Virtual Vs. Face-to-Face Exercise: Which One Should You Go For?

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By Guest Blogger: Ruth Juno

Working towards physical fitness, like keeping an active routine and a healthy diet, is transformative not just for your body but also for your mind. The Scientific World’s fitness explainer adds that aside from minimizing the chances of getting a disease, a strong body can help you regulate emotions and stress. To reap the rewards of physical fitness, you must workout regularly and with a challenging level of intensity.

However, the exercises you do should also be aligned with your goals or you may not get the results that you hope for. This is why in her article ‘Balancing Fitness and Relaxation to Improve Self-Care’, Sheila Olsen, one of our guest bloggers, informs us that we should tailor our fitness programs to our body’s needs and what we want to achieve. In particular, Olsen notes that one preference that can help you succeed with your fitness goals is where you workout.

Whether it’s participating in virtual fitness programs or face-to-face exercise, this article will try to help you decide which one you should go for.

Virtual Workout

There are tons of exercise videos online which makes virtual workouts an economical choice. On YouTube, channels like POPSUGAR Fitness upload exercise videos that target various goals. There are low-impact cardio workouts as well as advanced tabata routines.

Plus, virtual fitness programs are highly customizable because you can mix and match these workout videos! Maryville University’s guide to virtual exercise shares that you can make playlists on YouTube to choose the sequence of workout videos from different channels. There’s a lot of versatility with these virtual workout playlists: you can follow up today’s Tabata session with a yoga cool-down and choose something else for tomorrow. If you live in an apartment, choose to do only apartment-friendly exercises like no-jump cardio or sweaty vinyasa yoga.

Similarly, there are platforms like Glo, where you get access to a range of workouts (such as cardio and ashtanga yoga) without ads that could distract you. Glo started as YogaGlo several years ago and dedicated themselves to online yoga classes with world-renowned teachers but over time they naturally added pilates, HITT, barre, and fusion classes. 

Make sure to consider your comfort when creating your workout. For some, virtual workouts at home are more comfortable than exercising with strangers at the gym. And because your customized workouts can be accessed anytime and anywhere—whether on YouTube or an app like Nike Training Club—a virtual setup is highly flexible. Whether you’re at home or on vacation, you can stick to your routine. And because, as previously mentioned, you can customize it anytime, you can opt for shorter workouts in hotel rooms when you’re on business trips.

Face-to-Face Workout

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A regular face-to-face workout program is easier to commit to. This is because of the other benefits that come with working out at the gym. It’s motivating to keep working hard on your fitness goals because you are surrounded by others who are doing the same. Seeing another person going faster on the treadmill will likely spark your competitive spirit to increase your own speed.

Gyms are conducive to working out because the space has no distractions like TVs, the fridge, or your bed. Cornell University’s study on weight and countertop foods shows that your environment impacts the results of your fitness journey. Following this “out of sight, out of mind” principle, the gym is limited to workout equipment and people exercising. This, in turn, helps you focus solely on working out.

Moreover, gyms have the space and equipment for you to do exercises that are impossible at home. Cardio workouts with a lot of jumping and a wide range of movement are difficult to perform in a cramped apartment. There are also trainers to guide you to exercising properly. With the right form, you minimize the risk of injury and maximize the results of your workout by stressing the right muscles.

Whether virtual or face-to-face, each has its own set of benefits. What matters the most is what works for you and what can help you achieve great fitness results in the long run.


Article written for Bee Umana

By Ruth Juno

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