Fit Finds: Exercise in Private…For Free!
Sometimes just the thought of working out at the campus gym was enough to give me a near-panic attack. When I wanted to have a solid sweat session (usually donning sweatpants, no makeup and a worn out sorority event t-shirt), the last place I wanted to be was on display in front of the whole campus. Where, let’s be honest, I would inevitably run into my uber-attractive grad student TA, that boy I may or may not have made out with Friday night or my ex-boyfriend’s new annoying girlfriend who seemed to think it was a good idea to get fully made up before the gym so that she resembled a melting troll on the treadmill.
All of those reasons are why the idea of working out in the privacy of my own apartment or dorm, was much more appealing from time to time. When I lived in my sorority house, my roommate turned me onto Denise Austin and her DVDs. Unfortunately, our floor space was limited so we couldn’t easily exercise at the same time, but somehow we each managed to squeeze in quite a few workout sessions in that tiny room.
Luckily, that experience prepared me for living (and working out) in a tiny NYC apartment post-college. However, funds are limited to say the least, so I can’t afford to buy DVDs extraneously. That’s why, in the time since I’ve been out of college to now, I have discovered a number of great, FREE workout options that you can follow to get fit, toned and best of all, do them in your underwear at home!
Here are some of my favs:
- Exercisetv - On this site (the online component of the ExerciseTV channel, which, if you have DVR/Time Warner cable, you most likely have available to you for free), there are tons of free full length workout videos available to watch or download that range from cardio to pilates. Here are a few examples: Zen in Your Den, Absolutely Amazing Abs or Ballet Strength Workout.
- Yogadownload – I just stumbled on this site a few months ago, and LOVE it so far. They have hundreds of free 20 minute yoga programs. And that amount of time is just about right for me; I tend to get a bit bored and antsy with super long yoga sessions. Plus, if I’m feeling up to it, I’ll do two different 20 minute routines in a row to change things up. Everything from gentle-hatha yoga to hot-power fusion is available, free of charge.
- Squeezeitin – Although this site is targeted a bit more towards busy moms (which I am far from), I think we can all relate to the aspect of not having much time to squeeze in a workout during a hectic day. So, the short videos with catchy titles like Va-va-va vacuum or Countertop Push-ups reinforce the idea that anyone really can incorporate fitness to their daily life. Sitting around watching reruns of Gossip Girl? Grab some canned foods and curl those biceps. Cleaning your disaster of a dorm room? Do some lunges instead of just meandering around.
- YouTube – Yes, that same youtube that provides us with our daily smattering of entertaining lip dubs and painful, but hilarious, videos of people falling. There’s actually a large amount of health/fitness videos available on there if you have the patience to search. Just to get you going, check out this four part “Weight Loss Yoga” series from a great NYC yoga instructor.
What are your favorites? Any other websites I’m missing?