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Not only do streaming fitness classes allow you to pick whatever time suits your schedule, you can get front-row exercise instruction from top trainers in the field, including celebs like Bob Harper (via DailyBurn.com).
The challenge is knowing which virtual workouts are worth your time, money and phone or iPad storage space (since some come with a companion mobile app). While many virtual fitness sites require a monthly or yearly subscription fee, most offer a free trial so you can size up the service first.
To help you get a head start on what to look for, we asked Vancouver-based certified fitness instructor Amanda Vogel to share her best picks and tips.
1. DailyBurn 365 Live Streaming
What it is: Designed for people new to fitness or trying to get back in shape, DailyBurn 365 provides a new 30-minute workout every day — and it broadcasts live.
What we love: No equipment necessary. Plus the live morning classes give you a reason to be standing in your sneakers and ready to exercise at a specified time (9 AM EST). This real-time motivation makes it less likely that you'll blow off working out. Cost: $12.95 US/month.
Tip: Use the live chat feature and private Facebook group for DailyBurn 365 members to create community with the other exercisers. People who receive social support are more likely to stick with working out.
Also check out: Livestreamingfitness.com.
2. FitnessGlo On-Demand Fitness Classes
What it is: Classes range from 5 to 60 minutes and are on-demand, which means you can work out whenever. Stream classes through your computer or iPad or save them to the fitnessglo.com app for offline viewing. There’s also a sister site for yoga.
What we love: Variety! With so many qualified instructors, equipment (dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, step, etc.) and formats (interval training, dance, strength, etc.) to choose from, the chance for boredom as you get in shape is slim. Cost: $12 US/month.
Tip: FitnessGlo curates workouts for you into handy eight-week programs. Start with one of those to get a feel for which instructors motivate you the most and to ensure you're following a well-rounded routine.
Also check out: CrunchLive.com and Suzanne Bowen Fitness.
3. JessicaSmithTV YouTube Channel
What it is: Hundreds of free — yes, free — workouts you can stream right from YouTube's website or mobile app.
What we love: Jessica Smith is a certified instructor whose top-level skills for teaching fitness keep the workouts feeling fun and lively. And it doesn't hurt that many of her workouts clock in at just 10 or 20 minutes: perfect for when you're in a time crunch. Want longer? Pair 'em up when you've got 30 minutes or more.
Tip: View all the class categories at JessicaSmithTV.com (everything from abs to low impact to no equipment) but also subscribe to the JessicaSmithTV YouTube channel to get pings when new workouts are added.
Also check out: BeFiT YouTube Channel.