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If you can't find time to hit the gym, you can still do an at-home workout with a quick search on YouTube. Here are five fitness channels that will help you work up a sweat.
Don't feel like going to the gym? No problem. Recently, YouTube has undergone a fitness revolution as trainers post exercises and routines that you can do at home or on the go.
Searches for "home workouts" are on the rise across Canada, and YouTube fitness gurus are stepping up to meet the demand. "There are over 11 million videos on YouTube with 'home workout' in the title," says Google and YouTube trends expert Jenn Kaiser. And you don't have to limit yourself—the videos offer everything from Pilates and yoga to ab and HIIT challenges. We asked Kaiser about the top trending fitness crazes in Canada and the best workouts to try for each.
1) For your yoga fix
"Searches for yoga have been on a steady rise over the past eight years. Today, almost 3.8 million videos have 'yoga at home' in the title," says Jenn.
What to watch: Get a little zen at home with our pick, Yoga with Adriene, which has more than 1.3 million subscribers. With lessons for all skill levels and options to sweat and tone or relax and meditate, this channel has something for everyone. One of Adriene's most popular playlists is her Yoga Boot Camp, a 30-day program designed for beginners to fully immerse themselves in the yogi lifestyle.
Why we love it: Adriene breaks down yoga moves for beginners so you can learn them step-by-step.
Don't miss: Yoga for Complete Beginners, 30 Days of Yoga (Day 1) and Power Yoga.
2) For a fun fitness challenge
"Fitness challenges are a huge trend on YouTube," says Kaiser. "They typically involve a combination of different exercises that you repeat, and eventually work up to 200, 500 or 1,000 reps." We might not be completing 200 squats anytime soon, but we like the idea of using a challenge to motivate ourselves to get moving.
What to watch: Blogilates (3 million subscribers). Cassey Ho, the creator of Blogilates, is known for her POP Pilates videos, where she combines Pilates moves with Top 40 hits to make fun challenges for her subscribers. Blogilates is the perfect channel to visit if you're looking to test your limits, with videos featuring squat, ab and push plank challenges, and even a flexibility challenge. Ho's energy and spirit make your Blogilates session something to look forward to.
Why we love it: Ho creates a free, printable monthly workout calendar for subscribers, with each day devoted to working a different part of the body. Her channel also features a segment called "Cheap, Clean Eats," where Ho provides cheap but healthy meal and snack ideas that anyone can make.
Don't miss: Ho's Call Me Maybe Squat Challenge, which is one of the top squat challenge videos on YouTube with more than six million views. Other notable picks: What Makes You Bootyful Butt Challenge and The Ultimate Hot Body Workout.
3) For the ultimate abs
There's no shortage of ab videos online. In fact, "there are over 42,000 'ab challenge,' videos on YouTube" says Kaiser. But some are better than others.
What to watch: BeFiT (2.1 million subscribers). With their 30-day six-pack abs program, BeFiT is the perfect channel to visit to feel the burn. By combining routines from top fitness trainers like Jillian Michaels and Jane Fonda, BeFiT has established a reliable team that will whip you into shape in no time. Aside from ab videos, the channel has a range of exercises to help you tone and build muscle, from Pilates to dance exercises. With their 30- and 90-day workout programs, it's easy to keep up a regular fitness regimen.
Why we love it: BeFiT uploads a new video daily, so you'll never have to wait around for a new routine.
Don't miss: 6 Week Six-Pack Abs, 10-Minute Cardio Dance Abs and Jillian Michaels: Standing Abs Workout.
4) For a high-intensity sweat session
"Searches for HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are at an all-time high in Canada," says Kaiser. "HIIT workouts consist of intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of rest. They have many scientifically proven benefits, and are known to increase metabolism, burn fat and improve cardiovascular health."
What to watch: Our pick for your Hiit challenge is Tone it Up (561,000 subscribers). Founded in 2008 by two best friends, Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, Tone it Up brings a new approach to fitness with a focus on community and sisterhood. Their enthusiasm and friendly tone makes you feel like you're working out with a group of girlfriends rather than two trainers. Their goal was to create a group for women to stay connected, through their online community and the #TIUgirls hashtag, which allows women to support each other on social media throughout their fitness journeys.
Why we love it: Their videos are filmed on the beach in sunny California and will have you dreaming of your next vacation and how toned your body will be.
Don't miss: Hump Day HIIT!, HIITy Bitty Bikini and Boxing HIIT Workout!
5) For an express workout
If you only have a few minutes for a workout, you might not have time to get to a gym. Luckily there are plenty of express workouts available at the touch of a button.
What to watch: Fitness Blender (3 million subscribers). Fitness Blender was created by Daniel and Kelli Segars, a husband and wife personal trainer team. They started their channel with a mission to make fitness accessible to everyone regardless of income. They provide the perfect resource for at home fitness with over 350 videos for home training. With more than 120 express workouts that you can do in 10 minutes or less, you have no more excuses for skipping your workout.
Why we love them: Their interactive website lets you pick your workout length, calorie burn goal, body focus and equipment so you can have the ultimate at-home session tailored to your needs.
Don't miss: 10 Minute Abs, 5 Minute Butt and Thighs and Quick 10 Minute Core.
Need a workout that requires nothing but a smartphone? Check out these free apps that will make your workout better.
Photography by Angus Fergusson
The best way to beat those midwinter blues? A touch of green. Read on for our guide to low-maintenance houseplants.
When it comes to decorating, we believe most spaces benefit from a plant or two, and the decor world agrees—houseplants have made a comeback. According to Jill Jensen, founder of Jill Jensen Botanicals, a Clarington, Ont., tropical-plant wholesale company, the resurgence in popularity comes down to four things: Compact, easy-to-care-for plants appeal to both small-space dwellers and novice gardeners; good-quality botanicals are more readily available at garden centres, flower shops and even your local grocery store; we now know they improve our mental health; and decorative pots have received an esthetic upgrade, with options in everything from marble to ombré woven baskets. When caring for houseplants, Jensen says the first step is having the right environment. Tropical houseplants typically do best in a temperature-controlled space—over 17°C is OK, but above 21°C is ideal. Read on for our selections and Jensen's best tips to ensure that your plants thrive.
Great for spaces that don't get a lot of natural light, this leafy choice is also less susceptible to both pests and disease.
This stylish plant is almost indestructible. It thrives in low-light conditions and needs only moderate watering, so it's ideal for first-time plant owners—or for those with black thumbs!
Named for its colourful spiky flower, this pretty tropical will sprout suckers, or tiny shoots, as it ages; once the shoots reach a substantial size, you can separate them to form new plants.
This hardy variety can grow up to six feet tall but doesn't tend to spread out, which makes it ideal for small living or work spaces.
A succulent is any plant that stores water in its leaves or stem. Available in a variety of rich textures and colours, these trendy botanicals prefer lots of light; since they're desert plants, don't overwater them (allow the soil to dry completely between waterings).
Don't expose the maroon leaves of this plant to direct sunlight—it will cause the delicate tissue to burn
This compact version of the popular fiddle-leaf fig adds visual impact without taking up too much space.
One of the few plants with the same common and botanical name, this lush pick purifies the air in your home. It's also easy to care for, as it does well in most light conditions (except direct sun) and can survive with occasional two- to three-week intervals between waterings.
This fast-growing plant benefits from regular pruning— otherwise, it will quickly become overgrown. If the wide, flat leaves get dusty, wipe them gently with a soft damp cloth.
Unlike most cacti, this variety is native to the rainforest, so it prefers ample moisture (ensure good drainage so roots don't sit in water) and indirect light. It produces small white flowers in late winter or early spring, followed by small berries (similar to the ones on mistletoe, hence the name). Handle with care—the stems break easily.
Three perfect perches for your plants.