My friends and family members know I am all about the fitness classes. I structure every work day around the gym. Before the Pandemic, I worked out a minimum of five days a week at the YMCA. Suddenly, I was hunting for online fitness classes to fill the gap.
My morning and lunchtime workouts at the YMCA are necessary for me to maintain flexibility, strength, energy and balance. I have Crohn’s Disease and my joints tend to get very sore and stiff unless I move frequently. So, for me movement isn’t optional.
When the Coronavirus started was distant news seemingly contained in Wuhan Province, I was working out. We were in the middle of ski season here in Ontario and March Break was on the horizon. Gyms were still open and there were no alerts here at all, except wash your hands more. People were still flying off to their spring break destinations.
So I kept going until the gyms closed and the Government in Ontario and Canada declared that social distancing was not optional, but the rule. Flights were stopped and people called back home. All gyms here were closed as were numerous businesses. That made staying fit a huge challenge for many people.
So, of course, we followed the rules immediately and stopped all of our external fitness classes and sports until otherwise advised.
That was one of the hardest pills for me to swallow. I enjoy all of the fitness classes at the YMCA nearby and spend my lunch break often doing yoga, pilates or centergy there. But, clearly gyms are germy places, so I completely understood the need to close them.
Free Virtual Yoga Classes
Yoga with Adriene
Easy beginner’s yoga. Each class runs between 17 to 20 minutes. I did 30 days of this and enjoyed that it helped give me back a workout routine at home, but by the end was not at all challenged by the movements.
Adriene has a calm voice and is easy to listen to and follow. Love her dog Benji who is a fixture here. My daughter did a few days of this one with me, so that was a benefit. This is a pretty gentle practice.
Challenge Level (out of 10) – 6
I didn’t ever feel like this was long enough or intense enough for me. I’ve been doing yoga for over 15 years now. It is my respite and necessity when parenting kids with special needs. In fact, they are why I started.
Yoga with Kassandra
The best part of this channel and Yoga with Kassandra is actually twofold: Her affirmations add to the workout and the view in this chalet makes me ridiculously happy and at peace.
Tight little sessions with impact. There’s a Morning series that I like that gets me moving and is middle of the pack in terms of intensity. Love the affirmations daily that support the practice and start the day off well. Kassandra also has a challenge you can do.
Challenge Level (out of 10) -7/8
For me, Yoga with Kassandra is around a 7/8 for the reasons above. I wish her sessions were longer only.
Pilates Inspired Movement
This one is often super short, so if you only have a short amount of time they are perfect. Intense workouts that are pilates based and sometimes involve props. Love this one, Blogilates, because it challenges different muscles and is energizing, which means I feel like I’ve done a serious workout when I am done. I often chunk these in twos or threes even. Do the Glutes and then the Abs perhaps.
Bite-sized but really well put together and I always feel as if I have worked hard when I am done. My muscles appreciate this.
Challenge Level (out of 10) -9
Blogilates is easily a 9 for me. Technically these Online Fitness Classes are lovely to watch and participate in.
Yogi in Melbourne
If you get bored with the first two here, give this Yogi a try. My favourite here is the neck and shoulders yoga video.
Good variety of online fitness classes and workouts to try here. Love her soothing voice and my shoulders and neck feel so much better after doing yoga with Yogi in Melbourne.
Challenge Level (out of 10) -7
Maybe not the most challenging sessions ever, but I sure feel better after doing this workout. I’d give this one about a 7.
Power Walking Indoors
Get your steps in, even when it’s cold or rainy outside. This is a great movement break. In fact, I might add this into my own life post pandemic, because it’s easy and quick generally speaking and a good way to squeeze more exercise in.
Walk with Leslie Sansone
LOVE that this gets my steps started off for the day. There are dozens of options to choose from and on rainy days I can get a mile in from my basement, or two miles in, then follow that up with a walk outside later at night or in the afternoon. That works well for me.
The length is good and the cardio that comes from walking intensely works well for me in the mornings.
Challenge Level (out of 10) -8
Leslie is a power walking phenomenon and she offers a decent walking challenge that I respect and enjoy doing. It is not too hard at all, but cheery and motivating. For me, it’s maybe an 8. The only negative here is that I am not sure my knees love it. Reserving judgement on that for a bit longer.
Dance Style Videos and Classes
Move with Colour
Well, this is one that I stumbled onto last week and am now growing to love. Move with Colour uses body science to show you how to dance. This past week, I tried Latin Dance and Disco Dance and Britney Bitch. In fact, I did all three of these sessions on the same morning because I was bored with the typical yoga workout.
So much fun. The instructor is pretty fantastic, but for me he moves a bit fast. That could just be me though.
He breaks the choreography into chunks that are manageable. Also, the dance styles are all very different.
Challenge Level (out of 10) -9
This is a level 9 for me because I am not a dancer and frankly this was a lot of fun. Choreography can be challenging and that’s a great way to make your brain fire up some new connections and learn something different. I love that for me. It just works.
Online Fitness Classes for All Ages and Abilities
Just finally found this one, YMCA 360, which I had been hunting for several times actually. We belong to the YMCA and my one daughter works at the YMCA teaching martial arts. So, we are big fans. Over the years, the YMCA has been instrumental in keeping our family fit and healthy.
Online Fitness Classes vary in size, length, scope and style. I find most extremely accessible. Also, there are several for kids and youth too.
These classes are varied and they are more like what I am accustomed to doing. I’ve not done Bootcamp at the YMCA in person ever, but have always wanted to, so this is a silver lining, you could say.
Challenge Level (out of 10) -8
There are dozens of classes and personalities, so you can find something for all challenge levels. I have done Yoga and also Beginner’s Bootcamp. Loving the bootcamp. Impossible to give this a number because it is accessible to all. So Beginner’s Bootcamp was an 8 and the Yoga I did this morning was also an 8.
Virtual Workouts Might Surprise You
I had no desire to find myself here and yet, out of necessity here I am exercising in my home every morning to stay well. There will come a time when gyms open again. Sure, things will have changed dramatically maybe, but in the meantime I will keep at it working hard to stay well.
Have you found any online workouts that you love?