No gym? No problem! There are the best free online exercise resources!
Even though we currently have a membership to the rec center in our area, we haven’t always, and still, some days, I just don’t feel like driving there. However, during those times, I’ve found some great at home fitness resources that are free and really give me a great workout. There’s a lot of free exercise resources out there, but they aren’t all great.
I’ve spent far too much time in the past searching around for videos that aren’t too lame, or too slow, or just boring (especially when it comes to Yoga). However, I have come across a few great websites that consistently have free exercise and health information, so hopefully this list will prevent you from having to do the research yourself!
This is a website I was recently introduced to, and it’s quickly become my favorite. I believe the premise behind it is that you can kind of build your own workout. I think the best part of it is how easy it is to find a workout for the goals you have in mind. It lets you filter results by time, calories burned, difficulty, training type, or focus area. I really enjoy doing their Yoga videos on here, because they are short, but not too short, and there’s no “fluff” that I find with other Yoga videos I’ve found online. Fitness Blender also has meal plans and exercise plans, to help people reach their goals even faster and more efficiently! I haven’t tried these out, because they actually aren’t free, but the prices are reasonable in my opinion. I think this site is great for someone who can’t go to a gym but wants good, structured workouts.
I heard about Blogilates earlier this year, and I was instantly addicted as soon as I started the first video. It’s a website and YouTube Channel ran by Cassey Ho, a certified fitness instructor. I don’t know what it is, but Cassey makes the workouts fun, and honestly, you start to feel like you’re friends with her (I know, that’s weird to say.) Her workouts can be tough, but are oh-so effective. They are all based on Pilates, but she really mixes them up and incorporate HIIT, Yoga, and dance into different ones.
All her videos are free, which is awesome. Each month she creates a free workout calendar (you do have to sign up for her email list to access it), and she has plenty of recipes, a meal plan for clean eating, and tons of other resources. I really enjoy her blog and how encouraging she is. I feel like with a lot of videos I watch, the people are like, “YOU HAVE TO DO THIS OR ELSE YOU’RE A FAILURE!!” But with Blogilates, Cassie has a great balance between being encouraging but without making you feel like a failure if you have to modify. I appreciate that she often will say how she’s having a tough time, too!
While I really love doing group classes at the rec center, I’ve found that I much prefer doing Yoga at home. Part of the reason is because the Yoga classes at the gym don’t go with my schedule very well (they never have them after Jack is asleep) and part of the reason being that an hour is a little long for me.I’ve been trying to find some great free yoga resources online (though I admit, I did buy A.M. Yoga for Your Mornings with Rodney Yee and The Biggest Loser Yoga video that I enjoy,) and it’s surprising to me how many kind of lame/boring some of them were! As I mentioned, I really like the Yoga videos at Fitness Blender, but I’ve also found some really high quality ones at Do Yoga With Me, as well.
This is an awesome YouTube channel with intense, effective workouts. There are videos from popular trainers, such as Jillian Michaels, Billy Banks, and Tara Stiles. There are a wide variety of workouts available, so it’s great for those times when you really need to workout but don’t want to leave your house.
Tone and Tighten is a great fitness blog run by a doctor of physical therapy named Jared. He creates incredible workouts that are easy to do at home and many of them require absolutely NO equipment. I think a lot of them are great for moms, as well. His 10 minute workouts are killer — I remember the first one I did one, I felt like I had run a couple miles the next day. They are seriously so effective. He also shares recipes, nutrition tips, and has a couple of eBooks for sure. Definitely check this blog out.
I know this isn’t really a site that has exercises on it, but for anyone that’s looking to get healthier, I think MyFitnessPal is a great resource. I’ve used it off and on since my freshman year of college, and it really helps you be more mindful of what you’re eating and how much you are exercising. I think it has the best food database of any food trackers out there, and if you are looking for a support group, the forums are full of them! I don’t participate in them often, but occasionally I find myself perusing them and finding all sorts of great information. If you are on MyFitnessPal, be sure to add me as a friend — my username is kaelba2008.
I was also just asked to be apart of the Summer Shape-up Challenge! I was sent a package of Balance Protein Bars, as well as a Ball® Jar + Ball® Wide Mouth Jar Infuser with an infused water cap to try out and to help encourage everyone to get healthier this summer. I usually am not the hugest fan of protein bars, but I’ve really enjoyed these ones, especially the cookie dough ones. I’ve been using them as one of my five small meals a day, and in the past few weeks, I’ve actually started losing weight (something I’ve really struggled with the past year!)
I also am totally obsessed with my jar infuser! I love infused water, and this is such a fun way to make sure I keep drinking water. I’ve been averaging about 90 ounces a day since I got this jar infuser lid (and, if you remember my latest post, water is SO important for your health!)
Because I’m participating in the challenge, I get to giveaway the same package I received — a variety of Balance Bars, Ball® Jar + Ball® Wide Mouth Jar Infuser, and a Balance Bar branded swag item. Through the end of July, Balance Bar will be posting healthy living and exercise tips on their Facebook page, along with giveaways every Friday, and on the 31st at 3 PM, there will be a Twitter Chat with certified personal trainer Holly del Rosso will lead a Twitter chat to share her tips on staying active and healthy.
But before I post the giveaway widget, I wanted to share a few tips that were sent in my package from Holly Del Rosso for this Summer Shape Up Challenge:
1. Take Your Workout Outside
I’ll admit — I’m don’t do this a lot, because it’s so hot outside, and I don’t handle the heat well! However, I love when the weather is a little cooler (so around night time), and we can go on family walks outside. Someone in my area is organizing a mommy and me Yoga class that’s going to be at a local park, so I can’t wait to do that!
2. Eat Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
There are so many farmer’s markets open right now — these are great places to get seasonal and locally grown produce that is in season.
3. Find a buddy to workout with
I’ve recently started going to the gym with a friend of mine, and it’s made it so much more fun and keeps me more motivated! Instead of being like, “Oh…I’m too tired to go,” I go much more often, because I don’t want to let her down!
4. Drink more “fun” water
This is referring to infused water, which will be easy to do if you win the infused lid and jar in this giveaway. My favorite combination is strawberry and lemon. Yum!
5. Eat many small meals
In general, when you eat more meals throughout the day, your metabolism tends to be higher. I’m not talking about eating five huge meals a day, but five smaller meals a day is beneficial. I have been having my Balance Bar as one of these small meals lately, and it works great. I know every health and exercise resource I’ve read promotes this, too!