The COVID-19 pandemic and all of the associated closures to gyms, parks and other spaces has forced a shift in how we look to stay active. We asked our experts to share some of their favorite tools for exercise in a virtual environment. These are great options to add to your activity routine even when things start to reopen.
Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. It’s been a lifesaver/stress reliever to practice daily Yoga with Adriene during this situation where we are all spending more time at home! – Sara Patterson, MS RD – Northeast Regional Dietitian with Chartwells K12. Yoga with Adriene is also a favorite of Lisa Roberson, RDN, LD, National Director, Wellness + Sustainability, Morrison Healthcare who says, “I love her energy, approachability and dedication to helping each participant be the best version of themselves. Her mantra is to listen to your body and ‘Find What Feels Good’.”
Danielle Cushing, RD, LDN, Wellness Director with FLIK Hospitality Group has two favorites:
- Nike Run – In Nike Run, you can build a 10-week training schedule based on your goals (getting started, get fit, train for race day). You enter details about your fitness level and how many days you’d like to train and it will customize a running schedule incorporating shorter and longer distances plus speed workouts, which I may not otherwise do on my own. Plus, it’s free!
- SWEAT – This is a subscription-based app, but inexpensive compared to a gym membership. You choose your fitness goals and the app will recommend different programs. After you choose your program, all your workouts go into a suggested calendar and, for me, structure is key! Margie Saidel MPH, RD, VP Nutrition and Sustainability for Chartwells K12 is also a fan of SWEAT. There’s great variety in the type of workout you want, great way to show how to do the exercises correctly, some are timed and some aren’t, you can choose beginner or intermediate, and there’s a community if you want it.
I love HIIT from down dog because it has so many options to customize the workout. I can do something really quick on my lunch break that won’t get me too sweaty, but I can also get a long, heavy work out in after work. It also allows me to focus on target areas if I prefer, like legs, arms or back. – Kathryn Ciamaichelo, RDN, Nutrition Care Manager, Morrison Living
Doc Jen Fit. I like that she’s a credible source of movement expertise and also she has upped the number of WFH guides to how to stay healthy at a home desk – they are quick and easy to follow on Instagram! – Terri Brownlee, MPH, RDN, LDN, Director Nutrition and Wellness, Bon Appétit Management Company
I’ve used Beachbody On Demand for years. They have over 1,000 workouts available to stream ranging from P90X and Insanity to yoga and dance. My husband and I both have very different exercise wants and needs, and we both find there’s plenty of content for each of us to stay engaged and challenged. Membership is very affordable and flexible with monthly, quarterly, and annual membership options. There’s also an RDN with an eating program available (called 2B Mindset); it focuses on overcoming emotional/mindless eating and creating a balanced and sustainable diet (customized based on specific foods each person likes/dislikes). – Jennifer Heidel, MS, RDN, LDN, Senior Category Development Manager, Foodbuy
Nike Training Club is an app that has a free and premium version that provides full workouts for you to do anywhere. The app provides a full description of the exercises as well as a video of correct form. You can choose a workout based on equipment you have available, muscle group, time, and so much more! The workouts provide a good challenge that you’ll feel the next day. – Karleigh Jurek, MS, RD, LD, Eurest, Senior Wellness Coordinator
Since virtual exercise can be physical as well as mental, at present I am very much hooked onto the mental exercise. The meditation app ‘Ten Percent Happier’ really helps me stay emotionally calm, positive and compassionate towards myself, my family-friends and the society. It’s an excellent meditation app-which is free to download at this time. Recently the app also shared a great interview with spiritual guru Dalai Lama which I think was phenomenal. – Sheetal Parikh, MS, RDN, LDN, Lead Dietitian, Zellner Region Support, Clinical and Patient Services, Morrison Healthcare
I like C25K which is a simple and empowering tool to get you moving in a safe and slow manner using your preferred playlist as a background to training for your first 5k. – Jennifer Bostedo, RDN, Corporate Dietitian, Gourmet Dining
I love the app Fit On, it has been free during these difficult times making it super easy for at-home workouts. They designate 4 workouts for you each week taking the guess work out of what to focus on. You can also search for what you want too! – Sarah Schmitz, Human Resources Manager, Chartwells Higher Education
Allison Knott, MS, RDN, CSSD, Regional Wellness Director, Flik Hospitality Group has two suggestions:
- Nike Training Club App – I love this app for home workouts. It has a variety of workouts, so you never have to do the same one twice (if you don’t want to) and it’s easy to use. The app has search features for type of workout, length of workout, and equipment needs. For example, if you want to do a short ab workout that doesn’t require equipment then you can easily narrow your search for those parameters. And the best part? The premium subscription is free until further notice!
- Runkeeper – This is a great app for tracking running or walking outside. I use the free version and it provides a map to track distance, mileage splits, and how you feel during a workout. Plus you can see your workout history and compare workouts. It also makes it easy to share with friends in the app or on social media.
I happen to love Yoga Collective – they have on demand classes for yoga, meditation and wellness for all different levels. I’m a monthly member. – Melissa Burton, RDN, RYT, Eurest National Accounts, Wellness & Marketing Manager
One of my favorite virtual exercise resources is Cat Meffan on YouTube or @catmeffan on Instagram. Cat creates yoga content for all levels! If you’re looking for something more relaxing or challenging, she has a variety of practices for you to choose. – Aimee Orndorff MS, RD Director of Residential Dining
I love the Kira Stokes app. She came up with “The Stoked Method, which is a form-focused, science-backed flow of movement formula”. This app offers a variety of strength, cardio and mobility workouts of various lengths and includes great functional movement using your own body weight. Kim Visioni, MS, RD, LDN, Eurest, Wellness Manager
Peloton was recommended by many of our experts. Deanne Brandstetter, MBA, RDN, CDN, FAND, VP, Nutrition & Wellness, Compass Group shares her thoughts: My favorite is the Peloton app……and no, you don’t need to have a Peloton bike! Besides the cycling/ spin workouts (which you can do on any spin bike), it also has thousands of others divided into strength, yoga, cardio, meditation, running, outdoor, stretching, bootcamp & walking. In each category you can filter on length of time, type of music, instructor, and others. I love the 10 minutes arms which I can squeeze in if I have a conference call that ends a little early.