A-Z inventions of Covid-19: Indoor online fitness

PHOTO: ST FILE

Virtual fitness became part of the new normal as gyms here were forced to take their fitness classes online during the circuit breaker period, when many businesses had to shut to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Gymgoers were quick to adapt by tuning into live or pre-recorded workout classes from home.

As virtual fitness classes gained popularity, so did home fitness equipment. Retailers enjoyed a surge in sales of products such as yoga mats and training bands.

In April, national sports body Sport Singapore launched ActiveSG Circle to provide a platform for the public to access online classes, such as yoga or strength-training classes.

True Group, which consists of fitness chains True Fitness, TFX and GFX, has also been offering a wide range of classes on social media to its members. These include zumba, pilates and high-intensity interval training classes.

Since July, it has been live-streaming some physical classes via video-conferencing platform Zoom to allow more members to work out from home due to caps on the number of people who can attend fitness classes in person.

True Group chief executive Ken Mok says there was "a huge spike" in viewership of its on-demand classes during the circuit breaker and the strong viewership continued well into August. "Apart from the restrictions on class capacity, people may also have got used to the convenience of working out from their own home as it helps to reduce travelling time," he says.

Mixed-martial arts chain Evolve MMA has been conducting virtual classes in muay thai, boxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu via Zoom and its social media channels.

Mr Wesley De Souza, vice-president of Evolve MMA, sees the trend of online fitness classes continuing even when the pandemic ends. "The pandemic has accelerated the move towards online fitness and made it possible for people to keep up a fitness routine at their own time and pace. It has allowed fitness routines and regimens to become a lot more accessible. We don't think that's going away any time soon."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 20, 2020, with the headline 'Indoor online fitness'. Subscribe