With the official start of 2021 – which will hopefully be so much better than 2020 – the desire to be physically fit and achieve that “beach body” (whatever that is) is at a seasonal high. Whether due to a new year’s resolution to get in shape, stay active, lose weight, or simply be more healthy, people are looking for ways to feel and look good despite being under stay-at-home orders.
Across the country, gyms are still closed thanks to the pandemic and many of us are looking for new ways to follow those fitness goals. Enter YouTube: it’s full of incredible, free workouts that are sure to get you motivated. Here are some of our favorites:
The Fitness Marshall
If you’re like me and hate working out, then The Fitness Marshall may be your answer. Fitness guru Caleb Marshall combines hit pop songs — like “Heat” by Kelly Clarkson and “Pony” by Ginuwine — with dance moves that help you break a sweat and have fun doing it.
Run by husband-and-wife team Daniel and Kelli, Fitness Blender is a simple yet great channel. All of their videos are filmed with a white background so you can actually focus on what they’re doing. They have more than 600 full-length workout videos, and more than 150 of those are HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to get your body moving and blood pumping. All workouts range from 5- to 45-minutes. While some videos require some basic equipment, many can be done with your body weight alone.
Filmed in a fitness studio with at least three people, the channels feels a bit like an old-school ’80s workout video, without the signature fashion and hair of course…but it does bring that fun group attitude right to you. The channel has different categories: beginners, HIIT, dance cardio, plus workouts targeted at different body parts. You can also choose a class based on length (10 minutes, etc.) Plus, they have a section full of no equipment cardio workouts so you can get your heart rate up without leaving the house
The Body Coach
The Body Coach (aka Joe Wicks) believes that everyone should be able to work out, no matter their fitness level or budget. The channel has more than 250 videos, including challenges, time-based workouts, and workouts for specific body types. There’s a new HIIT workout every week. One of the coolest parts of the channel is that it also has workout for kids, including a daily P.E. class that might be very helpful for any parents who have basically started homeschooling their kids.
No list of YouTube fitness channels is complete without Blogilates. This widely popular channel has close to 4.5 million subscribers and focuses on POP Pilates, PIIT28 and Bootcamp Sculpting. If you have no clue what those are, don’t worry. You don’t need to understand it to enjoy these workouts.
Certified fitness instructor Cassey Ho’s friendly demeanor makes laying on a mat and working your core, legs, arms and butt almost enjoyable.
This channel is not about being a perfect yogi. The motto of the channel is “It’s not about the pose.” All Lesley Fightmaster wants from you is to show up and do your best. She has a number of full-length yoga practices for anyone at any level. You can start with the for beginner videos and then work your way up to 30-minute practices, 45-minute hatha practices, and full 1-hour practices. The tone is supportive, comforting, and non-judgemental. Show up and try your best to see what happens.
Think of Roberta’s Gym as the Alexa of exercising. This animated trainer doesn’t really have a personality, but her on-screen timers and rep counters help you keep track of what you’re doing better than any humanoid.
Despite the name, this instructor isn’t a bully at all. He offers up super motivational videos that anyone can do from the comfort of their home. And he keeps it simple: 20 minute full body workouts that require no equipment. Yes, some of the workouts will kick your ass but what do they say? No pain, no gain!
The Prince of Reggaeton and one of the world’s most-streamed artists on both Spotify and YouTube joined the host of First We Feast for a little dish session on all things Balvin. Aside from the joys of watching Balvin devour entirely too spicy foods and salsas, we learn so much about the Colombian artist – and get to meet his dog Enzo.
J Balvin devours spicy AF wings and spills some tea in a new episode of First We Feast.
Balvin shares how he used to be his own manager and even pretended that he was a totally separate person from J Balvin – Jose. In conversations with record labels and radio stations, he’d hype up J Balvin (as any good manager should do) and would tell those interested in booking the artist that he’d have to check in with him and make sure that his schedule would allow it.
We learn tons of new things about the Prince of Reggaeton.
Like apparently his first stage name was nearly Scotch Bonnet, which is a pretty amazing revelation considering it comes during a segment while he piles some Scotch Bonnet hot sauce on chicken. For those of you who don’t know, Scotch Bonnets are one of the world’s hottest chili peppers. Balvin says that his friend, rapper Fat Al, said that he should have a spicy name but Scotch Bonnet never stuck.
And he shares why he thinks that reggaeton is outpacing the rest of the music industry.
J Balvin credits the meteoric rise of reggaeton thanks to its feel good vibes and its emotional value. He loves to make people vibe and feel something with his music. He also gives credit where credit is due, pointing out how there are so many artists before him who have paved the way for his success.
No doubt the current quarantine has been desperately tragic at times. Still, many are choosing to find the bright and positive aspects of life in seclusion. From picking up new hobbies to finding time to save money and work on home projects, Reddit users are finding the bright side of these current times.
“Not to mention wasting time just sitting in a traffic jam to get to a desk that I also happen to have in the office at home…”-coffecup1978
“I’ve been WFH since last march and I must have saved about £2k in fuel.”-throwRAffff
“I got to spend a lot more time with aging pets. I had to put down a cat this fall but for seven months he got to lay on my keyboard and interrupt zoom calls all day. I also have a 12 year old lab and spending this year with her all day every day has been awesome.”-Santos_L_Halper_II
“A lot of restaraunts have really upped their online ordering and drive through game. Like a well oiled machine.”- Wilhelm_Amenbreak
“And some shockingly haven’t. I got take out from one of my favorite restaurants the other day, and it took so long to order on the phone, that next time I’m just going to go down there and place an order in person. I had to speak to three different people to accomplish it – being put on hold each time – and give my credit card over the phone. And before you ask, yes, they advertise take out on their website and menu, so it isn’t as if it’s a service they don’t normally provide.”- Amelaclya1
“I got 6 to 8 hours a week back in commuting time. That’s, like, about a whole extra work day every week that’s mine to do with as I please. It’s been incredible. And I hadn’t realized how stressed my commute makes me. I don’t have to be careful not to forget anything before I leave for work (or when I’m leaving the office at the end of the day), I don’t have to pack lunch, I don’t have to make sure I’m dressed for the weather both now and in 8 hours when I’m coming home. I don’t have to get wet when I get that wrong, and I don’t have to spend a day at work with my shoes and socks wet, or all of me wet. I don’t have to wait at a bus stop for forty minutes waiting for a bus that should have been here thirty minutes ago.” –S_thyrsoidea
“No Commute =
Well no commute
No commute people
No delayed trains
No weather … less health issues (even just less colds) from constant changing temps
Morning – 2 hours extra sleep and not having to get ready
Day – generally chores, laundry, cleaning, dishes get done on work down time. So this frees time on the weekends
Afternoon – 1.5 hours of me time.
Communing total costs for my household (just for work) was around $500 a month. The added cost of heating / cooling, electricity, etc from being home is nowhere near that.
Food – I can cook all my own food
Dont need to replace going to work stuff. (clothes, shoes, beauty products, etc)
I can workout more regularly, get sleep, eat better.
Also getting stuck at work by 5 minutes, no longer means getting a train 30 minutes later …. it actually means 5 minutes.”- 424f42_424f42
I’m not only saving close to 4h a day by not having to commute, but also the costs of public transportation and overpriced lunch near the office. In practice, it’s like having my shifts reduced by 20% and getting a pay raise at the same time” –SchrodingerSemicolon
“I am a recovering alcoholic. Spending most of my time at home exploring my hobby’s, attending virtual counseling, and rebuilding relationships with my loved ones has helped me to realize that no substance has ever given me so much contentment, and I honestly never want to give up what I have now. In 4 weeks, I will be celebrating my 2 year sobriety anniversary. The grass (underneath the foot of snow) has never seemed greener!”- artgirl483
“Corollary: Not needing to act like you want to talk to anyone while you wait for the coffee machine in the morning. And the overall unhealthy coffee culture offices breed, in general.”- dontFart_InSpaceSuit
“If it wasn’t for the pandemic, my dad would be dead right now.
He likes to come over to our place while I’m at work and spend time with my dogs. My papillon got away from him and wanted to play chase in our garage, which is basically a storage unit right now, and she was bobbing and weaving through boxes. When he caught her and took her inside, he noticed he was having a hard time catching his breath.
My brother, who lives with me, offered to let him use his new oxygen meter, which he bought after he developed some temporary sleep apnea after he had covid. The meter was frighteningly low, so he told our dad to go to the walk-in clinic. They told him as soon as he explained his oxygen level that he needed to go to the ER.
He tests negative for covid at the ER, but they found MULTIPLE blood clots in his lungs. They kept him a few days in the hospital, and he made a complete recovery with no permanent damage.
I know my dad very well. Under normal circumstances, he would have gone home, tried to relax, gone to bed that night, and possibly never woken up the next morning. But covid has us all on high alert, especially when it comes to breathing troubles. I NEVER thought I’d be thankful for it
Also after he got out of the hospital, he gave said papillon an extra special doggy treat for, “saving his life.”- faerytheft
“Similarly, if not for remote doctors and virtual visits, I would have let a potentially bad infection fester. I was too embarrassed for years to see a practitioner in person, and while the infection was very recent, I was dreading an appointment. And then, like angels heralding on high, I got an email from my insurance about scheduling remote consultations. I’ve now talked to more doctors this year on my own than ever before, and even made some progress with a therapist.” –cavepainted
“Playing board games with my teenaged kids. We got away from it as they got older. I still kick ass on Scrabble, but they smoke me on Backgammon. Ticket to Ride is a blast. Yahtzee too.
Edit: Well this certainly resonated with the community. To answer a few questions: We don’t play every night. A couple of times a week is where we’re at now. We have more modern games, but Backgammon and Yahtzee- especially Yahtzee- is the one they like to play the most. Monopoly, when played without ‘house rules’ is fun. It probably won’t last when things go back to normal, so I’m loving it while it lasts. Thanks for the awards!”-2leewhohot
“I have two teens (and a spouse). We really enjoy Spoons and Bullshit. Easy, fast paced card games. We also play blackjack as a family. We have a whole set of cards and chips. We keep a running tally of our chips on paper. My husband gets so mad because our daughter plays her gut and he plays by the “rules” and she is like a fake billionaire now and he’s always panhandling for fake money to get him back in the game. It’s a riot. Our son is always the dealer, our “casino” is named after him and it’s a good exercise in social skills and self control.” –dualsplit
“Cleaner beaches and ocean in Hawaii as millions of tourists stayed home. Of course the economy went to sh*t, but the Aloha ‘Āina prospered.”- QuackedUp99
“I’ve been asking, no, begging for WFH for 2 years prior, filling in medical reasons, etc. My boss agreed. HR & management basically ignored me. Like, dream on, never gonna happen.
Then Covid came and now all of a sudeen everyone can work from home.
They still send regular “covid emails” thanking us for our incredible adaptability in these difficult times, and they hope we will soon be able to return to “normal”.
Screw your normal…”chicken farm” blue light high strung open office microwawed lunch rush hour commute normal.
Why would anyone hope they can return to that sh**?! Do people really have it that bad at home?”-unikatniusername
“Yeah this past year has probably been the healthiest I’ve ever been. Haven’t ever had anything more than a minor headache, and that’s usually just due to dehydration or something mundane.”- SpicymeLLoN
“I went 2020 without a cold, where I’d definitely get at least two every year. However I succumbed last week. My daughter works in a supermarket and brought it home with her” – Moramug
“I’m missing a tooth fairly close to the front of my mouth and I don’t feel self conscious smiling in public when I’m wearing a mask. It’s a silly thing, but I kinda missed real smiles.
Thanks for the awards, guys! My most liked/commented comment is about my fucked up teeth. That’s… something. Lol.”- GreenOnionCrusader
“Me too! I lost 17 lbs and I just was discharged from therapy because my depression is officially, clinically at a zero. Go us!
To answer some questions:
Weight loss: I initially did a wellness challenge called 75HARD—a 75 day challenge that requires two workouts per day and sticking to a diet of your choice, among several other daily tasks. That kicked my butt into gear and got me into the habit of regularly exercising and eating well, so I’ve lost a few more lbs since I completed it in September. This also helped my mental health a lot, but not completely.
Mental health: I did Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which is a form of CBT that focuses on accepting your feelings and mindfully working through them, rather than avoiding them. My therapist had me fill out a questionnaire every time we met and based on my answers, he was able to calculate numbers on a depression scale. I can’t go into more detail about that, cause I don’t know, but I started at a 42/100 and last week was at a 3 on one scale. And on another I started out at a 7/10 and last week was at a 0. So I’m clinically not depressed I guess. Plus, the last several weeks I’ve come to him feeling great and having little to talk about, which meant it was time for me to be discharged.
Why was I discharged? My therapist works out of a medical facility, rather than private practice, so they go based on a medical model. It’s more of a “let’s give our patients the tools they need to cope and once they no longer NEED us, we’ll let them go,” so they can make room for more patients with acute needs, rather than a “we’ll see patients as long as they pay us.” I could’ve been referred to someone like that, but, like I said, I didn’t have much to talk about by the end.
What specifically helped me? Mindfulness exercises and writing down 5 good things about myself each day. My negative self talk was the biggest factor in my depression. I don’t do that anymore. I am a badass!”- yojothobodoflo
“Man I feel totally the opposite. I’ve gained weight and feel totally anxious and depressed. I think I was before but now feel like deffff am. Considering therapy but feel overwhelmed by the different options. Like there are so many different titles and qualifications and methods and the insurance is even more confusing than finding a primary care. Which I also need to do….”- Pficky
“No pressure to go somewhere on my days off. I don’t feel like I’m wasting time when I have days off and don’t spend them traveling or seeing people. I love staying at home and just hanging with my two cats. Sweat pants on, messy bun, junk food and games. I’m content with that.”- not-a-real_username
“Yes. I think I have learned to accept my homebody nature instead of feeling like I “should” be going out and doing things. There’s nothing wrong with making a home for yourself and then enjoying being there.”-notreallylucy
“My employer now knows for sure that working from home is completely doable and really doesn’t fuck up productivity.
I’ve also learned that I like going into the office once or twice a week just to break up the monotony of working from home all the time.”- AcrolloPeed
”For me personally, online learning. It just clicks with my brain somehow. I’ve gotten the best grades these past few semesters of my whole time in college. I’m off academic probation, I got an A in a class I failed twice before (required for my major), and I am able to do a second major I really wanted. I’m so much less stressed about exams and it feels so good to be able to show my parents grades I’m proud of. I don’t know how I would’ve been able to do this without online classes. I had a lot of trouble with attendance, and my bad memory, and now I’m able to go to class from my room and re-watch lectures and have some notes for exams. I felt so low my first few years of college and I finally feel good about myself as a student. It’s still hard to believe that it’s me getting these grades and graduation is scary but I’m so glad I get to do it.
Edit: thank you so much for all of the support and the really interesting discussions people are having! And a special thank you to the people who gave me awards, that’s very kind of you all!
I think the big takeaway here is that neither online nor in-person classes are objectively better, and that different learning formats work for different people. Hopefully colleges will be able to offer all or most classes in either format post-pandemic so that students can choose which version works for them. Good luck everyone, I believe in you!”-pastelkawaiibunny
“Seconding this. I can pause the recording to think through something I don’t understand, or work through a proof that clearly isn’t trivial despite the lecturer’s insistence so it won’t distract me for the rest of the lesson. The easy parts I can juat fast-forward through.”-Vampyricon
“You learned something important about yourself.. Several somethings, actually. You now know where and how and under what conditions you thrive.
The world has also learned several somethings too. “Out of the box” is no longer a metaphor. There are many ways to achieve. Remote employees can and will deliver. Embracing all this improves the bottom line!
Put these two things together: You now know what place you seek, and that place now EXISTS! Enjoy the finding of it, friend…”-JuliusVrooder