Summer is underway, and for many fitness fans that means getting outside to walk, run, bike, or hike. But summer can also mean spending more time with the kids, family vacations, and other diversions that pull us away from our regular fitness routines.
One solution is to turn to the Web for a convenient online workout. Whether you want to follow a yoga routine, find a ballet barre-based toning program, or you want a combination of strength training and cardio conditioning, there are many websites from which to choose. And you can find workouts that last from 10, 20 or 30 minutes up to an hour. Most online fitness programs are offered on a pay-by-the-month subscription basis for as little as $10 a month. Here are just a few to check out:
Crunch Gyms, with several locations in the city, introduced Crunch Live (crunchlive.com) last October. The website features workout videos of some of the health club’s most popular workouts like yoga body sculpt, cardio kickboxing, and aerobics with attitude. Crunch Live costs $9.99 per month, and actual Crunch instructors lead the videos shot during class, so the experience is as close as possible to taking a real class. There are also “quickie” workouts that last just 15 minutes. According toMichelle Opperman, Crunch’s regional director of group fitness in San Francisco, “People want quick, efficient workouts, and with Crunch Live, you can pick and choose among your favorite classes. You can do a mini-class for 15 minutes or pick four 15-minute segments and put together your own longer workout.”
Barre3 (barre3.com) has popular studios throughout the United States that focus on balance and strength with moves inspired by ballet, yoga, and Pilates. It offers online workouts for $15 a month, $70 for six months, and a year’s membership for $120. The Barre3 website offers unlimited 10, 30, 40, and 60-minute workouts as well as seasonal recipes.
EMG Live Fitness (emglivefitness.com) is a website that broadcasts live classes recorded from gyms across the country on an on-demand basis. You simply log in and select the type of class you want, from kickboxing to step aerobics, and new classes are added regularly. New users can sign up for a free class, and all classes are $2 per class or $19.99 for an unlimited monthly membership.
YogaGlo (yogaglo.com) follows a similar format. For $18 a month, users can access more than 2,000 yoga classes in different styles including ashtanga, hatha, vinyasa flow, and even meditation. The website offers a video tour to let yoga newcomers find the classes and teachers that most interest them.
Among the advantages of signing up for an online workout program is the ability to pick and choose styles of exercise that best suit you and your needs, and they are all less expensive than a gym membership. Just remember that it’s best to create a dedicated space for working out — trying out a cardio routine in a room crowded with furniture is asking for disaster!