Whether you wake up before the family to fit in your daily exercise session or you sneak in a workout while your little one naps, the great thing about online workouts is that you can do them anytime, anywhere – without having to worry about a babysitter.
While exercising with your kids nearby might be a little disruptive, for many parents it’s the only way to fit in an exercise session. And the truth is, even 10 minutes of exercise a day, or 20 minutes broken up into 2 sessions – is better than not exercising at all.
Moving your body helps to:
- Boost the metabolism
- Burn fat and calories
- Encourage lymph drainage
- Enhance blood circulation
- Tone and tighten the muscles
- Calm the brain and central nervous system
- Encourage better sleep
- Regulate hormones.
The benefit of online workouts
In many instances, moms and dads are choosing to follow online workouts instead of heading outdoors. That’s because they’re time efficient, convenient and flexible. Also, many online subscriptions and group virtual classes are cheaper than hiring a personal trainer for one-on-one training.
Plus, with the continued spread of the coronavirus, there’s no doubt that at-home, online workouts are safer and smarter than a group exercise session at the gym (once lockdown restrictions ease up).
Here are some of our favourite online workouts and programmes to try:
For endurance cardio
What it’s about:
If you have a bike and a trainer you can mount it on, or a treadmill with a foot pod and a smartphone or tablet, then Zwift is for you. The programme offers an exciting virtual workout to help you beat the boredom of longer endurance sessions at home.
For riding: Your trainer attaches to your bike to give you resistance as you ride the route.
For running: Use a run pod to track your speed, distance and cadence as you run the daily route.
Zwift offers over 1 000 online, structured workout programmes to help you take your running or cycling to the next level. You also have the option of following a longer training programme (ranging from 1-12 weeks), depending on how many hours you have available per week.
All training plans and workouts have been designed by top coaches from around the world, so you’re guaranteed a good workout every time.
Plus, you can choose your main goal and area to focus on, such as speed, strength or endurance.
And the best part? Although you’re building up a serious sweat, you’ll feel like you’re in a virtual game. This is because you get to train with friends and other “zwifters” from around the world, follow a route complete with hills, flats and downhills, and you have the chance to earn points and unlock rewards based on your efforts.
Is it free? Try a 7-day free trial, thereafter, expect to pay between R250 and R300 per month for your subscription.
Visit www.zwift.com to sign up.
For high intensity interval training (HIIT)
The Body Coach
What it’s about:
According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s report on worldwide fitness trends for 2020, high intensity interval training (HIIT) has regained the number 2 spot in popular fitness trends. This is after wearable technology, which claimed the number 1 spot. And it’s popular for good reason. HIIT workouts are designed to burn fat and calories while building strength, endurance, and fitness in less time than a normal workouts
If you’re looking for fun, effective HIIT-style workouts, UK personal trainer and fitness coach, Joe Wicks (also known as “The Body Coach”) has made this form of exercise accessible to everyone with his free HIIT YouTube workouts for kids and adults.
Studies have shown HIIT workouts are best for busy working parents and those who are time strapped. This is because they burn 25-30% more calories than other forms of exercise and will help you see results and reach your fitness goals in a shorter space of time.
The Body Coach has a wide range of HIIT workouts suited to both beginners and fitness fanatics. You can also choose to work out with or without weights and opt for either a short or longer class.
What’s more, kids don’t have to miss out. Joe has launched P.E with Joe. This is a daily workout he’s been running for the past 9 weeks and includes a full body workout with minimal equipment so you both you and the kids can do it anywhere.
Is it free? The Body Coach’s exercise classes are free on YouTube. See his channel here.
For full body strength, cardio and flexibility
What it’s about:
Founded by a husband and wife team of personal trainers, Kelli and Daniel Segars, Fitness Blender is the most watched fitness channel on YouTube with over 4 million subscribers.
With the aim to make fitness fun and accessible to everyone, Kelli and Daniel set out to film thousands of free online workout videos for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Choose from a variety of workout videos including:
- Strength (with or without weights)
- Flexibility training including stretching, Pilates, and yoga
- Low impact cardio
- HIIT workouts
- Plyometric training.
All the workouts are easy to follow and lots of fun, but it’s challenging enough to build up a good sweat and get results. You can choose either Kelli or Daniel’s class, and the type of workout, level of difficulty and duration you’re keen on for the day. Plus, you can visit their website (www.fitnessblender.com) for a range of nutrition tips and healthy recipes.
Is it free? All online workouts are free. Choose to follow specific workout programmes for 2, 4 or 8 weeks from R150, or meal plans from R140.
For low impact strength and cardio
Rebounding with Lisa Raleigh
What it’s about:
Think jumping on a mini trampoline is just for kids? Think again. Local fitness and wellness expert, Lisa Raleigh has proven that rebounding is one of the best exercises you can do for overall health and wellbeing with her functional, full body rebounding workouts you can do from home,
All you need is a rebounder (and minimal equipment such as resistance bands and dumbbells) to join Lisa’s live online classes, called BOUNTI classes. Why BOUNTI? If you look up the word “bounty” it means “a payment or reward offered as an incentive”. And this is exactly what rebounding does for the body. It’s a reward or gift you give yourself every time you bounce as it’s fun and offers plenty of benefits:
- It’s a full body cardio and strength session all in one
- It burns more fat and calories than any other form of cardio exercise. (Just 10 mins on the rebounder is more effective than 20 minutes of jogging.)
- It’s low impact, making it easy on the joints – and ideal post-injury or after having a baby
- It’s fun – you can’t help smiling when you bounce!
- It promotes better sleep, digestion and hormone regulation
- It’s convenient and time efficient
- Kids join in, too.
You can also download a series of Lisa’s class-style workouts to follow whenever you can/
Is it free?
Online rebounding classes start from R80 per class to R500 for a 10-class bundle. The family-style collection is R90 for 5 workout songs and moves. (Don’t have a rebounder? Choose from a variety of her strength and resistance band workouts, too.) Visit www.lisaraleigh.com for more info.
Tammy is a wife, mom and freelance writer with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. She specialises in general lifestyle topics related to health, wellness and parenting. Tammy has a passion for fitness and the great outdoors. If she’s not running around after her daughter, you’ll find her off the beaten track, running, hiking or riding her bike. Learn more about Tammy Jacks .