Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.
Mama, I see you. In your yoga pants and regathered pony, you’re ready to get close to your daily goals. But your overtired little one says he saw a shadow or heard thunder, so he absolutely cannot nap. Your grade schooler’s tablet isn’t charged and he’s absolutely bored. Like the zero-charged tablet, your zest for boosting endorphins has completely drained. You sink to the sofa between the non-napper and frustrated grade-schooler and press play on an animated show you’ve seen a bazillion times. You want to consistently burn calories, but as you’re sandwiched on the sofa you realize you just don’t have a square to spare (thanks Seinfeld.) In this season at least, you don’t have an uninterrupted 30 or more minutes to portion out to cardio or strength training.
In March, I learned that once loved workout routines no longer served me. So during the stay-at-home order, I scoured YouTube for bite-sized segments. I found a lot of content, but there are six fitness channels worth your scroll. With short, quality fitness segments, maintaining your fitness goals through all the seasons can be as uncomplicated as lunchtime Kraft macaroni and cheese.
You might want to plant succulents in tiny mid-century modern planters after seeing Maddie Lymburner’s minimalist chic space. What’s truly share-worthy about MadFit is the one-stop gratis fitness shop she brings to YouTube. If you want to shake it to hits from the 90s and early-ish 2000s, she has dance fitness shorts for that. If you want to sculpt with iron or bands, the strength training portion of your fitness calendar will soon be penciled in. There’s also a variety of standing exercise videos. These are great because sometimes I don’t feel like getting up and down and having to press pause because I can’t transition quickly enough. I really could squeeze this lady and thank her for creating videos with equal parts fun and challenge.
I don’t personally know Heather. She seems like a no-nonsense gal, and I feel slightly like a boss during and after the videos. A certified personal trainer and internationally recognized industry professional, Heather doesn’t gloss over what it actually takes to burn fat and build muscle. She says thigh gaps are ridiculous and though targeted workouts have their benefits, you need to be mindful of incorporating cardio and sensible eating to make those gains. As someone that’s had it with the “get fit quick” schemes, I appreciate her tell it to you straight demeanor. Her workouts are no-fuss and with loads of videos for every muscle group, you won’t grow bored by repetitive movement.
There are two things that usually help me reach (or get pretty close to) my daily step goal: chasing my kids around the house and pressing play on one of Gina B’s low impact videos. Gina B. is a Starburst explosion on your screen. In bright summery outfits, she encourages subscribers to love their bodies exactly for how they are now and to modify where they see fit. Her passion for getting your daily steps in is obvious with her oodles and oodles of themed walking and dance sessions. If you’ve ever wanted to groove through the decades or to Madonna, Disney, or salsa, this former professional ballroom dancer can take you there.
Meet Kyra Provost, the Canada-based fitness enthusiast who’s slashed my back pocket list of excuses for when I don’t feel like exercising. I became a subscriber after her Disney Dance Workout (Part 1) was suggested on my home page. It’s just shy of nine minutes, but with a playlist of Moana’s “You’re Welcome,” Aladdin’s “Friend Like Me,” and Mulan’s “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” it’s on my weekly morning rotation. AND it puts the kids in a good mood. Double win. Kyra is relatable and animated. You might get the feeling of training with a friend instead of just another YouTuber.
Have you ever started a mid-morning dance party to lighten the mood? When the coffee runs out and the kids are still cranky, sometimes this mama needs her very own dance party. That’s when I press play on this German model’s 15 Minute Happy Dance Workout. This one is my ultimate favorite, but her other dance videos have simple moves. I think the simplicity is great because I often get frustrated and turn the television off when I try a dance video that is just too complicated.
After you’ve tried a dance workout, check out her toning and trimming videos. There are no seconds of rest between reps or moves in the videos I’ve tried, but some of them have a blurb in the corner that alerts you to what’s next with just a handful of seconds remaining in the current move.
This one holds a special spot for getting my daily steps in; my husband will probably join an indoor walk if Nick Drago (recognizable from BeachBody’s Country Heat) is leading the walk or in the crew. In the Walk 15 Minutes Men’s Mile, Nick jokes about adding a tool belt for resistance while giving a shout out to dads and guys around his age who understand the struggle of widdling the middle. Leslie Sansone’s walk fitness program has been around for over 25 years, and it shows. Leslie and her crew have a great way of interacting amongst themselves and their audience. They encourage each other while encouraging you, and their tips for healthy living are completely embraceable. They really just want you to walk your way to a healthy lifestyle. I suggest getting started with their Bonus Burns and 15 Minute Workouts.