main motivation that time was about wanting to go up the stairs without huffing and puffing. After several months, she became fitter and healthier. She managed her asthma and lost weight (a bonus).
Marga’s Zoom workout tips
“I motivate myself by always wanting to wear nicer clothes like dresses, tank tops, spaghetti strap tubes, and bikinis!
Give it your all as if you’re in a live class. I always use gallery view so I can see how I am fairing with my workout mates.
Workout with friends. I get to work out with good friends, so I enjoy it so much. I look forward to every workout session.”
TIM YAP, host and eventologist
“Zoom workout has been my addiction since March 2021. I saw my friend Giselle Yujuico, who looked so toned, and I asked her secret. So she invited me to Mitch’s class, and I have been hooked ever since.
“I had hypertension at that time, just suffered from a vertigo attack, and was going through the worst phase of my physical life. I told myself I cannot be with an unfit person who’s not living a healthy life. Being on Mitch’s Zoom classes, committing to waking up every day and coming to class–showing up is half the battle won.”
“And after a few months, when I checked, my hypertension is gone, my vertigo remnants nowhere to be found, and me being at my happiest, fittest, and healthiest self. It really starts with a baby step of showing up for a Zoom workout session that you’ll thank yourself for attending (even if your mind: the body was telling you not to) and then after the hour of sweating, burning calories, and trying your best to be your better version. You’ll realize that you have to do it because you want to be better, happier, healthier. Join and enjoy the ride.”
Tim’s workout tips
“To maximize the workout, trust the process. Then trust yourself and your instructor, knowing they want to bring out the best in you. Ride out the energy and let it take you to a place that can make you the best that you can be, even when it’s not so easy. Just learn to enjoy it and savor the combined efforts of your coach and that voice inside that wants you to be your better self. But first of all, show up!”
ROSANNA OCAMPO-RODRIGUEZ, 40, Fashion Designer and President of Rosanna Ocampo Inc.
Rosanna started joining the Zoom classes last year but became more consistent since March 2021. She maintained her weight but achieved a significant improvement in the definition of arms and legs. On some days, she does other online HIIT workouts on her own.
Rosanna’s workout tips
“I really believe it’s important to find something you like; otherwise, attending the classes will feel like a chore. I love the energy and music in Mitch’s classes, and the routines are never monotonous. There’s always something new, and expect things to switch up constantly. I love the integration of Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, and cardio rolled into one class.
Consistency is key and of course a balanced lifestyle and clean eating. Results come when you show up for yourself.”
“I’ve been joining Zoom Workout classes with Mitch since January 2021. Before this, it was hard for me to maintain my weight and overall health and well-being due to the pandemic. I never joined cardio classes, so this was new for me. I have been enjoying the classes and feel good about myself; I feel stronger and leaner – no more lockdown body!”
Maritoni’s workout tips
“Set aside the time, commit to it. It’s actually low maintenance since all you need are light props or bodyweight, a yoga mat, and a stable internet connection. I’ve been on holiday and have even managed to join her classes since it’s already part of my weekly routine.”