I returned to teaching in a gym last week. As a Pilates, yoga and barre teacher in various Melbourne gyms, it has been eight months of adjusting to new methods of both teaching classes and doing my own training.

For many, including me, there has been a fundamental adjustment to how we approach our fitness regime. I’ve become accustomed to my dog being with me almost constantly. She walks with me for hours daily, sits on the couch looking frankly puzzled by my Pilates training on the floor of the living room, and I haven’t set eyes on a dumbbell since gyms closed in February.

A woman works out on some outdoor gym equipment in Bentleigh.

A woman works out on some outdoor gym equipment in Bentleigh.Credit:Simon Schluter

I’ve noticed in returning to work that gyms are almost empty. People haven’t flooded back to them as they have with hospitality venues. There are a few reasons, I think, but mostly that people have learnt to exercise outdoors and in new ways that are convenient for them – like Zoom in their lounge rooms.

I’ve been teaching twice-weekly classes on Zoom since February. I love seeing each of my students in their own living rooms, or bedrooms, or home offices. The convenience of Zoom classes in our own spaces, without the travel and parking demands of going to the gym, or the queuing for a class ticket, make it a strong competitor for gym classes. What Zoom can’t replace, though, is the sense of community and friendship that going to your local gym provides.

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