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Exercise is essential to well-being and stress management. But when gyms around the world closed in March 2020, many people lost access to their workout communities at a time when they needed them most. Not only did they have to give up their exercise routines, they lost a vital connection to their coaches, workout partners, and classmates—a big part of their support system for achieving their wellness goals.

Orangetheory Fitness, a health and fitness company with over 1,400 studios in every U.S. state and 26 countries, responded quickly to help ensure that people could enjoy coach-led workouts even while socially distanced. The Orangetheory Fitness team, which values “commUNITY and opportUNITY for all,” began offering digital daily workouts with Orangetheory At Home™. These videos, available on the Orangetheory website, app, YouTube, and Instagram, have received more than 8 million views.

Orangetheory, though, was determined to do even more for its members. Popular for its science-backed, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts that track members’ progress by gathering heart rate data from their smart devices, Orangetheory wanted to offer that same experience virtually. It launched Orangetheory Live in March of this year on its mobile and web applications, giving members the ability to track their Splat Points—minutes spent in vigorous intensity heart rate training zones —right in their homes. With Orangetheory Live, the company’s over 1 million members could work out together, in real time, with their favorite Orangetheory coaches, wherever they were. Members even received customized coaching, a visual aid to demonstrate each exercise, and Orangetheory’s signature heart-pumping music to get energized.

To create its distinct, virtual training and deliver “at home” experiences at scale, Orangetheory Fitness worked with AWS. A top priority for the company was making sure that it could offer a variety of Orangetheory Live workouts. For this, the company implemented Amazon Chime SDK, a set of real-time communications components that allow developers to quickly add messaging, audio, video, and screen-sharing capabilities to web and mobile applications. With Amazon Chime SDK, Orangetheory can share multiple live video workouts at once with members worldwide.

Orangetheory used the AWS Amplify framework to simplify application development and the open source plugin AWS Amplify Video to easily incorporate video streaming into its mobile and web applications. For ensuring that its members consistently had a great workout experience with streamed and on-demand videos, Orangetheory used Amazon CloudFront, which securely delivers data, videos, and applications globally with low latency.

Orangetheory Fitness runs its applications on AWS Lambda, a serverless compute service that automatically scales applications on demand without requiring any administration, like provisioning or managing servers. Plus, Orangetheory uses Lambda on a Compute Savings Plan, which helps the company significantly reduce costs without sacrificing performance, speed, or scale.

You can also explore how AWS helps companies deliver, monetize and support live and on-demand media with the most purpose-built services for direct-to-consumer.