Earlier I wrote about frugal fitness, and offered tips on cheap ways to staying fit. Well, I’m doing it again! This time, I focus on using the Internet to start/maintain/achieve/shake up your exercise routine.
What: SparkPeople is a health website with a dizzying array of tools, content, widgets and community features. Of course what makes it so great also makes it overwhelming, so check out their “Getting Started” guide after registering. Here’s a taste of what you get:
- Personalized diet & fitness plans
- Calorie counters & exercise tracker
- Fitness demons & videos
- 100,000+ articles, recipes, & tips
- Active lifestyle communities, message boards & blogs
Why: It’s totally free! Plus, there’s something for everybody. Personally, I hate tracking calories and logging my workouts, but lots of people seem to love/need the structure. I’m more into the articles and community message boards – like 30somethings with 10-24 lbs to lose.
What: Glisten bills itself as “your in-the-know workout partner.” It’s basically an e-newsletter that delivers complete workouts to your inbox three times a week. And if you’d rather not receive even more email, most of the workouts are archived on the site. I must confess that I the word ‘glisten’ gives me the creeps. It reminds me of ‘moist.’ Still, it’s a wonderful resource.
Why: Again, it’s free! You can print out the workouts and take them with you to the gym (or living room). There’s a good mix of cardio, upper body, lower body and total body workouts. There are also options for equipment-free exercisers. Each workout links to a brief, easy-to-follow video demonstration — great for iPods with video.
Got a Netflix membership? I do. It’s totally my guilty pleasure. I’ve got every episode of Law & Order ever made in queue — plus many other crime/police dramas. But I digress. Netflix also has hundreds of workout DVDs, from classic to cutting edge.
My friend Kim’s husband, Erik, raves about Workout: One-On-One Training With Jackie:
“No over the top lingo or silly exaggerated toughness. Very simple, basic work outs. Her helpers are all good looking but not over the top. Chatter between them is pretty minimal. Great combination of cardio and weights that you can do in your living room.”
Why: Membership isn’t free, but you have access to a well-stocked library of DVDs — without buying anything. Perfect for commitophobes.
3-Month Podfitness Membership
What: Podfitness builds custom audio workouts based on your fitness profile – downloaded to your iPod, Zune or other MP3 player, and mixed with your music.
Why: Costs less than a personal trainer ($19.98 for a 3-month membership) and you get access to a database of 2,000 exercises.
top image still from Nagi Noda video, middle from sparkpeople.com and last walmart.com