The mind-body complex got more complicated as the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic. With restrictions, lockdowns, social dilemmas and medical complications from the virus itself looming, many struggled not only mentally, but physically as well and abandoned the cause when it came to physical activities. With this in mind, personal trainer Emma Anius created an online health and fitness programme.
Wake Up to Workout gives users a fun start to the day. The routines, short and spicy in delivery, usually consist of four exercises. The wellness and fitness expert takes the time to demonstrate each move during the posted video. There is little to no equipment necessary, and modifications are available for those looking for less intensity. With many at home, Anius said she wanted to bring the workouts to them to stay active and improve on both physical and mental health.
“Our aim is to create a fun workout programme for all, regardless of fitness level or social dynamics. All our programmes are offered for free, and we include modified versions of all our exercise programmes that can be enjoyed by the differently abled,” Anuis told Lifestyle. Her active pursuit was birthed from her need to help others on their own physical journeys, and proved ideal for her as well as she cared for her father who has dementia. With a tight schedule, the short and effective 10-minute workouts were just what she needed.
Health and fitness was always an essential part of Anius’ life. Growing up, she was an avid sportswoman who participated in athletics, netball, squash, and tennis. Her passion didn’t stop there. The Bajan took her interests all the way to university, where she completed a degree in sports science at Kingston University in the United Kingdom. She was fascinated by the depth of the subject matter as it is her belief that maintaining a healthy lifestyle was paramount, and it deserved to be treated with the utmost care and respect, no matter your age, stage or financial status.
“I see the benefit it brings to people in how it helps with everyday life, especially with non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension. It’s different for everyone, and it isn’t something that you have to be obsessed with; just as long as it is integrated for balance purposes to make you better,” she added.
Intent on assisting others in reaching their goals, she embarked on her personal training journey, teaching packed classes or offering one-on-one sessions and has garnered over 10 years of experience working within Europe and the Caribbean. When the closure of gyms set out to rain on her parade, she took advantage of the virtual space, reaching thousands on the social media platform. “The feedback has been really good and really positive. I get a lot of emails and direct messages on social media from persons just saying thanks. People are advancing from their start at the modifications and experiencing improvement in blood pressure. People are doing the workouts, loving them and seeing results, so it just inspires me to continue,” she said.
While online training has its disadvantages, it also has its advantages. “With a curfew in effect, it would affect the areas that I chose to film in. I have to be more patient with clients because we are working with screens. I’m not physically there to correct technique and manipulate their bodies. I had to do a lot more talking. But with the Wake up to Workout programme, I’m able to reach more people than I would normally since people from other countries have jumped on board.”
Since creating the programme in April of last year, Wake up to Workout has posted over 600 video workout series, created over 100 exercise demonstrations, challenges and games. The online platform has over 37,000 followers ranging from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago to St Lucia and Jamaica. The programme has definitely opened up the market for the fitness blogger who has embraced this eye-opening experience.
Anius hopes that the programme grows and reaches as many people as possible. “I find that the health and fitness industry has become a place where if people can’t do the hard movement, then they believe there’s no place for them. But health and fitness is supposed to be a place for everyone to get the benefit from. I want them to come and feel welcome, seeing the progression and the results,” she highlighted.
Wake Up to Workout is on Instagram, @wakeuptoworkout.