Keeping Fit Online: Streaming
Living in London, an easy hop from her favourite gyms, Melanie works out with plenty of company most days, whether she’s tackling a spin class at Core Collective or working with Sarah Lindsay, her personal trainer.
For lots of us though, that’s just not possible, whether it’s because we’re too far away from a nice gym, have too long a commute or small children (or all three!). DVD’s are one solution (the Tracy Anderson Method offers heaps to choose from), but for the last couple of years streaming has been increasing hugely in popularity.
What is Streaming?
Streaming means remotely taking part in a fitness class somewhere in the world via your computer or device and sometimes participating in real time in a class with lots of other people, sometimes with a pre-recorded class. In some cases you keep your camera switched on and the instructor can see what you’re doing! This is especially useful in a yoga class, for instance, so that the instructor can message you directly to adjust your pose.
For a lot of us, streaming is more dynamic than DVD’s – it’s a psychological effect that boosts your motivation and makes you feel less isolated for your workout, so you’re more likely to stick with it. To make it even better for you, lots of workouts have devoted followers and you can have a look on Facebook to find a group dedicated to your favourite method, and meet like-minded people to share tips and cheer each other on.
So which ones are our favourites?
Yogaia is based in Finland, and offers 10 or more live yoga classes a day, with recorded classes archived so that you can go back and catch up on favourites.
Your teacher can see you as well, so don’t be surprised if you get some feedback on your asanas!
It’s really well priced, and the company is planning to grow into other disciplines too, so stand by for a wider offering in the coming months.
Cost: from £7.49 per month
When Niki Rein rounded Barrecore in 2011 she was running just one class out of a little mews house in Chelsea, and now, with classes and centres opening up all around the UK (six in London alone), you can take part in streamed classes as well!
Based around a barre, reasonably enough, Barrecore is ballet-inspired workout with a challenging combination of interval training, stretches and more, and loved by celebrities, new Mums and increasing numbers of men too.
A substantial number of workouts are available online, and they’re adding to it all the time.
Cost: £25 a month
Australian Kayla Itsines has a devoted following, identifiable on Instagram by the hashtag #bbr – beach body ready (possibly more of a concern in Australia at this time of year than here in the UK, where “beach body ready” would need to involve thermal underwear and a good bit of North Face to fend off hypothermia).
Kayla’s renowned program starts off with a 12 week intensive workout and diet routine, and a gruelling 28 minute daily workout delivered via her app.
Cost: AUD $19.99 per month (£12.26 at today’s exchange rate)
Tracy Anderson’s fans are a dedicated bunch. They tend to be slightly older than the Kayla crew, and seem to be more in the 30 – 50 age group, reflecting the fact that at 42, Tracy has built up her credibility over the last ten years with her studios (and a roster of celebrity clients from Gwyneth Paltrow to Madonna), paying plenty of attention to pregnancy and post-pregnancy fitness. She works on building a strong, lean and feminine physique rather than the muscled definition that a younger audience might prefer.
Her DVD’s are fantastic, and the Metamorphosis program is added to every year, so you can continue to build your workout. Pricing her streaming quite a bit higher than the competition, she offers live participation in her weekly studio classes and these classes are TOUGH. A few months of Meta might be necessary before you dive in with streaming!
Cost: USD $90 per month
There are so many trendy hybrids of Pilates on the go right now, that Pilatesology’s orthodox approach is refreshing.
They offer online Pilates streaming that is true to the teachings of Joseph Pilates with instructors who were actually taught by Pilates himself, and they deliver their material through a highly customisable combination of long and short videos to help you target different parts of your body as well as try out comprehensive full body workouts at different levels of intensity.
To help you find your starting point, there’s an online assessment so that you can dive in at the best place for your own fitness level.
Cost: USD $19 per month