Free Exercise Videos Online

Exercise tv's bootcamp with Kendell HoganI enjoy going to group classes at the gym or rec centre, but sometimes I’d rather exercise at home. Try some of these out and save your favourites to come back to again and again.

YouTube

There are thousands of instructional videos on YouTube, of various quality.

BeFit has HIIT, yoga, pregnancy workouts and more.

Search for “Exercise TV” to find exercises led by personal trainers. They used to be on something called the Exercise TV channel.

If you’d like to laugh while exercising to a dance video, subscribe to The Fitness Marshall

The host of YogaMazing, Chaz, creates truly interactive yoga shows. He invites viewers to submit requests  and tapes them.

Yoga Yak

YogaYak has over a dozen free yoga classes, which range from 30 to 60  minutes. I often suffer from stress-induced shoulder and back pain, and so I love Michael Riel’s Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain. Diane Jacobs’ Hatha Yoga Flow 2 is great for spinal elongation.

Yoga Today

Yoga Today offers a free video every week. You have to register to see it, but the sign-up process is quick and painless. Their videos are set in beautiful outdoor locations, and the teachers often offer some words of wisdom. Their classes are often challenging and range from 50 to 60 minutes.

Hopefully these videos inspire you to exercise.  I’m sure your body will thank you.

Tracking Exercise and Food Habits with an iPhone app

MyFitnessPal app
iPhone app to track exercise and food

When you are ready to change a habit, it is easiest to see how you are doing if you track your progress.  If you set a goal of going to they gym four times a week, writing down the days that you go will help you to appreciate your efforts when you are doing what you planned, and motivate you to go one more time if you have not yet met your goal for the week.

Two iPhone apps that help:

MyFitnessPal allows you to record your exercise, water intake, and food that you’ve eaten. It calculates how many calories you have burned in exercise compared to how many calories you have eaten.  Although weight loss is not a simple math equation, it can help you become more aware of what you are doing.  The library of food choices is excellent.  I was able to type in Key Lime Larabar and Happy Planet Thai Coconut Soup, and found that another user had already entered the calories, protein grams and vitamin percentages.  There is a social component if you choose to use it, to allow you to add friends or strangers to cheer you on as you develop new habits.

Diet & Food Tracker by SparkPeople allows you to do similar logging, but doesn’t have quite as good a library of food choices.  They have a large group of contributors to their main SparkPeople website, with lots of inspiring ideas.

The apps are also available for Android phones and Blackberry.  You can also use just your computer to track your progress and connect with other people.

Have you used either of these?  If so, what is your experience with them?

Healthy Exercise Goals

Happy healthy womanThis post was written by guest blogger Maria Ginsbourg.

A while back, at a college gym, a trainer asked me what my fitness goal was. I told him I wanted to be healthy when I’m eighty years old. He cocked his eyebrow.

“So you want to lose weight?”

“No. I just want to be healthy.”

“So toning?”

He didn’t get it, and I’m not surprised. Our culture is obsessed with appearances. Popular men’ s magazines say Get Ripped. Women’s magazines say Lose Weight. Considering the myriad of benefits that exercise offers, focusing on appearances seems a little – dare I say it – superficial. After all, if ‘Getting Ripped’ or “Losing Weight” are our only goals, then what stops us from trying fad diets, extreme workouts, and magic pills?

What if our exercise goals went a little deeper?

If you’re exercising to feel good, you might soon notice that you have more energy, that you sleep better, that you feel better and that food tastes better.  If you exercise for your long-term health, you won’t be tempted by fad diets or extreme work outs, and you won’t ‘forget’ to stretch. Furthermore, you won’t measure your progress solely by pounds shed or pant sizes dropped because you will know that the benefits of exercise can’t always be seen or numbered.
Here are some of the ‘invisible’  and ‘hard to measure’ benefits of exercising:

Live Longer and Healthier

  • Reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Reduce the risk of heart-attacks
  • Offset osteoporosis, a bone disorder that affects many older women.
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes
  • Prevent falls by improving your sense of balance

Have a Stronger Mind & Spirit

  • Improve your mood
  • Deal with stress better
  • Manage depression
  • Improve mental concentration
  • Sleep better

Be healthier now

  • Increase your energy (get more done with less fatigue)
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Increase fertility

Improve your relationships

  • Exercising with your partner or your friends can make you feel more connected

Some people say it doesn’t matter why you exercise as long as you do it. I believe that if people exercise for the right reasons, they’re more likely to have fun, stay safe and stick to their exercise regimen.

Walking with my Puppy

Our puppy Mylo
Our puppy Mylo
In March we got a puppy at the request of my older daughter.  Mylo is the newest member of our family.  He’s very friendly and full of energy.  To channel his energy into something less destructive than chewing all the plastic lids in the house we have been taking him on walks five times a day.  He is a Brittany and ideally could use an hour run everyday.  I’ll have to work up to that, but for now he is good motivation to walk more often than I had been.

Walking in the morning

Now that a new school year has started I am going for a 15 minute walk after I drop my daughter off at school and before I start my first coaching appointment. I’ve always walked my kids to school, but since it is only a block away it isn’t much exercise. My first coaching appointment is at 9:00am so I’ve got some time between the first bell at 8:40am and when I start work. I’m already outside anyway – why not? Walking in the fresh air is a great way to become alert and present in the morning. Would you benefit from a 15 minute walk before you start your work day? Will you try it for one week? Let me know how you feel.