I am never one to shy away from the latest beauty product, nutrition craze, or holistic healing regime—in fact, I like to see all of the new wellness trends and products as a personal experiment that I can’t wait to try just to see what happens, how it compares to what I’m doing now, and if it actually works. But, one thing that hasn't ever been able to do it for me is at-home workouts. This may be due to me having to schedule nearly everything into my calendar if it's going to get done, and signing up for a workout class adds that extra layer of accountability.
Before, if I told myself I would 'work out at home', I always found 100 other things I had to do instead. Now, I realize that I was self-sabotaging myself and my workout routine by making excuses left and right.
I either didn't have time to do it, didn't have my workout gear, my hotel room didn't have a gym, or the classic, but I'm on vacation. And it turns out, I'm not alone. With the recent quarantine recommendations surrounding the COVID-19, I have cancelled all my workout classes for the next 3 weeks, and am excited to try some new at home workouts I've been hearing about.
As I prepared to write this post, I asked many women about their favorite workouts they could do at home, only to receive the ugh with a raised upper lip and a slight eye roll. There were only a few I spoke to that could really give me some half-way decent answers, and even then I wasn't convinced. So, I decided to strip the excuses and stop letting life get in the way of something that genuinely makes it more enjoyable.
I committed to 14 days of working out in my living room and, spoiler alert: I'm now a huge fan.
Here's the 5 best at-home workouts you can find on the web or your phone that will help you to stay trim, toned, balanced, and energized with minimal space and little to no equipment. Don't let the COVID-19 derail your fitness goals... it's up to you to keep it going, and here's some easy ways to do it.
photo by urban outfitters
If you're into following health and fitness stars on social media, you probably know a thing or two about Kayla Itsines and her BBG (Bikini Body Guide) Program. If you don't, just type in one of the many hashtags such as #bbg, #bbggirls, or #kaylasarmy that her 9.9M Instagram followers use to show their commitment to the workouts and global connection with one another. This native Australian has created an empire through her workouts, and the results are undeniable. If you're looking to bust your booty into shape, BBG is the way to go.
Essentially it’s three 28-minute workouts a week, mixed with stretching and some lighter cardio sessions in between. The 28 minute workouts are divided into four 7-minute intervals. It’s really not as complicated as it sounds. You start the timer on your phone and do the listed workouts over and over for 7 minutes until it stops. Then you start it over again, until you've done 4 rounds of 7-minute exercises.
This is the real deal. My entire body was aching for days (in the best kind of way). Not advised to do during your lunch hour as you'll be a sweaty tomato face once the 28-minutes are over.
photo by free people
YogaGlo offers over 1000 yoga classes that are taped live at the company's beautiful Santa Monica yoga studio, and new classes are added all the time. The big draw here are the variety of classes and the amazing teachers on the roster, including Elena Brower (my personal fave), Kathryn Budig, Noah Maze, Christina Sell, and Seane Corn, among many other well-known yoga celebs. They also have the classes organized by duration, style, and level to help you find the perfect fit.
This was a great way to experience/preview a class from a well-known instructor without having to drop $20+ per class. I took the intermediate/advanced classes and really enjoyed them. YogaGlo is perfect for a Sunday afternoon when you're looking to stretch and work up a pretty decent sweat, or if you're a beginner looking to see what yoga is all about without the intimidation factor of stepping into your first class.
photo by fashion me now
Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock, Naomi Watts, Julianne Hough and Emmy Rossum are just to name a few that all have enviable bods thanks to Simone De La Rue, the founder of Body by Simone studios in L.A. and NYC. Thankfully Simone took the 'celebrities...they're just like us' message home (literally) and created the Body by Simone app where we can all access her intense, high-energy workouts without having to leave our living room. The 30-minute workouts in her app are a combination of high intensity dance cardio mixed with strength training, and they're all killer. Also, Simone's energy is so fun and contagious I found myself actually smiling at my Apple TV while doing the workout. A guaranteed mood booster, booty blaster, and your next girl crush.
photo by coveteur
Fitness star Billy Blanks is famous for his Tae Bo fitness series, which is one of the most well-known kickboxing workouts in the world. His energy and expert instruction take you through 45 - 75 minutes of butt-kicking cardio that mixes punches, kicks, and other martial arts moves to upbeat music. If you're a Tae Bo beginner like me, this is the one for you. I loved how different and fast-paced this workout felt to me, and Billy's high energy is a lot of fun.
I love changing up my routine and working different muscle groups, and this does it all. I did the intro workouts, but he also has DVDs with a few different levels of difficulty, if you're past the beginner stages and looking for more advanced moved. I did this workout 3 times throughout the weekend and my legs, arms, back, chest, and ab muscles were still sore on Tuesday.
photo by free people
So, you've done the cardio, the crunches, the planks, and even the downward-facing dog. What's next? Stretching and a good night's sleep is necessary for your body to recover. Calm is a meditation app that allows you to cool down to a range of calming sounds including rain, wind, and white noise. I'm a firm believer in working out your mind as much as your body to achieve optimum health—life is all about finding that healthy balance.
Calm comes with a 10-minute a day program to get you started if you're a meditation newbie, as well as 7 and 21-day meditation programs for those looking to go a little deeper. The meditations range from 3 to 25 minutes long, so you can choose the one that fits your day, even if it’s a wild one. They’re organized into categories that help you deal with specific issues like anxiety, relationships, and focus. Have trouble sleeping? Calm’s adult bedtime stories can help you drift away. Need to relax? Get your nature sounds on, like rain in a forest or waves on the beach. Whether you’d like to chill out with breathing exercises or focus with music, Calm has a meditation to fit your needs.