Before COVID-19 struck, my main source of exercise and movement was walking across the expansive Green in the beautiful weather while navigating from class to class. Nowadays, my exercise consists of walking to the kitchen for a box of cookies.
Not only has quarantine made it difficult for many individuals to exercise the way they used to, it has also wiped the motivation away. While many do not have the proper materials or equipment needed to engage in gym-style exercise, there are many different and engaging ways to incorporate exercise into your routine, and social media has made it that much easier.
As someone who personally despises exercise, I have found comfort in Maddie Lymburner’s videos. Also known as @madfit.ig, her instagram account shows brief exercises to engage in for toned arms, ab sculpting and booty workouts. Her YouTube account has more in-depth videos going into her workout routines and also provides stretches, dance workouts and yoga videos that are way more doable for beginners. Even her more intense 20 minute full body workouts seem to fly by when I’m doing it alongside her.
While yoga originated in Northern India centuries ago, it has since become largely whitewashed. Jessamyn Stanley, the founder of The Underbelly Yoga, is thankfully stealing the spotlight with her body-positive yoga practices that empower women of color who may not be a size zero. I love the empowering message that she sends to social media users, showing that thin doesn’t mean healthy and plus-size doesn’t mean unhealthy.
Not only has yoga become whitewashed, it has also become quite feminized. Many individuals view yoga as a more feminine type of exercise than an all-inclusive type of fitness. Hiro Landazuri fights against this misconception with his incredible flexibility and yoga practices. Landazuri posts videos for different focus points and types of yoga while also providing tips and tricks for improving positions and exercises. While many of his poses may seem advanced, he also shows modifications for poses and teaches transitions that allow for simpler learning.
Dana Landgren, a fitness trainer, focuses on low impact workouts that lead to amazing results. She posts videos on full body exercises as well as exercises that pinpoint focus points such as booty lifting, arm strengthening, fat burning and inner thigh exercises. One of my favorite things about Landgren is that she fights against the taboo of sexual exercises and provides exercises for improving sexual sensation and relieving painful sex through pelvic exercises. She helps women accept their bodies by providing all-inclusive exercises for pregnant women, individuals with bladder leakage and sexual issues.
If you’ve fallen into the TikTok hula trap as I have, you’ll love these exercises that combine hula hooping with dance. Hula hooping is a great exercise for toning and reducing body fat around the abdomen and hips. While it can get boring after a while, this account teachers new skills and dances that can make hula hooping more fun and long-term!
Hate exercising but love dancing? This account is for you! Sometimes I long for the days where exercise was as simple as playing “Just Dance” on the Wii, but it seems more complicated now. Luckily, @uptothebeatfit brings the joy and music back into working out! This account teaches dance routines that are great for burning calories
Stefana Avara is a fitness trainer and a TikTok star who “keeps it real about fitness and health.” Her Instagram videos are super easy to save for later and easy to refer back to when you need an easy to follow workout to do. She focuses on exercises that can be done from home while sometimes incorporating weights and dumbbells into her routine. Avara also provides information on exercises that can be done at the gym with the use of equipment and her treadmill exercises are informative and engaging by including time-intervals for types of exercises, speeds and inclines to use. She also sometimes includes information about her eating habits that have helped her reach her weight loss goal.
While some people love exercise and some people despise it, there is truly a type of fitness out there for anyone and everyone. There is no one right way to move your body and finding the right method for you will help you fall in love with exercise while helping you understand your body better.
I’ve noticed that personally, high-intensity exercises aren’t realistic for me to keep up with and are not enjoyable. Instead, starting my routine with an hour of yoga or stretching is perfect to wake myself up and get my body ready and energized for the day. I’ve also started hula-hooping for 10 to 15 minutes a day and every time I do, my family members run over to try and compete with me to see who can do it longest. It keeps me motivated and focused, trying to improve and reach a new goal every time. My only suggestion is to wear thick clothing to protect your body because weighted hula hoops can cause bruising if your body isn’t used to it.
Through the process of learning what works for me, I’ve realized that there isn’t one type of exercise that everyone should do, and in fact, there is a different type of workout for everyone.