By Becca Masch
It’s been a long year of staying inside and not interacting with others. A side effect of the pandemic has unfortunately been the awakening of some bad habits, leading to things like gaining weight. But weight gain isn’t the only issue that has arisen during quarantine. Depression and anxiety rates have skyrocketed as people struggle to enjoy their lives. There are many solutions to those problems, but one of the most accessible and cheapest is exercise.
Maybe just the thought of exercise turns your stomach, you’re scared of the gym, or you’re just too busy, and that’s why you haven’t started working out until now. The last thing you want to do, upon finally making the decision to start, is to overwhelm yourself with difficulty and lose your motivation. Here are some YouTube channels to ease you into the exercise world so that you can get those endorphins pumping and feel a sense of accomplishment.
- POPSUGAR FITNESS: If you have no idea where to start your YouTube workout journey, I’d point you in the direction of a channel like POPSUGAR Fitness. You can find anything from kickboxing to Pilates on this channel, which grants you the chance to explore and find out what fits you best. There are always multiple instructors showing you exactly what to do, which will make the thirty minutes feel like a structured class. I’d suggest checking out their dance workout collection if you want something fun and different. From hip-hop to Bollywood dance, everything is beginner-friendly, so don’t be afraid to try something new.
- Pamela Reif: Look no further than her home page to find a “Beginner Friendly” playlist with over 30 videos with which to workout. If you aren’t a fan of workout instructors’ motivating speeches, you might enjoy this channel. The structure of many of Pamela’s videos is simply a song playing in the background with no talking, so you are free to follow along just by watching. She also has a playlist specifically for men, so if you’re looking for something created for your body type, this might be the channel for you. She will make you work, but her workouts are not ridiculously challenging for beginners.
- Madfit: Madfit will leave you pretty sore the next morning, but the hard work quickly pays off. This is another channel that nixes the ongoing encouragement of the instructor, so if that’s not your cup of tea, maybe Madfit is right for you. She has a playlist specifically designed for beginners, which focuses both on full body and on specific areas of the body. If you’re more of an adventurer and want to try other videos on her channels, you can explore using weights or even bringing a friend into your session with “partner workouts.” A playlist that I have personally enjoyed is the “apartment friendly workouts,” which presupposes that you don’t have all the space in the world. Overall, a solid channel to start your workout journey.
- emi wong: If you are looking for someone to instill motivation in you, this might be the channel for you. A lot of her followers talk about how her workouts keep them feeling strong and enthusiastic. One thing I really enjoy on her channel is her exploration of dance with songs you’ve enjoyed for years and songs that are totally new. If you’re a KPOP fan, here’s a way for you to enjoy some of your favorite songs while still getting in a nice workout. Emi wong is not only a workout channel but also a lifestyle channel. She has videos posted about everything from her wedding to street food in Singapore. If you want to be able to get to know your workout instructor, consider checking out Emi.
- Body Project: If you need that positive energy of fitness instructors to keep you going, then you need to explore the Body Project channel. You’ll also have, in the background, a view of a gym, so you can feel like you’re there without going through the hassle of driving or paying. Body Project focuses majorly on holistically becoming and staying healthy, so a lot of the more specific body area workouts that are common on workout channels are not available here. Instead, this channel will work every part of you to get you to a stronger, fitter you. This channel often includes multiple people in its videos, and something I enjoy is that a lot of the time, you can tell that those people are on their way to becoming healthier themselves. If you enjoy the channel enough and want to explore more workouts by this team, check out their website for more free resources.
- Yoga with Adriene: If you’re looking for a low impact exercise to ease your way into the workout world, maybe you’re leaning toward yoga. Yoga with Adriene is included here because Adriene does a great job of balancing restorative, energizing yoga with her fun personality. How often do you get to laugh in the middle of a yoga class? Adriene makes it possible, which is one reason that she may have you coming back for more. As a beginner on the exercise track, YouTube can be overwhelming with the amount of content available. Here is channel that will help you reconnect to the world around you and to yourself while building up your body.
Whatever the reason you’ve decided to start exercising, the fact that you’ve made the plunge means that you’ve overcome one of the hardest parts. So, take a minute to bask in that achievement and then get ready to begin on a positive note. Good luck on the days ahead and remember to enjoy yourself!
Edited by Emelyn Ehrlich