One of the keys to staying fit is finding exercise that inspires and motivates you. If you’re not naturally athletic, that can be a little bit of a challenge. For myself, I best enjoy a cardio workout that I can fit in my own schedule from the comfort of my own home. Music makes me want to move and makes exercise enjoyable. My favorite workout videos are available anytime that I am and make working out more fun.
Let me say right of the bat, I’m no health expert, exercise instructor or life coach. Just sharing some of the things that help me in case they can help you.
Find the exercise you love
Exercise programs are not one size, or style, fits all. I have a few different styles and intensity videos that I enjoy, and I’m happy to share them. But if you really want an exercise program that works for you, follow the movement that you enjoy. Besides these exercise videos, I also walk in nature, jog on a treadmill or at a gym. I actually hated jogging when I started, but the benefits to my health and body make me appreciate it now. Maybe you love running, or biking or swimming. Not my cup of tea, but you do you.
Workout alone or with a buddy?
Some really need the help of others in order to stay committed to regular exercise and health. If you don’t enjoy exercising alone, you’ll want to think more along the line of local classes or clubs than YouTube exercise videos. Take time to consider what will keep you motivated and what time you have available for exercise.
Setting yourself up for success
Choosing the best style and setting for you is a huge step toward making your fitness program work! Life’s too short to spend time and energy on what you hate, but it’s also too short to live with limited health because you were lazy. Best scenario is to have a good attitude and embrace fun and healthy.
You may also want to consider investing in comfortable equipment and clothing. Think about how to make room for exercise in your schedule. You may want to enlist the help of some online tracking or develop a buddy system.
Or don’t overthink it and just start with the workout videos I’m sharing today! You may need to just jump in and try a few things first to see what you really like and don’t like before adjusting your entire lifestyle.
Why I picked these workout videos
As I mentioned, these workouts work for me because they are short, easy and musical. Some are challenging and some are not. I’m mindful of finding exercise that doesn’t stress me out!
After the physical therapy following a knee injury, I was slow to get back to jogging or my cardio kick-boxing and tae bo DVDs. Here I was with a dance background, nearing my fifties. I started with simple walking videos and progessed to online dance and pilates videos. Sometimes I need an easy 12 minute workout without changing my clothes. At other times I want to sweat. Or focus on my core. Or dance. Anywhere from 10-30 minutes of exercise is about right for me, and that’s what each of these programs offer.
A friend introduced me to these videos, and I love them! As long as you can walk, these walk-in-place videos incorporate very basic movements that wake up several muscle groups in your body. You’ll be exercising your most important muscle, your heart, but you’ll also be strengthening your core and toning your legs.
Leslie is encouraging and fun and she has a good crew to walk with her. You’ll get to know some of the other personalities as you watch more videos with her gang. There are several videos in her series so you will enjoy working out together with her and a new group of friends.
Leslie’s go to moves include side-to-side steps, front kicks, walking forward and back, and of course, walking in place. She’ll also change things up with grapevine, hamstring curls, skaters, little squats and jogging in place.
I’m sure that these videos were made decades ago, but they are a fun, easy, manageable workout for all levels.
Walk at Home Spin Off – Steel City Workouts
This Pittsburgh-based set of walking videos also has a fun gang of members to work out with. They don’t have as many videos, but they tend to work at a faster pace. You can tell these instructors were trained in Leslie’s program, and you may even recognize some from her videos like Rocky and Nick.
I’m a huge fan of pilates! Nothing was as helpful in recovering my core after childbirth! Jessica Valant is a physical therapist and an excellent teacher. I love that her beginner pilates videos train you so well about how to be mindful and intentional about all the muscle groups you are using. I don’t see that level of instruction in other beginner pilates videos. If you just watched the videos, the exercises would look easy enough, but when you work along with her, you feel so much stronger by the end of a 20 minute workout.
Jessica makes a point of making pilates an accessible type of program. She designs her beginner pilates videos for “everybody and every body”. She also points out that pilates will help you perform better in any other type of physical activity you enjoy. There is something about the slow and intentional floor exercises and stretches that leave you feeling like a rock star. As a physical therapist and from her own experiences, Jessica is uniquely knowledgable of the physical challenges that people bring to each exercise. At each level and every step, Jessica shares tips and modifications that allow you to tailor the exercises to what your body needs on any given day.
Connect with Jessica on her YouTube channel, Instagram or Facebook where she keeps her tribe up to date with targeted programs and videos. I love what a calming and intentional person Jessica is! She’s a wonderful teacher and trainer.
Up to the BEat with Gina B
A little more challenging than the Walk at Home series are these Up to the Beat Fitness videos by Gina B. These go beyond Leslie Sansone’s videos by adding more dance moves and a faster pace. And additionally they work my arms! Gina adds way more upper body and directional change. But at the same time, all her moves are super fun! She is a bubbly, motivator who will help you enjoy a more intense workout and have fun at the same time.
That being said, Gina has an impressive selection of workout levels in various styles. You can walk, you can dance, you can tone, it’s all here including Christmas! Gina’s Christmas workouts are originally how I found her and got hooked on her programs.
And Gina, as a true music lover, has specialized workouts featuring different genres, artists and even decades of music. You may not like all the music she selects, but you’re bound to find something in her collection that you enjoy.
No equipment needed on most of her videos with the exception of some of her great Walk ‘n Tone videos where you’ll want to grab a pilates mat and light weights.
I watch Gina’s videos on YouTube and follow her on Instagram, but if you’d like to stay more connected and motivated to achieve a healthy lifestyle, Gina has much to offer her tribe of followers. Gina has calendars and programs and even a recipe book. To know her is to love her. Not that I know her personally (ha, ha). She’s completly bubbly and inviting.
And a fit New Year
So if you’re wanting to stay fit through the holidays and beyond, I believe these short and easy videos will help you get off the couch and feeling energized and invigorated! Some of these easier videos would be fun to do with your kids during their winter break as well. Why not all stay fit and have fun as you dance and move together!