After almost two months of “new normal” we’re all trying to find things at home to be excited about. While some gyms are beginning to open in limited ways, many people still aren’t ready to venture back. Maybe you weren’t hitting the gym in the first place–no judgement here! But moving your body is critical to your mental health, which is already in jeopardy with all the stress we’re experiencing right now. A recent article in the New York Times cited the importance of exercise in quarantine, pointing out “…you don’t need fancy equipment or a lot of time; you just need to weave exercise into your schedule.” The team at HIGH Fitness is here to help you do exactly that.
We reached out to Utah local Emily Nelson, who created HIGH Fitness with business partner Amber Zenith, to talk about the benefits their community is experiencing. The best part? They have a way for you to try out their classes, totally free, from home!
HIGH Fitness: For Sanity, not Vanity
Emily is passionate about the fact that HIGH Fitness isn’t about how you look. The in-class fashion is usually half function, half fun. Ball caps and leotards mix with yoga pants and t-shirts. There may even be some occasional leg warmers. There’s a great feeling of fun and enthusiasm, with the vibe that instructors and participants are here for their sanity, not their vanity! “The exercise endorphins you receive when you get that heart rate pumping and your body moving is the most powerful medicine and is life changing in so many ways,” says Emily. “When you work out to feel good, get mental clarity and get those endorphins then you fall in love with fitness for the right reasons and that is when those physical benefits begin to happen.”
HIGH Fitness routines are composed of a mix of simple aerobics (grapevine, anyone?) and interval training moves like jumping jacks and burpees, all set to a massive variety of music. Seriously, their music catalog is designed to be an absolute party. Whether it’s Kesha or the Backstreet Boys, you can bet that the playlist will keep you bouncing along and having fun. There’s no equipment needed, so it’s just you, your sneakers, and your speakers. My kids even have fun joining in for the dance party!
Working Out at Home
HIGH Fitness was designed as a group fitness class, which meant they had to majorly pivot when gyms and studios closed down in the spring of this year. But with some major hustle, the team found a great (and legal, for their music) solution to take their classes online. Right now, you have two great options to try HIGH Fitness at home thanks to the generosity of instructors and the corporate HIGH team. Why go to all the work for licensing and hosting free online classes? For Emily and her team, it was simple. “As a company we wanted to give back to our loyal and new participants by offering FREE classes. During this crazy time it was our way to say, put it in your calendar, escape and come sweat with us.”
Here’s how to do it:
Search for an instructor hosting a class over Zoom
The HIGH Fitness site includes a killer search tool for you to locate a class. There’s a checkbox to “Show only virtual classes” so you know that your search will return a socially distanced workout! Just pick the day and the time window that works for you, hit search, and BAM you’ve got a list of instructors teaching online. Some instructors are charging a couple bucks to join, but many are offering classes for “pay what you can” or free. Class details will tell you how to locate the instructor (typically Instagram) and contact them for the meeting information. Pick a class that works with your schedule, throw on some sneakers, and have fun!
Join HIGH Fitness Corporate Live Streams
Emily, Amber, and other long-time HIGH Fitness instructors are also offering free streaming classes at least three days a week. HIGH Fitness Live is streamed via their website on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This is a different platform than the individual instructor Zoom classes, which usually means that the audio quality is better. You won’t be able to wave and say hi like on Zoom, but the instructors will have plenty of things to say to you!
All of the online classes are a great way to try out new instructors who you wouldn’t be able to take in person class from. I mean, I have a great time in Amber’s classes, but Canada is a bit of a commute from Utah!
Follow HIGH Fitness on YouTube
If the times for live streams are tough for you, no worries! There are two great playlists on the HIGH Fitness YouTube channel, just waiting for you. These are a great way to see what moves are commonly used in the workouts. You can also use them as a shorter workout when you don’t have time for a full class.
So, I’m Terrified of Group Fitness Classes…
You are not alone, my friend. If you are intimidated by all the choreography in a dance fitness class, I hear you. If you hate the yelling of bootcamp-style workouts, I AM you. This isn’t like that. But if you’ve heard of HIGH and never wanted to go in person, Emily’s advice is this:
“Group fitness in life changing and beyond powerful. I get that some people just don’t feel comfortable, so it has been such a joy to be able to provide the workouts to people in the comfort of their own homes. They can try out a class, go at their own pace, take breaks, laugh at themselves without feeling uncomfortable in a group. We have had so many people reach out saying I was nervous I wasn’t coordinated or fit enough but now I have become addicted to this workout and realize that it doesn’t matter. I will be joining a LIVE class as soon as I can.”
This is the perfect time to start slow, learn the basic moves, and get comfortable with the HIGH Fitness class format. The endorphins are out there for the taking, my friends. Start a class, just keep moving, and you’ll be ready to join the group in no time!
Let’s Get Moving
The HIGH Fitness team knows that the online workouts are making an impact in their community of fitness fans. Emily and her team have received thousands of messages from people joining in live streams or on YouTube saying “thank you” for an escape and a great workout. Be healthy, both mentally and physically, and go move that body!