I 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
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 . 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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!