Exercise your way to better mental health
It’s never been easier to get in shape. With personal trainer and fitness pages exploding on social media, there’s a wealth of expert advice and routines available to help you lunge into a life of exercise.
While plenty of online instructors promise you rock-hard six packs and toned torsos, the mental health benefits from workouts are just as impressive. A powerful depression fighter and anxiety anecdote, it’s been proven that endorphin-releasing exercise can be as effective a treatment as medication for mild to medium conditions. Even symptoms of ADHD and PTSD can be dramatically eased by donning the Lycras a few times per week.
So what ya waiting for? Oh yeah, the list.
Most of our inclusions offer paid packages, but all provide enough demonstrations on their feeds to help get you moving for free. Mix and match, see what routines or instructors suit you best. Most of all, start enjoying the psychological and physical benefits of exercise. The majority of routines don’t require equipment and can be carried out from the comfort of your own home or garden. No gym fees. No un-wiped yoga mats. Less stress.
Billed as an online gymnasium, GymCube offers a database of over 600 do-at-home workout vids. It’s a free sign-up, with newcomers encouraged towards the seven day Kick-Start challenge that determines your current fitness levels, while setting realistic goals. With a range of difficulty settings, numerous coaches, an exercise library explaining each move, plus routines tailored to target specific areas, the Cube is a cracking spot for newbies to lay their fitness foundations.
Missed his books or DVD’s? Then you might have caught him flipping healthy burgers in Jamie Oliver’s kitchen, or taking on famous footballers at Soccer Aid. With millions of followers to entertain, The Body Coach uses his IG and YouTube stations to dish-out a wealth of healthy-living content. He credits his chiselled physique to just 30-40 minute sessions of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) a day, the majority of which can be done without equipment, in virtually any space with a suitable surface. His ‘Lean in 15’ meals are also a great way to begin eating better, if you can hack broccoli being referred to as ‘midget trees’…
Follow @thebodycoach on Instagram
Coach Kozak and Claudia believe ‘everyone deserves to be fit’. The husband/wife partnership pride themselves on free content, having given away over 100 million workouts on their YouTube channel in the last seven years. The duo appeal to all levels of fitness fan; Coach carrying out difficult reps, with his missus handling easier variations aimed at beginners. Claudia has even featured in workouts whilst heavily pregnant; so no excuses for not getting involved.
Subscribe to HASfit on YouTube
You could finish a marathon in the time it takes to browse through the mountain of running apps out there these days. Nike’s is still the best, and remains free. Set-up routes, training plans and guided runs that can also be merged with the brand’s general fitness app (Nike Training), at no extra cost. Although the stats aren’t as in-depth as some of the subscription jogging applications, they are substantial enough for anyone starting life on the road.
Download App: Nike Run Club
Not as frivolous with the free material as some of her contemporaries, Zanna’s social media platforms are still loaded with enough routines to warrant a visit from those in search of a trim figure. The BBC podcast host and Adidas global ambassador focuses as much on the mind and soul as the body. You’ll get plenty of positivity from her IG page, yet it’s the 12-week Sculpt Guide – offering as much stress management and self-care advice as plank variations – that can deliver real results. At £35, it’s one of the most reasonably priced, well put together programs on the market.
Big To’ turned 60 last year, and is still the king of bringing spin-squats to your living room. The celebrity personal trainer has whipped everyone from Annie Lennox to Usher into shape; his Power 90 Extreme creation revolutionising the anywhere/anytime, bodyweight fitness approach. Though the full program – 90 days of 12 intense workouts – will set you back a few dollars and is not for the faint hearted, you can sample a range of P90X circuits via his YouTube channel. Plenty of videos are aimed at beginners, with Tony’s fun-loving instructional style a real motivational bonus.
Subscribe to Tony Horton on YouTube
Full workouts: https://www.beachbodyondemand.
You might associate POPSUGAR with celebrity gossip and reality tv, but their fitness section boasts an array of quality home workouts, all for free. Spearheaded by Anna Renderer, the online classes are aimed at females with a mix of dance, cardio and resistance routines geared towards body toning and improving general fitness. You’ll find varied circuits and guest hosts a plenty, with her mate Tony Horton even popping up for a couple of 10 minute, full-body hits.
Subscribe to POPSUGAR fitness on YouTube
Warming up before (down after) activity is essential. Searching ‘pre-workout’ on YouTube will bring up an endless list of videos to get you ready for action, but the Liverpool Chiro’s app offers a real simplistic preparation platform. Exercises are broken into manageable sections, each accompanied by an easy example video or explanation. You can activate your core and glutes, strengthen hamstrings or improve your posture; all really handy for avoiding injury when getting stuck into new routines.
Download the App for Free: Liverpool Chiro
Stef Williams had been a lifelong athlete until an injury while playing for the Welsh national team derailed her hockey career. After some time on the sidelines, she rediscovered her fitness enthusiasm in 2016, completing a PT course while setting up an Instagram account that now has over one million followers. Her straightforward and accessible workouts come in quick bursts; targeting different areas with unique combinations to keep things interesting. Puma found her content impressive enough to offer sponsorship; her regular output a perfect follow for those looking for consistent inspiration.
Follow @stef_fit on Instagram
Musician Moby doesn’t scream peak physical fitness, yet his song ‘Flower’ has become the soundtrack for a unique but simple press-up routine. The task appears straight forward – press-ups for the tune’s 3:25 duration – yet the method of the reps move to the track’s repetitive lyrics, making for a testing workout. When the vocalist sings ‘Sally-up’, you raise into the upper position of a press-up. ‘Sally-down’ and you complete the exercise to the floor, holding in either the low or high stance between lyrics (that chorus, an absolute killer). Everyone from personal trainers to US Navy Seals can be seen struggling to carry out variations of the challenge online. Take on a verse or two for starters, pause the track and go again.
Flower, Moby Press-Up Challenge on YouTube
Our 10 might transform you to a goddess or adonis in no time. At the very least they’ll improve your general mood and mindset. Start slow, build up your repetitions. Wear suitable clothing and follow instructions as closely as possible.