Online home workouts: live videos are engaging while exercise apps fall short

Story by Lilian Zhu 
Staff Writer 

Photo By Brandon Yung

The popularity of exercise has continued its upward trajectory as people settle into quarantine lifestyle through at-home workouts, instead of public gyms. Many students have picked up different ways of improving their fitness in the comforts of their home, whether it be through YouTube influencers or through group calls like Google Meets or Zoom. 

Chloe Ting has one of the most popular workout channels on YouTube with a blend of high intensity and short simplistic plans. Totalling 12 plans with different areas of focus, each comes with detailed videos of exercises to follow with timed breaks and a percentage completion bar. Since each video clocks in at under 15 minutes, Ting’s workouts easily appeal to those just starting to exercise. 

The exceptional attention to detail for every workout video along with the contagious excitement of Ting’s personality showcases her dedication towards her viewers and their progress. Ting has amassed a welcoming community of aspiring individuals to get in shape, many posting their results after completing her workouts.

Rising in popularity, the Nike Run Club app offers GPS tracking for inspiring new and veteran runners, but comes with many technical problems. For a billion-dollar company, Nike struggles with basic app functions, with many users experiencing the loss of their running progress or inaccurate mileage, after using the app to track their activity.

A key feature that the app offers are their guided runs where audio is played using a combination of music and voice-overs from professional athletes. However, more often than not, an inner voice can spoil the serenity of the true running experience. The constant chatter, though can be motivation, easily distracts from being able to listen to your own body and the outside world. 

Besides YouTube and phone apps, SPHS teachers Andrew McGough and Katie Jaroch have given both students and teachers an outlet to work out and stay in shape. Unlike pre-recorded videos, the close-knit connection back to the school community with live calls allows for more engaging workouts. 

McGough’s Wednesday exercises entangle high cardio, and muscle priming exercises in just 30 minutes. Each session comprises exercises for the arms and legs, to an active recovery using the core, for a truly full-body calorie burner. Most of the exercises are also timed and can be scaled up or down for an enjoyable workout for any fitness level. 

Jaroch has been offering live calls for yoga on Thursdays. Each session begins with sun salutations and a variety of stretches like hip openers. Poses and exercises range from a relaxing stretch to low-intensity strength movements, serving as the perfect mid-day break away from work. 

Both McGough and Jaroch are considering continuing their respective exercises and with the future still uncertain, there are many ways to remain active at home while staying connected with the community. 

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