Check out these free resources to stay active while staying home

Father and child exercising

You and your family might be sheltering in place for a while longer, but everyone needs and benefits from physical activity.

Augusta University College of Education professors have compiled a list of free resources for remote fitness that will keep you active for the rest of the shelter in place order — and beyond!

Dr. Andrew Moore, professor of kinesiology, uses one particular site as both a personal and an instructional resource.

Do Yoga With Me: This is a great way for beginners to get started without a lot of equipment or a need to leave the house.  There are many free videos with lessons taught by yoga instructors that vary in terms of difficulty, session length, yoga style and more.

Dr. Dan Greene, professor of kinesiology, takes a different approach. He recommends a simple card game for family exercise.

Cards Against Inactivity: Assign an exercise to each suit on a deck of cards (hearts = squats, clubs = push-ups, etc.) Put half of the family on one side of the room, half on the other, and a deck of cards face down in the middle. When the game starts, everyone runs to the middle, grabs a card, and completes the related fitness activity the number of times on the card (face cards worth 10, aces 15). When complete, run back and pick another card. The side that completes the most cards wins. The winning team picks the next set of exercises.

Dr. Hannah Bennett, professor of kinesiology, says that mental health and physical health go hand in hand. She recommends several apps to help you to stay grounded during isolation.

Headspace: Meditation is medically proven to help with stress, focus and sleep. This app simplifies meditation for the new or casual practitioner. The app is offering a two-week free trial.

Colorfy: This coloring book app for adults is offering a free trial period. Whether you use an app or purchase crayons and coloring books, coloring is a meditative activity that fights stress and anxiety.

In addition to downloadable apps, many companies are opening up online and remote fitness activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Family Y has launched an online fitness video site, YMCA360, that includes 11 categories, such as workouts targeted to kids and athletes. Modo Yoga and Barry’s have transitioned to yoga and strength and cardio interval classes on Instagram. Les Mills has Body Pump, Body Flow, CxWorks and more workouts online. Peloton is offering a mix of running, strength, toning, cycling, yoga, meditation and outdoor workouts through its online fitness app free for 90 days. Orangetheory is putting on 30-minute online classes every day that they’re closed.

Read more: Tips from AU professors to stay focused on fitness.

Additional online and virtual resources:
  • Afrifitness — Fun Afrobeat workout videos incorporating various techniques including African dance, resistance training and high-intensity interval training.
  • Barre3 — These ballet-infused low-impact workouts combine strength conditioning, cardio and mindfulness.
  • BeFit — Features top fitness trainers like Billy Blank and other big names in its extensive video collection.
  • Body Positive Yoga — A full library of low-pressure, judgment-free yoga videos, for beginners to those with mobility issues to advanced practitioners.
  • Dance with Deepti — These 25-minute workouts incorporate Indian dancing in all its forms, from Bollywood to folk to classical to Indian street dance.
  • Diet Health — Diet.com’s YouTube channel includes fitness, nutrition, health and workout videos.
  • Fitness Blender — More than 500 free workouts range from 10-85 minutes long, from beginner level to elite athlete, from HIIT to Pilates, and strength training to body weight.
  • FitOn — If you find yourself with an inconsistent commitment to your fitness goals, this app is for you. No long-term commitment, always free.
  • MyFitnessPal — This is both an online and app-based tracking system that allows you to see your real calories-in/calories-out ratios, along with nutrition and exercise information.
  • Nike Run Club — A popular free app in Apple and Google Play offers tools to help you run better, including GPS tracking; audio guided runs; weekly, monthly and custom challenges; customized coaching; and the ability to link up with friends.
  • PopSugarFit — Hundreds of workouts, from level of experience (beginner, etc.) to body part focus (abs, arms, etc.) to style of workout. Go for HIIT, body weight, dance, cardio and more, in lengths from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.
  • Sweaty Betty — Work out from home with Sweaty Betty’s online fitness classes. With workouts ranging from yoga to HIIT, explore the video library to find a class to suit your time frame and fitness level.
  • Hip Hop Fit — Hip-hop dance workouts from famed choreographer Mike Peele.
  • Turbulence Training — A collection of no-equipment body weight workouts, mostly under 10 minutes.
  • Upside-Down Pilates — You don’t need an expensive professional studio to get a full Pilates workout. This channel helps you to improve flexibility, strength and endurance.
  • On-demand workouts — Your cable provider may have on-demand fitness channels, such as Xfinity’s FitFusion, Gaiam and Grokker channels.
  • Gaming console workouts — From the hugely fun and popular cross-platform Just Dance series to the Wii Fit old-school balance board to the Zumba series for multiple consoles, there are endless options for fitness activities with equipment you may already have in your home.
Fitness without an internet connection: 
  • Walking or hiking — Underestimated in its impact, getting outside when you can and just walking around your neighborhood or on local hiking trails can give you a mental health, mindfulness and fitness boost.
  • Gardening, yard work or home repairs — Requiring no new equipment and needing no additional technique-based training, gardening, yard work and home repairs are a great way to add some movement to your day.
  • Body weight exercises — Stick with the classic body weight exercises that you remember from gym class, from push-ups to crunches to jumping jacks to planks. All you really need is yourself.
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Stacey Hudson

Stacey McGowen Hudson is Coordinator of Communication, Planning, and External Relations for the College of Education at Augusta University. Contact her at smcgowen@augusta.edu.

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