Gyms and group classes, such as Zumba and CrossFit classes, were forbidden. Health authorities, during the state of emergency, called for anyone at home to continue an active life.

In this context, the practice of physical exercise at home has become common. Those who stayed at home chose to exercise at home as a way to maintain some physical activity in their life.

Young people, like Joana Carvalho, admits that “to combat the boredom” caused by the lack of social activities resulting from the state of emergency, the practice of physical exercise at home was an option that combined both leisure, and a healthy lifestyle. Before the isolation period, Joana attended a gym twice a week. In general, Joana admits that at home she was able to see “some changes” in her body, namely “reduction of some abdominal bloating”, however, the results cannot be compared when the practice is done in a gym, she admits.

Staying at home can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, which not everyone is used to. This is the case of Diogo Machado who, even though he did not have any physical exercise routine before the pandemic, decided to install a home workout application for his mobile phone that offered training where weights and machines were not needed. Unlike Joana, Diogo did not see his body change with the exercises he did at home, according to the student, the practice of sports resulted from a need to “activate the body so that he wouldn’t spend his entire day on the computer.”

On social networks like YouTube, the demand for content relatedto physical exercise at home has been growing. Not only influencers but also certified Personal Trainers have started to publish free videos, so that training schedules to do at home could reach everyone. Channels like Chloe Ting and Pamela Reif have peaked in popularity. In particular, the Australian-based Chloe Ting programme, which promised defined abs in two weeks, reached millions of people who also shared videos of how the programme did offer positive results, increasing the channel’s popularity and increasing the views of the programme “2 Weeks Shred Challenge.”

Youtube videos were the option that Patrícia Silva used to guarantee an active life at home. The student was advised to practice physical exercise, since isolation had a negative impact on her mental health, leading Patrícia to present some “symptoms of depression and anxiety.” The routine she managed to implement above all led to “psychological changes”, although she did not notice “extreme changes” in her body. Patrícia found it difficult to find a YouTube channel that could fit her needs, however, the “POPSUGAR fitness” channel turned out to be the best option for her.

Despite never having trained in a gym, Patrícia believes that exercising at home turns out to be less effective. According to the student, in a gym, it is possible to have the accompaniment of a personal trainer. Besides that, at home, it is more “easy to postpone training” for another day, while in the gym, because it is a paid service, there is more motivation.
Inês Ribeiro, who always practised “team sports until the end of high school”, missed doing something that would offer her the feeling of “a productive day” during the state of emergency. Inês went back to the gym, but “during the quarantine, she followed plans by some influencers.”

Inês is currently combining workouts in the gym with workouts at home. Unlike Patrícia, who, due to her obligations as a university student, cannot always maintain a physical exercise routine. The same happens with Joana Carvalho who, even “trying to train 10 to 15 minutes at home”, is not always able to articulate everything with her curricular activities. Diogo admits that he can balance the practice of exercise with his studies in college, practising Muay Thai which, according to the student, “is a martial art that activates the body.”

The phenomenon of home training has been reduced as restrictions have been lifted. The return to work, school, or other activities came to occupy the time that was previously used to practice sports at home. However, the views on the exercise videos made available online continue to rise, which indicates that many are those who, despite the gradual return to normality, manage to combine their time and maintain an active life.