SparkPeople Blog Most Recent Post
Looking for more exercise resources and workouts? YouTube is a great source for fitness--but with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones to follow! Of course, I am a huge fan of SparkPeople’s channel, where Coach Nicole has created a wide variety of different workouts for various levels of exercisers. But since I figure you are all already familiar with SparkPeople's videos, here are some more of my favorite YouTube channels (by category) for fitness workouts and why they’re worth checking out. READ MORE
If you are interested in: Beginner-Focused Workouts
Try: Fitness Blender
While they offer a wide variety of different workouts for all levels, Fitness Blender has a nice library of beginner focused low impact sessions that are just right for someone starting an exercise plan. (You can check out their low impact/beginner workout playlist here). On screen cues help you remember the moves (there’s even an ‘up next’ cue that previews each coming move for you in the left corner of the screen) making it easy to follow along. There’s no music (each video offers an instructors guidance) so you can easily play your own music along with the videos if you like to groove while you sweat.
If you are interested in: Tough, Hardcore Workouts
Try: Turbulence Training
Certified trainer Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Trainin--a specific type of metabolic conditioning training designed for peak fat loss--offers some great full-length hardcore workouts on his channel. I prefer his routines to some of the other more popular "hardcore" workout channels out there because Ballantyne really knows his stuff and explains the how and why behind his exercise selection well, which is really important for safety when it comes to high intensity routines. If you like to work hard and push yourself to your limits, then check out his channel!
If you are interested in: Group Fitness “Class Style” Routines
Try: Café Mom Studios or Jenny Ford
Café Mom Studios offers a variety of full length, 20-30 minute fitness class style workouts designed for busy Moms (though you don’t have to be a Mom to benefit!). With workouts ranging from kickboxing to boot camp, the "studio" vibe makes you feel like you are working out right there with the group of non-intimidating women on screen.
If you prefer more of a one-on-one feel (but still enjoy the group fitness vibe), check out Jenny Ford’s channel. A certified aerobics instructor, Ford offers full length step, sculpt, aerobics and abs routines that feel just like a gym class, but it’s just the two of you working out together.
If you are interested in: Gym-Style Workouts At Home
StreamFit’s channel is lead by certified trainer and Men’s Health fitness expert BJ Gaddour, and offers a library of various "how-to" video clips explaining form and technique for exercises like archer push-ups and deep squats, along with some full length workouts (StreamFit’s streaming workout service offers an even larger variety of routines for a $9.99 monthly membership fee). And be sure to check out their “Comedy” playlist for a good abs workout (aka laugh). Despite the R-rated title, this one always has me cracking up.
If you are interested in: Pilates
Try: efit or Blogilates
eFit features some fabulous full length 30 minute Pilates routines led by several different certified Pilates instructors (they also offer yoga and bootcamp style workouts too) for a variety of different levels that feel like a real class.
Blogilates, created by certified Pilates instructor Cassey Ho, is a fun mix of Pilates and bootcamp sculpting workouts (for all levels) set to Top 40 music hits for workouts that are not only effective, but always entertaining! (She also offers great recipes, healthy cooking how-tos and more on her channel). You may have seen Cassey in this awesome “Quiet Cardio” routine that she and Coach Nicole recently teamed up with for!
If you are interested in: Yoga
Try: YogaYak or Sadie Nardini
Not only does YogaYak offer relaxing nature background sounds perfect to sleep through (they are 8 hours long!), but they also offer their “Namaste Yoga”--full length, in-depth yoga classes ranging in topics from kids yoga to yoga for boosting immunity.
If you like your yoga more active and challenging, check out Sadie Nardini’s channel which offers both "how-to" pose instruction videos along with full length active strength and core focused yoga flows.
Tell me, what’s your favorite YouTube channel for fitness workouts?
About the Author
I hope you’ll also check out my YouTube channel, JESSICASMITHTV. You’ll find a variety of free, full length workouts (including walking, sculpting, kickboxing, HIIT and yoga routines--check out my weekly class schedule for details) for a multitude of levels and styles--and you can meet my puppy, Peanut!
In honor of Heart Awareness Month, I've gathered up recipes that have the ultimate superfood: chia seeds. Chia seeds are a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. If you have not heard of chia seeds, read "What Can You Do with Chia Seeds? Plenty!" for more information. Don't let giggles and jokes about the kitschy Chia Pet commercials dissuade you. I add chia to almost all recipes these days. I love that it's gluten and alergy-free. Try these chia recipes today.
Read More ›
Brittni Reum's first broken bone happened in her right heel at age 10. She suffered four more fractures over the next three years in her arms and knee—all from seemingly minor mishaps while playing on the monkey bars or shooting hoops in gym class. "Brittni seemed so fragile that I was afraid to let her go outside or play sports," says her mom, Michele, an accounting manager in Jacksonville, Florida.
Read More ›
Pick up an innocent box of granola bars or a bottle of iced tea and you're hit with health claims—from less fat to made with real sugar. In fact, a USDA study showed that 43% of products introduced in 2010 splashed nutrition ads on their packaging. But despite their promises, you could be eating more fat, calories, salt and sugar than you think. Get the facts on the most deceptive claims so they never mislead you again.
Read More ›
As a person who incorporates fitness into my everyday life—whether I'm at home or traveling—I sure do plan to staying active even when I'm on a relaxing vacation. After all, with no distractions and nothing but free time, what excuse do I have? The more activity you can build into any vacation, the better your chances of returning with all the good things (think souvenirs and memories) and none of the bad (extra padding around the middle). In fact, most people do want to relax and indulge a little on vacation, and that's fine. But planning for extra activity will definitely help you stay on track with your fitness and weight management goals.
While you may think that's boring, I've got news for you: Vacation exercise isn't about the treadmill. There are tons of fun, active ways you can torch calories and get a workout without even realizing it. Here are some of the many activities I can't wait to try during my own vacation (and a rundown of how many calories* each one burns).
Read More ›
Brad Milligan (BRADMILL2922)
Weight Lost: 197 pounds
Hometown: Jeffersonville, IN
What was life like before losing weight?
I was a big kid and a big teenager. Being 6'7", I was never going to be small. I never enjoyed exercise much, but I did it because it was part of playing sports. I was always an athlete growing up, including playing baseball in college. When sports ended for me, I stopped exercising. I steadily gained weight in my 20s from lack of exercise and poor diet. When I was at my highest weight of 509 pounds, I didn't feel like doing anything. I didn't want to go out of the house and hang out with friends because I was embarrassed of myself. I really couldn't participate in many sporting activities or physical activities in general because it made me tired. I had no energy.
What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
My main motivation was my kids. I am a single dad of three children and I wanted to be around for them, be more active with them and set a good example. I realized that the way I was going, that wasn't going to happen. I had a lot of "dieting" stops and starts over the years that failed every time. I had lost myself and who I was. On May 4, 2012, I weighed in at 466 pounds and I decided that on May 5 (Kentucky Derby Day around here), I wasn't going to do this anymore. I came up with a plan of diet and, eventually, exercise that I thought would help me lose the weight. No shortcuts. No fad diets. No trainers. No surgery. No diet pills. It was going to be hard work and I knew I needed some help along the way which is where SparkPeople.com came in. I set a goal to lose 167 pounds, which would get me down to 299 pounds. I would be less than 300 pounds for the first time since college!
Read More ›