Free exercise resources to avoid the crazy Rec Center crowds

By Sarah Spencer

(Official Blogilates Facebook page)
(Official Blogilates Facebook page)

New Year’s Resolutions inspire nearly everyone to make an effort to eat healthy and hit the gym, but what if the gym isn’t even necessary? In our Internet age, we have complete access to whatever our hearts desire that can include a wide array of workout videos, apps and tutorials, most of which can be done in your own dorm room or apartment. Searching through millions of videos and apps can be a huge waste of time, so we’ve put together a short list to get you moving right in your own home.

YouTube is an excellent resource for workout videos. Some favorite YouTube channels include Blogilates, Be Fit in 90 and Yoga with Adriene.

Ever tried Pilates? Blogilates was founded by Pilates instructor, Cassey Ho and has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Ho’s extensive collection of instructional videos includes everything from ab exercises to butt workouts, and even includes healthy eating tips and motivational videos. Ho organizes her videos into playlists so you can curate your workout any way you want. For beginners, start with Blogilates’ thirty-minute video: POP Pilates for Beginners – Total Body Workout.

Be Fit in 90 is a great way to challenge yourself. The 90-day system is exclusively on YouTube and can be done at home with little to no equipment. The channel includes playlists for each day, which consist of four to five videos totaling up to around 35 minutes, including a warm up. Some people find it easier to work out with a set routine for every day and Be Fit in 90 offers exactly that.

For those who want a strengthening and calming exercise, Yoga with Adriene is the perfect channel to start with. Adriene has a relaxing and cool demeanor, and she guides her yoga clearly and effectively. Her 20 to 40 minute yoga sequences give you a great workout and solve a plethora of issues like joint tightness, anxiety, stress and even sleeping problems. Adriene also does a 30-day “Yoga Camp” in which she teaches yoga based on becoming the best version of yourself, not only physically but also mentally and spiritually. Yoga Camp is a good way to get into yoga and another great 30-day challenge for those seeking rhythm in their day.

YouTube is a great resource, but an even more accessible source for daily at-home workout inspiration can come right from your phone. Apps like Sworkit, 7-Minute Workout, Nike+ Training Club and My Fitness Pal are all free on both the App Store and Google Play, and help you get fit too.

Sworkit is an app designed for those who have limited time on their hands. You can pick from different routines like strength, cardio, yoga and stretching and then choose a workout length ranging from five to 60 minutes. Everything is fully customizable and molds perfectly into your schedule. Sworkit shows you how many calories you burned and also allows you to set goals for your day or week to help you continue to lose weight.

Although it feels outdated, the seven minute workout craze is still a great way to get in a quick sweat session and can help you get on track with minimal time commitment. The workout includes jumping jacks, wall sits, push-ups, crunches, squats, tricep dips, high knees, planks and lunges in a rotation for seven-straight minutes. If you think 7-Minute Workout sounds easy, just try it.

Nike+ Training Club is similar to Sworkit but has the perk of syncing your running data into the app. Nike+ Training Club boasts having over 100 workouts by Nike trainers and Nike professional athletes, which include multiple four-week programs to build commitment. You can also store stats such as minutes completed, calories burned and number of exercises to compare your different workouts.

My Fitness Pal, while not an app that helps you work out, is an app that helps monitor your diet and nutrition in addition to your exercises. Managed by Under Armour, My Fitness Pal tracks your caloric intake and your daily workouts to give you up to date progress about your weight loss objectives. It takes the guessing out of fitness and gives you accurate information to help you reach your goals.

Workout videos and apps are a great resource for when you do not want to venture out into the cold to go to the gym or if the crowds at the Rec Center keep you away altogether. Nowadays, maintaining an active lifestyle can be as easy as downloading an app or following along with a YouTube video. So put your excuses aside and break a sweat!

Sarah Spencer can be reached at [email protected]