Now there really are no excuses to skip a workout. The latest fitness trend brings live exercise classes straight to you. Unlike exercise DVDs or on-demand fitness, these online classes give you access to fitness instructors who help you break a sweat in real time—right at home.
“The trend toward live, online classes is the natural extension and progression of ‘home fitness,’ which started back in the ’80s with Jane Fonda’s videos,” says Sandy Todd Webster, editor-in-chief of IDEA Health & Fitness Association’s publications, including the IDEA Fitness Journal. “The pros include convenience—you can do these anywhere in the world, so if you’re in Singapore on business and want to work out in the morning, you can access a website that offers a workout you like—and privacy if you’re shy about exercising publicly, as well as good time management. So instead of having to pack a gym bag and travel to the gym, which often can derail exercise compliance, you can simply plug in a URL and get to work.”
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Live online workouts can also be less expensive than classes at gyms or exercise studios, and you get more variation than a DVD workout where the routines can be limited. Let’s face it, even with a favorite workout DVD, it’s tiring to hear the instructor say the same things, including side comments and jokes, over and over again. You’re also held accountable, which isn’t the case with a DVD where you can turn it off half-way through or watch it from the couch without anyone knowing.
“If you enjoy working out in a group class or with a trainer, but don’t have time to make it to the gym or a dance studio this is the format for you,” explains Mary Helen Bowers, creator of the online Ballet Beautiful classes. “The time that you save commuting can go towards so many other parts of your day. It’s really freeing and I find that it makes people more likely to work out.”