It's brand new and there are already too many choices!
Way, way back in March all our regular catch ups either stopped or went online. At the time it didn't seem to matter because a) there were more urgent things going on and b) it was fairly dry and sunny.
As the summer wore on we came to terms with the constrictions, appreciated the little freedoms and hopefully all took the chance to head off for a quick staycation when we could.
Now it's all changed. It's a little colder and we have to make sense of the revolving regulations within the limitations of autumn and winter. I know that many of my class members who were happy to take their exercise outdoors are now heading back inside so with that in mind, here's the lowdown on different kinds of online exercise. There are four main ways you can use the internet to help you get moving. Firstly, by using the great resource that is YouTube, secondly by signing up to your favourite on demand instructor, thirdly by booking into a live class and fourthly by booking into a guided class. Below I'll explain them all and give you the pros and cons of each. YouTube is a fantastic site. Ask for anything from fixing a dishwasher to flying a plane and there'll be a how to video there. Simply type in what you want to look at and choose from the selection of videos offered. Pros: It's completely free, you can try a different exercise video every day, there's truly something for every ability level. Cons: With so much choice it can be hard to narrow down the style and content of class you want, there is no way of knowing whether an instructor is qualified or if a routine is balanced. On Demand Instruction is where you subscribe to exercise videos by a company you can trust. Examples include Fitbit Premium, Burnalong or Fitness Blender who all deliver specific and regulated content. A monthly subscription can vary from £10-£40 depending on the range and specificity of videos offered Pros: These services are trustworthy, have a great range of videos for all abilities and usually have a "freemium" offering where you can follow a small variety of their videos for free. You can do as little or as much as you like. Cons: If you struggle to commit to an exercise plan you may find you've paid the money with great intentions but don't make time for the workouts. There's no-one watching your technique which can be problematic, especially when many services will include options for injury rehab or competition training. Live Online classes take place at the same time each week and are led in real time by trained instructors. Burnalong offer live online classes and since lockdown many highly qualified instructors have taken their classes online this way. Pros: You have to book in and turn up at the same time every week so you're more likely to schedule time for exercise, there's a greater feeling of camaraderie as you're there with lots of other people and as live instructors can have 200+ members at once it can be a really cost effective way to get you moving. A typical live online class will cost between £2-£5.
Cons: The instructor won't be able to see you personally so you're still responsible for staying safe. You may feel encouraged to push yourself harder while the music is playing and you're having fun but if you fall ill on your own no-one will know. Guided Classes, as with live online, take place at the same time each week. An instructor will watch you while you exercise and offer support. Instructors may deliver the class live while watching you or prerecord the class to increase the scope for teaching. The cost of the class will depend on the level of individual teaching you can ultimately receive. This method is best for teaching classes like yoga or Pilates and, just like in the real world, word of mouth is key here for recommendations Pros: There will be a limited number of participants so you will enjoy individual attention. You'll receive real time guidance with suitable progressions and modifications and, as with the live classes, you'll have to book in and make time for it every week. You should have the opportunity to meet and connect with the other class members before and after the class.
Cons: As the numbers are limited, this kind of class will be the most expensive option. A class with up to 12 people will typically cost between £7-£10, classes with up to 25 people will be correspondingly cheaper. In addition, you'll probably be charged on a subscription or a block booking so you can't easily drop in. These classes require commitment!
This last method is how I run my classes. We're limited to 12 people, a class costs £7 and is paid for in a 6 week block. Click here to book into a freebie session and give it a whirl.
So as you return indoors you won't struggle to stay fit. Whatever your budget you can find a method to deliver classes straight into your living room. Just think, there's no travelling or hanging about and you'll be able to get straight into the shower afterwards.
Enjoy Good Health!