YouTube workouts to keep busy amid virus

These days, Lewis & Clark students are spending far more time sitting around. With hybrid or all-remote classes and a limited number of physical school activities offered, the only exercise residential students often get is a walk to the Bon for dinner. When students get restless and anxious, it is commonly attributed to loads of schoolwork, but a lack of exercise could also be the culprit.

For those who want to get back into exercising, or want to begin for the first time, YouTube has thousands of fitness channels, ranging from weightlifting to meditation. The following channels have workouts that can be done in a dorm room or outside on the rare days when the grass is dry. Nearly all of the movements during these workouts can be modified depending on skill level. Most of these workouts require a mat, but a large bath towel can work as a substitute.

Before any type of strenuous activity, be sure to warm-up your body. Most of the channels below have either exercise videos with a built-in warm-up or plenty of separate pre-workout/stretching videos.

Some YouTube channels that offer a mix of workouts focusing on building muscle with body weight and/or weights include: Simeon Panda, Obi Vincent and ATHLEAN-X. These three channels do an excellent job describing the reason for each exercise and demonstrating each movement. Many of the workouts on these channels do require weights of some kind, so it may be worth investing in a pair of dumbbells. You could also use water bottles or a heavy backpack, though using these items requires more caution. On these channels, a typical workout ranges from seven to 15 minutes.

The following channels are perfect for those who wish to tone their muscles rather than bulk up. These include Toni Mitchell, growwithjo, Janekate Fitness and THENX. They provide a variety of workouts for all muscle groups, many of which only require body weight. Toni Mitchell and Janekate Fitness dabble in high-intensity workouts, whereas growwithjo focuses more on pilates-based exercises that are equally effective. THENX has many no-equipment or minimal-equipment workouts, as well as a “How To” series where the host teaches how to do certain advanced exercises as a beginner. All of these workouts range from five to 20 minutes. 

To mix up the routine, The Fitness Marshall and MadFit are a couple of dance workout channels perfect for increasing your heart rate. Both have follow-along dance videos that range from three to 15 minutes, mainly with pop songs, but MadFit also has regular workouts with body weight and/or minimal equipment. 

In addition to challenging exercises, it is important to let your body heal. For those rest days or if you need a calming activity in between classes, here are some yoga and meditation channels: Tara Stiles, SarahBethYoga and Yoga with Adriene. These channels provide yoga routines that range from five to 60 minutes, and they all have a meditation series. Moojiji and Headspace are channels specifically devoted to meditation. Moojiji has life advice videos as well as guided meditations, and Headspace has many animated meditation sessions, as well as restful sleep-targeted videos.

No matter what type of workout you choose, it is important to simply get your body moving. With these recommendations, navigating the overwhelming world of YouTube fitness can hopefully be made easier. 

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