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gymtechI don’t know exactly what’s so difficult about building up the motivation to work out. Understanding the importance of physical fitness is one thing, but actually getting off my lazy backside to get to the gym is quite another. I’ve had personal bouts of motivation where I decide to do some research on the components of physical fitness that would have the most effect on weight loss and muscle gain, and I’ve gone as far as printing out some cool-looking exercises from mainstream sites like Men’s Health.

However, in the end it really comes down to getting up in the morning with the motivation and inspiration to get out there and start moving. This summer, I’ve decided to take a different approach. While I’ve always had a good appreciation of the importance of physical fitness, I now realize that in order to motivate myself, I need to combine it with something that I really love – technology. Therefore, I offer MUO readers a brief list of the best workout websites that best combine technology and fitness.

The Importance of Physical Fitness as You Get Older

One of the more difficult things about getting older and having children and having a “real job” is that as life goes on, your spare time slips away. Your role as a father or mother and your day job consumes most of those precious 24 hours in a day. The remaining few hours go toward preparing and eating meals, cleaning your living area and sleep. There’s not a whole lot of time left over to go to the gym and work out.

One of the things that has always helped me get back around to exercising in the past is when I had a good plan, an efficient exercise regimen and an organized system. With all of those things in hand when you walk into the gym, you know that every second you spend in there will have the most significant impact on your body. For this reason, I’ve organized five of the best workout websites that make use of the technology of the Internet, as well as some pretty cool widgets and tools that make planning and tracking your workouts much easier.

Exercise TV – Exercise Videos On Demand

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One of the things that recently got me excited again about the importance of physical fitness was an interview I conducted last month with Allison Wehrley, the Marketing Manager for Exercise TV.  The unique thing about ExerciseTV is that it’s almost exclusively dedicated to delivering high quality workout videos. The majority of the videos are free to watch online but if you want to download them so that you can have them with you at the gym, you’ll need to fork over two or three bucks. They also feature shows “on-demand” for cable television and there’s also an online community where you can get motivation from other folks like you.

exercisetv

While ExerciseTV isn’t an entirely free site, you can find enough free material to easily make it one of the more useful video workout resources and communities on the web.

Fitness Magazine – Create a Workout Video
The only thing better than being able to watch free workout videos on the net is the ability to customize a workout video to suit your specific needs. For the purpose of this article, I really didn’t want to focus on the standard exercise sites that everyone knows about, like Bodybuilding.com or Women’s Health, however Fitness Magazine earns a slot in the list of useful workout technologies by providing a unique tool called Create a Video Workout. I know, it’s not the most innovative title but the online tool is free and it’s also very useful.

fitnessmag

After you sign up for a free account, you can select overall exercise categories like dumbell exercises, and then you can make the video target specific body parts or utilize only the exercise equipment that you have access to. You’re able to add one workout after another, customizing the length of your workout video to whatever you like. This customized video tool is one of the first online applications I’ve seen that actually allows users to create a video on the fly like this – a very cool feature for people who are looking for ways to target very specific parts of their body and don’t want to waste hours searching the net for the right exercise videos.

The American Council on Exercise

If there’s any organization that has the capacity to teach the importance of physical fitness, that would be the American Council on Exercise (ACE).  While it sounds like a government organization where you’d expect most of the content to be free, it’s actually a licensing organization for fitness trainers, so you can expect to find lots of certification materials and courses for sale. But the great thing about this website is that there is a great deal of free content including workout articles, videos and healthy recipes.

ace

Obviously, if you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, this is a great place to earn that certification through online courses. But as a resource for free workouts, this website easily makes the “best” list. You’ll find workouts for every category of exercise that you’re interested in.

FitByFun – The Truly Geeky Way to Workout
Want to know how a geek works out? They workout to a video game, of course. FitByFun attempts to do for the computer what the Wii has done for television, with an innovative and fun online game that you can workout to.

fitbyfun1

The Wii-like character on the screen moves her arms and legs using motions that you need to copy. As time goes on, the game displays how many calories you’ve burned during the workout as well as the elapsed time. The online fitness instructor gives you directions, and you can select the “instructor style” of the workout – which customizes whether feet or arms should move during the workout. For more advanced workouts, you should select dynamic feet and arms. If you break into a sweat just walking over to the refrigerator, you may want to consider starting out with only dynamic feet. The application even keeps track of your workout history so you can review your progress as time goes on.

Gyminee – Track Your Workouts, Nutrition and Weight
Gyminee is a very cool, free workout and nutritional information website. It offers the same things that most good workout websites offer, including video workouts, a recipe section where you can plan out healthy meals against your nutritional goals, and it even includes a social network with forums and a “GymBuddy” feature where you can find other folks who share your interests and goals. However, what really stands out is the “Locker Room,” which is a section where you can track your nutrition, workouts, and of course your weight.

gyminee

While there are plenty of other sites out there that offer similar features, what really makes Gyminee stand out is that it focuses on both your exercise regimen as well as your nutritional progress and your weight. Combining all of these things together on one site makes staying healthy a whole lot easier and saves a lot of time.

How about some music to accompany your workout? Guy has written an article on how to make your own workout music How To Make Your Own Workout Music With The Right Beats How To Make Your Own Workout Music With The Right Beats Read More . Check it out.

Do you use any online tools or websites to plan your workouts?  Share any resources that you know in the comments section below!

  1. insanity workout
    January 1, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    We started our resolutions with a home workout, Shaun T Insanity.

  2. kanok
    July 30, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I find that exercise helps all body parts for those who can exert little
    The exercise highlighted the arms and legs.

  3. Fitness Communit
    June 4, 2009 at 7:30 am

    That create a workout video site was pretty cool. I'll have to contact them about partnering with my fitness community site. Great article, thanks.

  4. Simon Turner
    June 2, 2009 at 2:00 am

    Great post, thanks. Might be worth mentioning that Gyminee has actually changed its name to DailyBurn now. Another fitness site missing from the list is workoutbox which has a range of workout's designed for a specific goals. Their workouts are very well presented and have instructional videos explaining how to do each exercise.

  5. Stacy Agosto
    June 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Wow! This is a great compilation of fitness info. Everyone needs something different in order to motivate themselves to workout. The hardest part is, like you said, getting up off the couch and just getting started! Since so many more people are connected these days - online while watching tv - these types of sites could really help someone get started working out (or continue a regimen) in a new, innovative way. Thanks for gathering.

  6. Golmi
    June 1, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Link needs to be corrected.

    hhttp://www.makeuseof.com/tag/gyminee-stay-motivated-have-fun-get-fit/

  7. renae
    May 28, 2009 at 7:29 am

    This is a really helpful article and very timely for someone like me who has 2 kids about to get out of school for the summer - I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to get my workouts in all summer! One thing I recently discovered (I have no idea why it took me so long) is that I can get exercise dvd's 'viewed instantly' via my netflix account. I didn't have to upgrade my account to do so either. The 'on demand' service doesn't count towards how many dvd's you can have at home.

  8. PeteY
    May 23, 2009 at 4:11 am

    The ultimate combination of technology and fitness has got to be http://www.fitsync.com because you can watch the exercise videos on your handheld device, whether PDA, mobile phone, iPhone, android, etc. They have tons of workouts to pick from and you can create your own workout, exercise or program.

  9. Robert
    May 21, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Thanks for the article.

    I've been looking for more sites like these. The FitByFun one is actually pretty interesting. I tried the free workout and it was surprisingly fun. I love looking at my calories # building up as if it was a video game score. Lots of potential for this app, but too bad you have to pay. They should really consider making it free and advertising health products.

  10. Gary Reichel
    May 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Great Advice. I also agree most people need a plan and I'm no different. Perhaps the only advice I would add for those people who loose the motivation to workout is -don't workout to loose weight, but workout to become healthy!

    To become healthy you need an active lifestyle. However, not every workout is going to be a killer workout. Some days you will really push yourself; but, other days you will not get out of first gear. That's ok -just make sure to workout at least 4 days a week -and eat right.

    Furthermore, don't feel like you can't substitute a scheduled workout for an outdoor activity. Personally, when the birds are singing and the sun is shinning, I substitute my workout. That's right. Go outside, run three miles, swim at the beach or take the dog on a 6 mile walk (just bring water and food).

    I believe you should be working out so you can do things, live longer and feel better about yourself. The bottom line is, you are trying to change your lifestyle by getting into the HABIT of working out. Again, the long term goal is to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle.

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