How about a collective round of applause for the fact that we are almost, almost, to the weekend?? Seriously, it's a miracle. I mean, please tell me I'm not the only one who feels like long weekends cause the following week to drag by so.freakin'.slowly. Literally, I feel like someone who's been wondering in a dessert searching for water for 4 days and I finally just found a drop. Unrealistic comparison? Probably. A bit dramatic? Most definitely! Before you reach for that happy hour beverage, though, let's talk about something maybe not quite so fun. Working out. I know. But you'll thank you me later, when you've preemptively burned off that glass (or 3) of red wine before ever taking a sip.
I'm not a big fan of gyms or sports or really working out at all, but despite all that I consider myself to be a pretty active person. I grew up in a family where our mornings started with calisthenics (Did I just age myself with that word?!), who took hikes for weekend fun, spent summer days swimming at the lake, and partook in skating, horseback riding and karate classes frequently. In college, I belonged the the Y where I frequently swam and took classes (all of which were, sadly, cancelled out by the inordinate amount of beers I thought it was a good idea to consume). Now days, I live in a city overflowing with gyms, fitness classes, and all kinds of crazy workout trends. While I've tried my fair share, and even belonged to a few gyms, I've found the most effective workouts to come in the form of 4 flight walk-ups, stairs to the subway, wandering the beautiful city parks, and the fact that almost everything I do is within walking distance. All these years later and here I am doing the simple workout that my Mom swears by- walking quickly, frequently, daily. Of course, I'm still forever in the search of my abs, some Jennifer Aniston arms and good stretch, but I now rely on good ol' Youtube workout videos for those portions of my fitness routine. Why? They're free, they're convenient, and it's like my own private fitness class. Eliminating the trek to the gym has also limited my excuses and chances of skipping a workout, and with so many routines available, I hardly ever get bored.
If you're in a workout rut or don't feel like paying for a gym then these Youtube workout videos are for you!
Favorite Yoga Channel- I've gotten more into yoga over the last couple years, mainly because I've found it to be really helpful in managing my stress and anxiety. I love this channel not only for the variety of routines, but also because the teacher doesn't take herself to seriously. Yoga + laughs = a double dose of stress busting.
Favorite Overall Fitness Channel- Most of my favorite Youtube workout videos come from this channel. They literally have every type of workout, for a various lengths of time and they add new ones several times a week. Plus, they bring on guest instructors from popular places such as Barry's Bootcamp, so it's a nice way to get a taste of a workout class that I otherwise couldn't afford.
Favorite Channels (this one and this one) for Quick Workouts- I like to switch up my toning workouts frequently and/or do quick workout breaks throughout the day. Both of these channels have a huge variety of 5-10 minute fitness videos.
Favorite Workout for Happiness- If I don't sleep well, am feeling slightly depressed, upset about something or the weather is a drag, this 10 minute video does the trick of turning my mood around. Bonus- the instructor is not only funny, but she also trains Jennifer Aniston!
Favorite Workout for Stress & Anxiety (try this one if you only have 5 minutes)- I deal with stress and/or anxiety on a daily basis. While it's a multiple step process involved in managing it, I've found this workout (and the breathing techniques in it) to be one of the most helpful things I do.
Favorite Workout for Stretching- Perfect after a tough routine, or, if you're taking a day off from working out, it's still nice to get a few stretches in.
Favorite Workout for Relaxing- This is another great routine to do if you're feeling stressed or anxious, but it's also a great way to start or finish your day.
Favorite Workout for When I'm Feeling Bloated- Feeling bloated is not a fun feeling to have. While there are several things you can do to help, I find a detoxing yoga routine (aka one that's full of twists and movement) to be an effective remedy that begins working almost immediately.
Favorite Workout to Start My Day- I do this workout several times a week, sometimes in addition to another workout, or sometimes as my only workout. It makes me feel energized and refreshed, and it's perfect for all of those times that I feel too tired or lazy to workout (which happens more often than I care to admit). It's short and sweet and while it includes a bit of movement, it's still a gentle and relaxing routine.
Favorite Workout Before Bed- I usually refrain from working out in the evenings, but sometimes I enjoy a simple routine for helping me to wind down and shut off. This one does the trick.
Favorite 5 minute Toning Workout- A bit ridiculous, super silly, but really effective. And did I mention it's only 5 minutes? Aka, you have no excuse to not workout!
Favorite Workout When I'm Crunched for Time- This is one of my favorite Youtube workout videos and I do it at least once a week. It's a bit longer than the 5 minute routine mentioned above, but it includes some great toning moves as well as lots of kickboxing (one of my favorite types of exercise).
Favorite No-Equipment-Required Workout- Don't be fooled by the fact that this routine uses no equipment and it only involves a few simple moves. This workout is killer. Like literally, you'll feel dead at the end (but in a good way).
Favorite Workout for When My Back Hurts- On the days where I'm working from my desk, I tend to get a lot of back and shoulder strain. While I've tried all kinds of stretches to help relieve the pain, nothing has helped like the ones in this video do.
Favorite Fast Yoga Routine- Yoga...in 10 minutes...from Jennifer Aniston's trainer. Need I say more?
Favorite Intense Yoga Routine- Same as above, just a longer, more intense (like sweat-raining-from-your-forehead intense) routine. Just do it, though. Your bikini will thank you!
Favorite Intense Pilates Routine- Perfect for developing long, lean lines while also scorching some major calories.
Favorite Abs Routine (when I'm crunched for time, when I'm not)- Besides doing cardio and a few weights, I probably focus most of my toning attention on my abs. I've been doing both of these Youtube workout videos on and off for quite some time now and they still burn my stomach muscles. I don't know if that means they're just that good, or that my ab muscles are really weak, but I like to think it's the latter.
Favorite Arms Routine- Besides abs, as I mentioned above, I'm constantly in search of those Jen Aniston arms. I've found the moves in this routine to be one of the most effective, despite the fact that they're all body weight.
Favorite Legs Routine- For the times that just doing lunges gets too boring
Favorite Booty Routine- Because we can all use a better booty
Despite all these videos, at the end of the day, my absolutely two favorite types of workouts are yoga and kickboxing. I've been into kickboxing since I first got a Denise Austin tape (yes, tape, not dvd, an actual tape) back in high school, and pretty much haven't stopped since. If I can't find a routine on Youtube that I like, I just put on one of my favorite shows and then go through 5 or 6, 30-60 second rounds of each of the punches, a couple of combos, running in place, high knees, jumping rope and jumping jacks. It works like a charm!
I'd love to know- what are your favorite types of workouts? Do you use Youtube workout videos, and if so, what are your favorites?