If you need a dose of exercise inspiration, it’s easy to find online or on your phone with these guides and apps.
By Talya Minsberg
It’s a hibernation season like no other: It’s colder and darker, and you're still inside. Which makes it all the more important (and all the harder) to keep yourself moving. As 2021 begins, here are some ideas to get you out of the house, or at least off the couch for a bit.
Running Audio Guides
A massive running boom began in the spring as many people returned to the simplest exercise: one foot in front of the other until you’ve spent an adequate amount of time away from your seemingly shrinking home.
If you need a new boost to get back outside, or back on the treadmill, try an app like Nike Run Club or Asics Studio that offers free, guided runs. These are usually accompanied by music and a coach supplying instruction and motivation. Both apps have runs for beginners and more advanced runners looking for speed workouts or intervals. A little extra motivation can go a long way.
Indoor Biking Apps
Miss biking outdoors and not looking to buy a stationary bike? You can purchase bike rollers or an indoor bike trainer, allowing you to safely ride your outdoor bike indoors. Add an app to make things more entertaining than starting at your living room wall. Rouvy has virtual routes and challenges like riding the Ironman Australia route, complete with elevation maps and video from the course. You can also join a virtual world and ride with Zwift, with “live” rides in which you can join athletes from across the globe. Rouvy charges $12 per month, while Zwift costs $14.99 per month.
Yoga With Adriene
If you are looking for a no-frills yoga class that feels like it’s tailored to you, look no further than Yoga with Adriene, from Adriene Mishler, who The New York Times Magazine called “the reigning queen of pandemic yoga.” On YouTube, Mishler has created free yoga for writers and yoga for chefs, yoga for runners and yoga for travelers, yoga for equestrians and yoga for surfers, and a recent video titled “Yoga for When You Feel Dead Inside.” She also has 30-day yoga “journeys.”
Peloton — With or Without Equipment
Sure, you’ve heard of Peloton’s bike and treadmill. But the company also has a slate of classes and programs on its app for those looking to stay in shape at home without a big investment in hardware. You can sort through strength programs for those that require specific equipment (classes that use resistance bands, for example) or choose ones that don’t require any equipment whatsoever. The app offers a $12.99 monthly digital membership.
Peloton is one of the largest and most-established players in the at-home fitness industry, and its teachers understand the challenges of working out wherever you can find the space. It’s not uncommon to hear an instructor remind participants to find a spot where they can stretch their arms out safely, without knocking anything (or anyone) over.
Miss being able to sample boutique fitness classes? The Obé Fitness app has numerous classes available on demand, but one of its greatest strengths is the diversity of live classes. The classes, taught by many instructors recognized by devotees of New York City’s boutique fitness scene, are filmed in pastel studios that resemble squares of an Instagram page. On any given day, there’s some combination of Pilates classes and dance classes, cardio boxing, yoga sculpt, barre and strength. There app offers both annual subscriptions ($199) and monthly ones ($29.99).
Have a Workout Type in Mind? Turn to YouTube
If you have an idea of what you are looking for — be it a 10-minute core workout, a 15-minute prenatal stretching routine or a 30 minute body-weight class — many of your best options can be found for free on YouTube. The hard part is sorting through the embarrassment of riches, so be prepared to find thousands of results that could prove effective.
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