These days, you don’t need to leave the house or even put on pants in order to stay fit.
Thanks to the Internet and its many wonders, you now have personal trainers at your fingertips in the form of apps, social media accounts and instructional videos — and most of the time, they won’t require you to drop a lot of coin, if any at all.
A quick look at iTunes’ current top 100 app lists suggests we’re taking advantage of this brave new fitness world. The 7 Minute Workout Challenge is sitting pretty at number four on the Top 100 Paid Apps, while Daily Ab Workout, Fitness Buddy, Kayla Itstines’ Sweat With Kayla and FitBit’s apps also feature on the charts.
The only downside of so many options is that it can take a while to whittle them down and find the ones that work for you. To help you out, we asked some of the DIY fitness fans in our office to share the online tools that help them most.
“I really, really hate running, but I’ve been trying to start doing more exercise and needed something that would give me a boost. Zombies, Run! Is a game where you work through challenges to move up levels with the aim of surviving the Zombie apocalypse. The best thing about it is that it seamlessly integrates with your playlist so as your running listening to your music you’ll suddenly start to hear Zombies approaching encouraging you to run faster.” — Ruby
Former Bachelor Sam Wood demonstrates a simple bodyweight circuit you can do at home. (Post continues after video.)
Map My Run
“Map My Run lets me plan out my run and then the lovely lady tells me how far I have gone and how much further I have to go before I collapse. She sounds quite proud of me and encouraging. I wouldn’t want to disappoint her by taking a short cut or walking. I also needed to plan out four kms around my house and was able to give myself a couple of choices.” — Jo
Sweat With Kayla
This new release was name-dropped a couple of times, which is hardly surprising given global following Kayla Itstines has grown for herself. The app, which costs $4.61 per week for 12 weeks, provides tutorials for short and targeted workouts you can do anywhere.
Nike Training Club
Nike's popular app gives you the choice of more than 100 workouts crafted and led by Nike's "Master Trainers" and pro athletes, which cater to a range of fitness abilities and goals.
YouTube is a gold mine of fitness instructional videos that don't require you to part with your actual gold. Yep, they're effective AND free.
One of the favourites in our office is Tone It Up, featuring yoga, HIIT and cardio workouts that cover every part of your body. The instructors won't go easy on you, but at least they won't actually be able to see when you lose your balance mid-yoga pose and stack it big time.
Youtube isn't the only place you can find instructional or simply motivating fitness videos.
"If I can't get to a gym, I watch a few Instagram videos to get me motivated — especially after a full day at work when it's easier to just get home and do nothing. It makes me feel like I'm working out with others. Especially Instagram CrossFit accounts," explains our resident Insta-fitness fan Vicky.
Be Fit Videos features clips of women and trainers around the world doing their exercise of choice, and can give you great ideas — in most cases you can click through to the original poster's account to access the instructions. Vicky also recommends Milestone and Girls of Crossfit. A Girl Obsessed's Kristy Cross is also great for circuit inspiration (Post continues after gallery.)