The “freshman 15” is a saying that college students use to describe the weight they gain during their first year of college. Now we have the Q15 for the 15 pounds people are gaining while sheltering in place.
In all seriousness, though, weight gain and a general feeling of apathy is a problem for a lot of people. For one thing, it’s not easy to get exercise when we’re afraid to leave the house. It’s even harder if you can’t easily socially-distance outdoors. Also, for a lot of us, the coronavirus is making anxiety and depression worse. And any expert will tell you how challenging it is to motivate yourself when you’re feeling down, much less when there’s a chance of catching a contagious virus.
But it turns out that building a home exercise program is one of the best things we can do for our mental and physical health. Exercise has even been called an effective antidepressant. Also, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, “it’s known to have a profound impact on the normal functioning of the immune system.” So we all should be getting our 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
You know what can help you get off the couch and get your heart pumping? Taking an online fitness class hosted by someone who’s enthusiastic, knows about fitness and is a great motivator. We have a few suggestions to help you build your home exercise program starting today.
Warrior II Fitness
At Warrior II Yoga, instructors provide students with a safe space to experience the joy of physical, mental and spiritual healing. They have small and private online classes for every level of yoga practitioner. Some of their live and recorded online sessions include an all-levels hatha yin class (a type of yoga that focuses on stretching), beginner hatha (traditional yoga), and yoga for stress relief.
Right now, Warrior II Yoga is offering two deals: A private, video-on-demand session, $85, or two private on-demand sessions for $160. Both offers come with one or two free vouchers for an entire week of unlimited online yoga classes.
Yoga with Adriene
Adriene Mishler is a yoga teacher in Austin who hosts an extremely popular Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel. There, you’ll find a slew of yoga videos, including sessions like yoga for weight loss and runner’s yoga. You can also sign-up on Mishler’s Find What Feels Good (FWFG) website and gain access to more than 600 live classes, workshops, yoga and meditation videos and vlogs. Adriene adds new videos every week. It’s a “one stop shop for yoga, creativity, wellness, and all things FWFG.” Check it out first with a free 7-day trial. Paid memberships cost from $9.99 per month to $99.99 per year.
YMCA of Austin
The YMCA of Austin is offering free at home classes to help members build a home exercise program during the pandemic. They also moved all of their regularly scheduled programming to video on-demand so kids and grownups can keep up their fitness routines from home. Non-members are welcome to get in on some free fitness too by going to the YMCA of Austin’s Exercise at Home page and checking out any one of their streaming videos, including senior fitness, morning yoga, martial arts, and full body workouts for kids and adults. Online content is available to members for free. If you’re interested in joining the YMCA of Austin, see sliding-scale rates here.
Rachel Sims Baker
Rachel Sims Baker got her start as a certified trainer and fitness and motivation coach in Austin, Texas. These days, she still helps professionals stay in shape, but she does it in-person and online from her new home in New York City. Baker’s primary specialties are strength training and conditioning, and also, “making fitness fun, accessible, and wildly effective.” Her online coaching package is personally tailored for the busy professional who prefers to train solo. Personal coaching and fitness plans start at $250 per month.
Castle Hill Fitness
Castle Hill Fitness has two Austin locations and like everything else in Austin, they’re both closed for the immediate future. Instead, the gym and spa is now live streaming their online fitness and training sessions to help you build your home exercise program during the pandemic. They’re also adding more than 50 new classes each week. The coaching instructors at Castle Hill teach everything from yoga to pilates and meditation, barre, tai chi and qi gong. Anyone can sample a few classes with a free three-day trial. And when you purchase your first online virtual class, you get the second class for free. Membership packages run from $89 to $139. You can also purchase class passes, starting at $20 for a single pass to $300 for 20 passes. And Castle Hill Fitness is running a Covid-19 closure special on virtual training sessions and pilates. Check their website for details.
Wellthy Soul is a health-coaching collective made up of real women who live real lives while shunning all the drama. They also happen to be nationally-certified health, fitness, and behavior change professionals. If you go to their website, you can sign up for on-demand or live small group fitness session. Coaches like Layne teach cardio pilates that incorporate blocks of strength training. There’s also a beginner yoga sculp class with weight lifting and cardio blasts. Her high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class includes blocks of weight lifting and cardio exercises. Passes start at about $15 per class to $50 for four classes per week. For more information on different health and fitness packages, go to the Wellthy Soul website and see “our programs.”
Kaytee Hernandez is a certified yoga therapist, teacher and educator. She believes in using yoga to manage stress, which is perfect for this exact moment in time. To check out some of her yoga moves and incorporate them into your home exercise program, just go to Kaytee’s YouTube page. She also accepts donations and provides updates and monthly meditations for patrons.
Nat describes herself as a fitness enthusiast, yoga teacher and health food addict. Her goal is to inspire you to take a holistic approach to your health journey with functional training, nutrition and mindfulness. Her lifestyle coaching program includes a 30 minute interview, custom meal guidelines and workout plans. Nutrition and fitness packages are tailored to each client’s unique needs. All programs include check-ins and unlimited email support. Packages and programs range from about $80 to $200 per month, no contract required.
Get Fit with Nikk
One day Nikki Zahka decided to completely change her life. “Although I was never obese, I was never comfortable or confident in my own body,” she said. Now she’s ready to help others achieve their weight, nutrition and fitness goals. There are six fitness plans to choose from, from a monthly package for beginners to a 12 week fitness and meal program, and lots of options in between. To sample what it’s like to workout with Nikk and get some helpful fitness tips, check out @getfitwith_nikk on Instagram. Fitness and nutrition packages and home exercise programs range from about $25 to $60 and up, no contract required.
Fuerte Fitness is a family-owned fitness and wellness studio in ATX. They have a wide-variety of small-group exercise classes for every fitness level, which members can now access online. Also, anyone can view their recorded classes for free. To help out essential workers, Fuerte Fitness is offering 20% off live streaming classes. Classes include core & cardio, Piloxing knockout, relax & energize, and strength & conditioning with weights. Discounts are also available for seniors, students, teachers, service members and government employees. Essential workers can sign up here. Streaming classes start at about $10, or $45 for five classes. A three-month membership costs $140.
Billy Bosco is an Austin-based personal trainer and online health and nutrition coach. He promises to help anyone achieve peak fitness in a way that’s realistic. “If you workout without a goal in mind you will never hit your target,” says Billy. “I know this from experience.” His personalized online weightlifting program includes a custom weekly workout plan, a weekly meal plan and 24/7 access. The Realistically Fit 12-week weightlifting program starts at $25.
Kevin Kreider is a fitness activist with a degree in exercise science. The full-time instructor helps clients by combining exercise, nutrition and life coaching. His goal is to help you achieve balance, focus and positivity. Kevin writes, “Being healthy isn’t just about hitting the gym, it’s about getting your mind and body in a place to achieve complete well-being.” There are several virtual fitness programs to choose from, including The Body Shred: Tone and Transform, and Lean Body: Fat Fix. Packages range from $47 to $497 for a comprehensive coaching program.
Check out our Health & Fitness page and try out our Warrior II Yoga deal to build your home exercise routine!
Ever since Austin implemented social distancing rules, Plazaly has been providing you with tips on how to support your favorite businesses, including articles like Austin Restaurants Offering Curbside and Delivery. We will continue reporting on ways to navigate Austin in the era of Covid-19 and how to minimize the disruption to your way of life. So keep watching this space.