A few weeks ago, I was sidelined with a knee injury. I couldn’t walk without experiencing shooting pains, let alone run. At first, I took it really hard – I was so proud when I had started to consistently cover 40km a week. I felt defiant, and didn’t want to listen to my body and take a break. But I soon realized that I was being stubborn, and came to the conclusion that I would rather rest for a few weeks now to ensure that I will be able to run for years to come. So I signed up for some physio and hung up my running shoes.
The thing is, I wasn’t about to give up on physical activity altogether. I started to look around online for ideas on how I could stay fit without running. It’s no secret that virtually every area of society has expanded with the advances of technology, and I quickly learned that fitness is no different. Instead of just finding information and ideas, I found a huge selection of exercises and workouts that I was able to access for free online!
Last week, I decided that I would try out a different workout every morning to see if I found any that I liked and that didn’t cause me any additional pain. At first, I thought it might be embarrassing or weird to jump around a room, sweating everywhere, while working out in front of a computer screen. But you know what? It’s been so much fun to try a new, different workout every day!
I’ve sampled 15 min, muscle or zone specific videos right through to 1 hour classes. Some have boasted titles that promise “4 exercises for a rock-solid abs”, “fat-blasting, calorie torching workouts”, and “30 minute workouts you can do anywhere”. Some were produced by fitness enthusiasts, which were a little less than professional. Fitness experts with budgets and awesome physical prowess designed others.
I definitely learned that using just your bodyweight and a computer, you can do LOT of challenging exercises, and that you can build up a whole routine with just a little searching. I also learned that I really like kickboxing workouts – they’re a great way to burn energy while toning. Here are some of the best YouTube channels that I came across since starting this experiment:
The BeFiT channel from Lionsgate offers new workouts every weekday. Some of the featured trainers include Jillian Michaels and Denise Austin. There are 30-day programs to focus on certain areas, dance fit sessions, fat burn cardio, strength-building sessions and even Pilates. I enjoyed their High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) videos because they feature very simple instructions, good music, and a countdown clock to let you know exactly how long each move will last. This was the channel that I went back to most often.
I recognized PopSugar Fitness because I often use FitSugar for health, wellness and nutrition news and information. I didn’t know that they also had a wealth of free workout routines! I tried a few of their 10 minute area-specific workouts, which I thought were really good. The trainers are sweet and lighthearted, and you can easily compile four 10 minute workouts to get a solid 40 minute workout each day.
SparkPeople, the online diet community, has workout “playlists” for pregnancy, swimsuit bootcamps, healthy cooking classes and more. If you’re in need of some inspiration, there’s also a success story section to keep you motivated! I did find some of their videos a little slow, and the quality of the recordings was not always as high as some of the other channels. Nevertheless, SparkPeople Videos did have a good variety to select from.
On this channel, Cassey Ho offers a lively and fun approach to yoga and fitness instruction, which makes it ideal for a younger audience. There’s nothing easy about her workouts, though — she’ll put you through your paces! The videos are short, effective, and by the end of them, I can’t feel my abs/legs/whatever the workout targeted. That soreness you feel almost immediately after the workout is motivating, and they are amazing stress-busters.
I LOVE yoga. Love it. Did I mention that I love yoga? 😉 I knew that yoga would be part of my online workout journey. Tara Stiles is an excellent instructor, with a fabulous, goofy personality who focuses on the physical and health aspects of yoga. She offers different series of yoga videos for everything…yoga for beginners, yoga for stress, yoga for waking up…the list goes on. Tara’s videos are fun, and there are plenty of options for beginner to intermediate yogis
Staying in shape can be difficult – especially when you’re injured – but free online videos can really help you find a suitable workout regimen to meet your needs, abilities and interests! There are convenient, engaging, and new workouts being added all the time to an already large library, so you never have to feel like you’re constantly doing the same routine. Overall, I encourage you to check out online workout videos as an option for your own fitness regime.
Barb practices a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that she looks at how all of the areas of her client’s lives – activity level, eating habits, stress, relationships, and work – are interconnected. She then helps them work towards the results they desire, such as such as achieving an optimal weight, reducing cravings, incorporating more healthy foods into family meals, and minimizing fatigue, in realistic and enjoyable steps! Barb doesn’t believe in magic pills or fad diets, and has seen firsthand how dramatic results can be achieved through simple nutritional and lifestyle improvements!
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