Home. A simple four-letter word that signifies a place where we live permanently. In pre-COVID-19 days, we may take our home for granted: a place to sleep after a long hard day at work, or even just to wash our laundry before the next business travel begins. Since the start of the circuit breaker measures, the role of the home has taken on a more comprehensive meaning. Home now is where we work, learn, and play.
Play is key in maintaining our physical fitness and mental well being. For adults, to continuously play would mean to have a regular fitness regime. Given the current circumstances, home fitness has practically become the mainstream option. Is home fitness or exercise just a fad, or will it form part of the new norm?
Let us look at some recent trends. In a Nielsen survey of Chinese consumers, 77% of the respondents have already purchased or plans to buy smart fitness bracelets. Another study by ReseachAndMarkets.com reveals that “consumers are turning to home equipment, exercise bikes, weights, personal fitness trackers and other gears” while staying at home. Closer to home, the Straits Times reported that Decathlon recently had a 43% increase in home fitness products especially for yoga, cross training and bodybuilding. CNA also reported online shops such as Lazada and Shopback seeing increase in sales of small fitness equipment.
Now that gyms and studios are temporarily closed, Singaporeans have been hoarding some of the home fitness equipment for their home workouts. What are some of the popular items that are on their shopping list?
A yoga mat has many thickness levels. As a rule of thumb, go for thicker ones (about ¼ inch) if you need comfort. Materials vary too, with an impact on quality, anti-slip or absorbency. Basic ones are made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride),and then there is rubber and the more advanced TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer). Which one fits you best depends on if you need to carry it between places, brands and your budget.
There are different levels of resistance, depending on your strength and type of workout you want to have. Bands are generally used for toning.
Foams are used to release muscle tightness. It comes in many shapes and sizes for the different muscle groups.
Dumbbells and kettlebells are good muscle-building equipment. Choose weights that you are familiar with already. Or if you are a newbie, then choose something light.
If you have a tad more space at home, then a proper workout bench is useful to work on isolated muscle groups and also to burn those abs.
If you would like to cross train, then an exercise bike may be a good equipment to have at home.
If you already have a bike, then a stationary bike trainer comes in handy for biking at any hours of the day without worrying about the traffic and conditions outside.
If you have the luxury of space and the need to run often, then a treadmill would satisfy your running needs. There many options out there today - from brisk walking models to high speed heavy duty ones. Do consider carefully as this is a big ticket purchase.
Fashion or Fad?
What if you had bought all the home fitness equipment, then things go back to normal as per pre-covid-19 days? That situation seems unlikely, based on current chatter in the fitness world. Online classes have been sprouting, accelerated by the current pandemic. New habits are being formed. Gyms and studios are likely to adapt to a “phygital” approach - a combination of in-gym or studio sessions, and digital online ones. If you maintain that fitness routine and motivation, those equipment probably be your best investment during this circuit breaker period.