If you don't have the money for a gym membership or your schedule doesn't suit studio classes, don't worry, the rise of online fitness videos means you can now replicate a gym workout at home, and for free.
With many fitness instructors featuring online workouts on their own websites, and even more using YouTube, it's now easier than ever to get fit for free and in the comfort of your own home. Here we round up some of our top tips to get you started.
1. Use Google and YouTube searches to make your very own custom-made fitness schedule. Be as specific as you can with your search terms, and remember that some online workouts, such as Sleek Technique and Ballet Beautiful, have streaming options available to buy on their own website as well as their free videos on YouTube. When you find what you like you can then save a variety of sports, video lengths, and areas to target -- whether it's legs, arms, abs etc -- so you can mix and match depending on the day and your mood.
2. If you're a beginner choosing a group workout video can help you get started, as often one of group will be doing a modified, easier version of the exercise. The BeFit and Beachbody channels on YouTube are a good option for this, with instructors such as Tara Stiles and Shaun T including people of all levels, talking both them and you through each move so you can safely keep up and still feel challenged.
3. Try and make a space at home dedicated to your workout. If you follow YouTube yogi Adriene Mishlar you will see how she has done this in her own home to film her popular Yoga with Adriene videos, setting aside space for her mat, blankets and bricks, and by a window for some health-boosting natural light. However, it doesn't just work for yoga, just choose a place best suited to your workout -- maybe the living room to hold onto the back of the sofa for support, or the garage so you can jump around doing HIIT without disturbing the neighbors.
4. If possible, try putting a mirror in your new workout area, like you would find in a studio class. Most online fitness videos, such as FitnessBlender, give detailed instructions on what your form should look like but a mirror will help you to correct any mistakes, which will help you boost your results as well as help avoid injury.
5. It's great to exercise at home for free, but investing in a few items will help you get more out of your workout. A mat is a a particularly useful option, good for yoga, Pilates, and strength exercises such as the plank and push-ups. Buy some free weights for an extra challenge and so you don't need to head to the gym, or resistance bands if you're short on space. Yoga bricks and straps can also help take your practice deeper, and a foam roller is great post-workout.