A Cambodian producer of online yoga videos says people here have been watching more exercise tutorials online since the coronavirus outbreak, with the number of views on her channel surging this year.
With most gyms having closed during the pandemic, instructors and practitioners said that doing yoga at home was becoming an increasingly popular way to try to stay healthy.
Ly Sreynich, founder of guruyoga.me and a yoga trainer for 12 years, said that although her YouTube channel was still quite new, she had nevertheless seen a noticeable spike in viewers and subscribers this year.
Her subscriber count had tripled to 3,000 through the outbreak, and total views had reached 74,000 since launching last year, she said.
Sreynich said people wanted to stay healthy even as they spent more time at home for safety reasons. “Cambodians enjoy watching my videos on YouTube because each video is in Khmer, and without spending money trainees can receive knowledge,” she said.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 8 million people worldwide, leading to over 400,000 deaths, has led to school closures and other forms of social distancing in Cambodia in an attempt to curb its spread. Some 128 people have tested positive so far for the virus in Cambodia, but no official deaths have been recorded.
Heng Monyroth, an 18-year-old barista, said she started doing yoga at home about three months ago, practicing every morning for one to two hours.
“Since gyms are temporarily closed and I stay at home without doing anything, I chose to do yoga at home by watching YouTube yoga videos,” Monyroth said. “It was really hard for the first month of practice, but as months passed by I realized it was not hard at all. I got many good lessons.”
Exercising from home has been very convenient for her, she said. “I don’t need to spend money on going to the gym or joining a yoga class, which costs a lot of money.”
En Dara, a yoga instructor at Karuna Yoga Fitness, said yoga could be a great way to reduce stress during uncertain times. Exercise can be helpful for anyone dealing with depression as well, she added.
For the many people staying home or working from home due to concerns over the coronavirus, Dara recommended one or two hours of exercise every day for their health. “Stay home and be healthy,” she said.
A study published recently by running-shoes website Run Repeat, based on a survey of almost 13,000 people from 139 countries in March, has found that many people are exercising more frequently during the coronavirus period.
Average athletes who exercise one or two times a week told the survey they were exercising 88 percent more frequently since the outbreak, but avid athletes who exercise at least four times a week reported a 14 percent drop in exercise frequency.