When the internet is used in the right manner, it can be a handy tool for things — and fitness is one of them. You can save time, money and often get your queries answered on-the-go. But, you have to be careful to use it correctly! Dev Goswami & Yamini Walia tell you how to use the online world to benefit you
We thought long and hard before deciding to bring you this guide. After all, working out without proper supervision can sometimes, make your routine ineffective, and also carries the risk of injury. However, the internet has such wealth of information that we couldn’t resist sharing! Read on as we tell you about the best online fitness sources as well as accounts to follow on social media platforms. We also tell you about a few tools that you will need and explain how to stay safe.
YouTube to the rescue
YouTube is our go-to option for all kinds of videos — and it can help you with your training as well. Here are a few channels that are worth following.
A husband and wife duo manages this website and YouTube channel, where they upload extensive home workout videos. The list of workouts include Pilates, boot camps, strength training, high intensity interval training (HIIT), kettlebell exercises, stretching, sports-specific training, cardio, injury rehabilitation and programmes geared towards weight loss. The YouTube channel also has a playlist of videos where the couple answers basic fitness-related questions.
BeFit is one of the most popular fitness channels on YouTube, with over 37 million views. Professional trainers such as Jillian Michaels, Denise Austin and Jane Fonda feature in most of their videos. You can also try out their series of dance workouts for some fast-paced cardio. There’s another series with15 videos, all of which showcase one five-minute workout. The playlist is perfect for when you’re in a hurry.
The Daily HIIT
In our earlier issues, we’ve told you about how effective HIIT workouts can be. If you want to learn these exercises from the comfort of your home, subscribe to The Daily HIIT. It’s a companion series and successor to BodyRock.TV, which is another fitness channel on YouTube. If the workout is too intense for you, try the HIITlite series, which is more suitable for beginners, but is still challenging.
If you prefer switching up your routine every week, you should subscribe to Sarah Fit. The channel uploads new videos every week, offering fresh fitness ideas, workouts and healthy food recipes. She has such a wide collection of playlists revolving around different topics that you can get started immediately, simply by heading to her channel’s homepage.
Online tools you’ll need
To get the best results, it’s important to keep track of your workout in order to judge how effective your daily routine is. And, when you’re referring to the internet to plan your workouts, some of these online tools will come in handy. Take a look:
- BMI calculators A wise man once said, the measure of a person’s fitness levels is not their weight, but their BMI. Okay, we made up the phrase, but there’s a lot of truth to the statement! BMI stands for body mass index and is a measure of your body fat. It takes two factors into account — your height and weight. An ideal BMI ranges between 18.5 and 24.9. Anything lower means that you’re underweight, and if you’ve got a BMI over 24.9 you need to lose weight. Also, remember that if your BMI is greater than 30, you’re borderline obese.
- Calorie counter The extremist manner with which calories were once painted in a negative light and the realisation that the argument that calories are bad is untenable, has led many to doubt the veracity of calorie counters. However, the simple truth is that not consuming enough calories will lead to a lack of energy, while eating too many will lead to weight gain. Use online calorie counters to track how much you’re eating every day. ApolloLife.com, a wellness website by Apollo Hospitals, offers an extensive calorie-counting list for Indian dishes. MedIndia.net is another good place to find out about the number of calories in Indian preparations.
- Fitness logs Of course, you can do this on your own, noting down the duration of your workout in an offline journal. But, however diligent you are at keeping track of your workouts, it won’t come close to the features offered by websites such as MyFitnessPal.com and ShapeLink.com. These websites are free, connect you with a vast community of fitness enthusiasts and, of course, help you create a log of the various exercises that you can perform. This gives you an idea of how effective your workout is.
An injury guide
The biggest problem with using the internet to plan a fitness routine is the risk of injury that comes with performing exercises without any supervision. However, if you’re smart enough to know what to look for and when to give your body a break, this shouldn’t be an impediment. Though we’ve give you a general idea of what to look out for, sometimes, they may point to different problems. So, it’s best to seek expert help.
- Dizziness Usually suggests a lack of energy or is a sign of over-exercising.
- Pain Never ignore pain, even if it is an area that you aren’t focussing on during your exercise. Pain means that you are, or are at risk of being injured.
- A burning sensation in your muscles Points to the lack of or a bad warm up. Perform a few stretches.
- Shortness of breath Usually means that you’re not fit enough to perform a particular exercise. Lower the intensity and try again when you’re stronger.
- Trembling Usually seen while performing squats, pushups, and planks. It indicates a weak core or improper form.
We’re sure that you know what we’re talking about — fitness Instagram accounts! Here are a few accounts that we recommend you start following.
This is more for your viewing pleasure than fitness. But, we can’t recommend it enough! Robert Sturman is an acclaimed yoga photographer, who uses some of the most renowned yogis in the world as his subjects. From the half moon pose on a dusky beach to the dancer pose on the streets of Italy, Robert’s Instagram feed will compel you to admire and appreciate the artistry of yoga.
A yoga expert, Kathryn’s Instagram should be on the list of accounts you follow. You will get a dose of her magnificent yoga poses, travelgrams and adorable pictures of her dog. And the best part is that she keeps it real by showing us how it’s not about good-looking poses but hard-work and dedication.
As the name suggests, the Spartan Race’s Instagram feed is full of images depicting obstacle races. The profile consists of some great pictures showcasing strength, grit and endurance. It will make you want to sign up for a race of your own — we’re not kidding!
25-year-old Cassey Ho, a Pilates guru and entrepreneur, shares workouts and healthy meal ideas on her Instagram page. She even showcases her fun side by posting some interesting pictures.
“I follow a YouTube channel called Fitness Blender. It is as good as working out with a personal instructor, but for free. They have tonnes of free workout videos that cater to all sorts of fitness needs. And the results are amazing!”
— Sadhika Menon, 25-years-old
“I follow the Instagram account of Hannah Bronmfman from hbfit.com, because she’s extremely fit. She’s a DJ and a fitness enthusiast, and has made a living out of it. One of the best things about her is that she breaks the common misconception that women shouldn’t lift weights. She lifts super heavy weights but is still very lean. She also posts pictures of the diet that she follows.”
– Armaan Mann, 25-years-old
“I like BedFit because it covers all kinds of workouts and the trainer keeps you motivated. It’s not boring like several forms of workout can be, which only focus on exercise.”
— Neha Soni Verma, 27-years-old
“I avidly follow videos by fitness trainer Kris Gethin. He is well-versed with fitness and bodybuilding and provides excellent information about these aspects of fitness. I think it’s the best platform for all fitness enthusiasts.”
-— Rizwan Shaikh, 26-years-old