My husband has always been one of those anomaly people that will push himself the hardest working out from home, no trainer or flashy gym required. Maybe it’s his engineering mind at work that weighs the time efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and while most would agree with him there, working out at home just doesn’t offer the motivational camaraderie of group fitness classes. Even after over three years of experience instructing group fitness classes, I still struggle to push myself through a solo sweat sesh at home. I gravitate toward the energy of a class, the guidance of an instructor and the break to just turn off mentally to turn on physically. But after we had our son last June, I realized making it to my favorite studio for class (or even out of the house some days) was yet another card in the deck of obstacles stacked against new moms restarting an exercise routine.
In between frequent nursing schedules, unpredictable nap times and simply adapting to your new “normal”, exercise is understandably low on the priority pole. But with so much evidence pointing to the feel-good power of endorphins to help ward off a plethora of postpartum woes, it’s worth fighting for a few minutes to focus on yourself. After all, you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself, right? For me, that meant accepting my challenges and adapting to face them. Thus, I took a leaf out of my husband’s book and began working out at home, but in my own way with the help of the internet!
I had no idea working out at home didn’t have to be so dreary or even lonely for that matter (hello live stream classes). While I know there is no replacement for the in-person interaction of a live class, I’m thankful so many companies have started streaming their classes for remote clients like me in temporary hibernation. It’s the next best thing and I’m able to still zone out and let the instructor lead me through a results-driven routine. As far as cost-effectiveness, most companies offer a month of unlimited access for about the price of one studio class and some companies even offer access for free. Check out five of my current favorite online streaming services!
The first time I discovered barre fitness was through a five pack of Barre3 DVDs I ordered off Groupon.com. Thus, my addiction to barre was born. In my opinion, Barre3 is more yoga-based than other barre classes and offers a breathy hybrid of yoga, Pilates and ballet. Thoughtful bursts of recovery cardio are mixed in that deliver an undeniable endorphin high without risk of injury. And their classes are packed with modification options ideal for newly postpartum mamas! I love their online subscription service and finish each workout feeling energized and balanced. They have a library of workouts to stream, ranging from 10 to 60 minutes, and new 30-minute class options are added weekly. Unlimited access is $25-$29 per month depending on the length of commitment. Barre3 also offers a free 15-day trial or you can check out this workout for a taste!
For those who love variety, but are short on time, Obe may be the answer! Designed to mimic boutique studio fitness classes and powered by a team of New York City’s best talented trainers, Obe brings the studio to you with quick (and intense!) 28-minute class options streamed live every day! Starting daily at 6:00 a.m. EST, early birds can workout live and 13 more classes (ranging from HIIT to cardio dance to restorative yoga) follow. Instructors can see who signed up for class and give personalized motivational shout-outs to build the sense of community. Over 500 “replay” classes are available to stream on demand as well. With my baby’s unpredictable nap schedule, I utilized the “replay” option and was really impressed with the variety and challenge of the classes. They really do make the most of your time with no second wasted, which is everything to a busy new mom! Subscriptions are available for $27/month or at a yearly rate of $199. Obe also offers a one week free trial so you can get a taste!
3. Alo Moves
Alo Moves literally offers thousands of classes taught by the who’s who of the global yoga community. At first, I was honestly a little overwhelmed by their dauntingly wide selection! Classes can be found in almost ever category and are catered to every skill level. They’ve even added a section for Pilates and barre. I really love that practitioners can explore different instructors’ series of classes on certain topics like “Seven Day Detox”, “Yoga for Better Sleep” and even “Prenatal HIIT”. As someone who made the mistake of attempting an instudio hot yoga class at six weeks postpartum (insert hand to face), I really enjoyed restarting my practice in the comfort and privacy of our home. Memberships start at $20/month or $199 for an annual subscription. A free 14-day trial is also available so you can check it out before you commit!
4. Pure Barre on Demand
Throughout my second and third trimester, I was a regular at our local Pure Barre studio. I absolutely love the low impact and insanely effective toning that Pure Barre classes provide. Without childcare options though, I’ve had to say a temporary bye-bye to my time in the studio, but thankfully Pure Barre launched an incredible streaming service that makes those shakes and quakes accessible anywhere! Class options range from quick 5-minute toners to 55-minute full studio classes and intensives that target certain parts of the body are also available. The instructors tweak the traditional barre moves so that they can easily be done using a chair, counter top, back of a couch or wall for support. Subscriptions are $29.99/month or $289.99 for annual access and a seven-day free trial is available!
5. Fitness Blender
Last but not least, Fitness Blender offers a fabulous and free burn with their library of over 500 ready-to-stream workouts! The Seattle based husband and wife duo believe fitness should be accessible to everyone, regardless of income or accessibility to a gym. Their classes range from 10 to 85 minutes and cover categories such as HIIT, Pilates, low impact, yoga and cardio. You can even search their extensive library of workouts based on equipment needed and find over 400 options where you need nothing more than yourself and a little determination!