Online Exercise – Day 61
The festive period has certainly taken its ritual toll, as I attempt to squeeze myself back into my gym leggings. My tummy resists any type of confinement after weeks of freedom, as I opted for looser fitting waists. 2015 sees me more of a Jammy Dodger than a SofaDodger!
Not 10ft from my sofa resides my TV and on the sofa itself lodges my laptop. Between the two of them, their sole aim seems to be to corrupt my attempts to live a non-sedentary lifestyle. Along with their secret weapon, Sauvignon Blanc, they work together to derail the attempts of Will Power to change my habits. Will and I fluctuate between friend and foe but Will’s powers are in the ascendancy, as today we turn the tables on laptop and TV. We use their powers for good and sign up for an online fitness class.
I kick the family out of the sitting room (ironically into the fresh air), as I signup to Gymcube - which is the first Non-American website I came across - no offence to my transatlantic friends! I sign up for a free membership but can’t access the on-demand videos unless I give the monthly subscription a free trial, so I pop in my details and I am good to go.
There seems to be a fair amount of choice, so I filter by most viewed and click on the Little Black Dress challenge and was surprised to see the gym lady from the Apprentice (Katie Bulmer-Cooke) taking the class. The class is for half an hour and we kick off with the normal warm-up and then work through a variety of squats, lunges, high kicking cardio moves and planking. The only problem with the way I have set it up is that I can’t get the browser footer away from the bottom of the screen, so when they’re doing something on the mat, I am not sure what is happening. I have to freestyle. Maybe this is the TV’s way of retaliating?
One of my usual strategies for getting through a real life gym class is to “cheat a little” and when the instructor’s back is turned, I tend to slow right down before I am back in full view. Online exercise classes present a massive opportunity to do this throughout, so I have to fight my urges on the basis that I am only cheating myself. The class lasts for 30 minutes and at the end, I am genuinely out of puff.
I can see lots of advantages with exercising online: it is easily accessible, cheaper than a gym membership, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t shaved your legs or painted your toenails and you can use your TV for good not evil (sofa dwelling). It also trumps fitness DVDs hands down, as it has the variety to keep it from going stale. On the flip side, I did have to put up with various family members peaking in to see what was going on and ask, “what time is dinner?” and “can I go on the computer?” but that’s just about timing. There are also the advantages of training with an actual instructor to consider; they are able to correct technique and get that little bit more out of you and obviously have a variety of equipment on hand. When you also take into account the social aspect of going to a class, there are a number of different pros and cons to ponder.
However, I think it’s something that would work for me, being a busy working mother who lives a thirty minute round trip to a gym. It is all about timing and flexibility and if I can’t find a gym class to fit in with my schedule, this is definitely a good alternative.
Me and Will high five, as we triumph over the laptop and TV. I would celebrate with a drink but Sauvignon Blanc has taken a New Year's holiday, as I aim to cling on to the wagon for as long as possible.
Sofa Dodger; One Woman's Quest to Try 100 Different Sports and Fitness Classes in a Year is available on Amazon, please click here