Gyms may be closed across the country, but that doesn’t mean your workout class is canceled. Tons of studios are offering real-time classes that users can live-stream from their own homes. Not only are these sessions helpful to maintaining physical and mental wellness, they offer a sense of community and accountability in this strange time of social distancing and self-isolation.
“Right now, with our routines thrown off, it can be hard to say, ‘Let me get off the couch and go exercise,” says Lynn Bufka, a clinical psychologist and senior director for practice, research and policy at the American Psychological Association. “A live class can help hold you accountable to your plans to exercise and give you the structure and motivation that you didn’t have otherwise.”
Bufka adds that when you’ve gone ahead and scheduled a workout for, say, 9 a.m., you’ve pre-empted the need to make a decision about whether you should work out. “This is a difficult time and we’re making a lot of decisions we’re not used to making,” she says. “Make exercise one less mental burden. Plus, while you can’t high-five your [classmate] or chat with the person at the front desk, you know there are others doing the same workout you are — at the same time. It all brings some normalcy to the experience.”
From yoga to HIIT, jump into these classes for free
We’ve compiled a list of studios offering live-streaming workouts in real time and what they entail.
"Get Up and Blink" is a free virtual workout session airing on Facebook Live Monday through Friday at 8:00 a.m. ET. These classes center on high-intensity interval training (HIIT), bodyweight exercises and stretching. Check it out here.
Social distance dancing is all the rage these days, and you can join in the fun with L.A.’s Dance Church. Check the site for news of the next class. There’s no cost to tune in, but donations are encouraged.
This studio is hosting “digital dance parties” on its Instagram/IG TV every day at 2:05 p.m. ET. Join here.
In the mood for dancing, cardio boxing or maybe barre? You can find these and more types of fitness classes all live-streaming over on Obe. New users can access a 7-day free trial, after which a monthly subscription is $27; an annual subscription is $199 USD. Check out the schedule here.
Though famous for its live and on-demand classes that center on its proprietary bike and treadmill, Peloton also offers yoga, meditation, stretching and various bootcamp classes on its app. New users can access a 90-day free trial (one of the more generous trials around), after which the Peloton digital membership costs $12.99 per month plus tax. Get more details and class times here.
What are you doing at 7 p.m. ET? Possibly attending the 20-minute Planet Fitness workout via Facebook Live. These workouts tend to be friendly to all levels — and might just be led by a celeb.
Free daily live-stream classes are happening on the Retro Fitness Facebook page. Classes are scheduled for 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday — and if last week’s Body Blast workout is any indication, you can expect more HIIT gems.
Live from New York, it’s Sky Ting TV. Yogis can access classes free for the first week; cost is then $20/month. See when the next live-stream class is happening here (at very top of page).
Perhaps the best program out there right now for yoga addicts comes from Yogaworks, which is streaming free live classes throughout the day, even to non-members. Check out their schedule for real time sessions here.
Yoga with Adrienne
The popular YouTube yoga instructor has hundreds of routines on her channel that you can watch for free.
The site is currently offering a 30-day free trial which has thousands of workouts on demand.
The Sculpt Society
This dance cardio and sculpting Pilates site offers a 2-week trial for newbies.
New Yorkers are big fans of this "spiritual cleanse" workout, but you can access the routines from the comfort of your own home.
Book your class and mark it in your calendar — and if you can’t make it, take an archived class on demand
Bufka has been doing live-stream real-time Pilates classes at her studio in Maryland. She says she always blocks out the class time in her work calendar —not just to keep herself accountable but so her colleagues know not to disturb her during that time. She recommends that we all do the same.
If a real-time online workout simply can’t fit into your schedule, most of these gyms offer an archive of their classes so you can do them whenever you're able. You might also take advantage of the multitude of on-demand online sessions that gyms like the YMCA, Golds Gym and OrangeTheory Fitness are making available at no cost to users.