Every New Year I make a resolution to exercise, specifically strength training, more consistently so that eventually I can have six (or even four?) pack abs. I have never felt confident enough to purchase a gym membership. I fear that I probably wouldn’t end up using it and the money would be a waste. That’s when my sister led me in the direction of online fitness classes, a la Fitness Blender, POPSUGAR Fitness, and many others.
With online classes, there is such a wide range of options, from 5-minute classes to hour-long ones; classes devoted to upper body strengthening and others focused on core, and lots more that are cardio-based; from low-impact strengthening to HIIT workouts; and classes highlighting specific forms of exercises, like plyometric, barre, Pilates, kickboxing, etc. On Fitness Blender, there is a countdown that keeps you motivated and a calorie count so you can keep track of how much you are burning. And most importantly, most of the classes are geared towards having fun while exercising and gives you the illusion that you are taking a class in a gym, but in the comfort of your home.
While walking is my main form of exercise, strength training has a whole host of benefits and should be incorporated with any exercise/cardio program. Besides the obvious benefit of increased strength and tone, strength training can decrease body fat and therefore increase metabolism so that you burn fat easier. And for women, strength training can help increase bone density, especially considering we are more at risk of osteoporosis down the line, as well as decrease the risk of heart disease.
Here are some examples of my favorite online classes:
Cardio: all of these short videos never fail to make me break out in a sweat
While it’s important to strength train, it’s equally as important to know what your limits are. If you aren’t sure how to start, here is a sample weekly schedule for what to focus on, beginning with easier/low-impact exercises and working your way up.
- Monday: Arms/Legs
- Tuesday: Core
- Wednesday: Cardio
- Thursday: Arms/Legs
- Friday: Core
- Saturday: Cardio
Check out YouTube for more fitness channels!
(top photo by Kathryna Hancock via goodhousekeeping.com; weights photo via Getty Images)