Exercisers everywhere are trying to find easy and convenient ways to work out.  With advances in technology, there is a major shift towards “virtual exercise.”  

Virtual exercise involves the use of technology to combine workouts and virtual reality. In other words, you can have the feel of being in a class with an instructor from the comfort of your own home.

Many individuals have barriers to exercise, such as a lack of time or interest, loss of motivation, or even fear. Guided exercise using technology can now help individuals break those common barriers and not only exercise, but do so more efficiently.  

There’s an app for that

There are thousands of apps available for download on smartphones and tablets. In fact, 39 percent of the available apps are in the health and wellness category.

Using your device can also help with exercise “self-efficacy,” which is a person’s confidence in their ability to engage in exercise or physical activity.  Other benefits of using apps on your device include:

  • tracking user activity
  • sending motivational messages
  • demonstration of exercise, and
  • setting and monitoring health goals.

Cost effectiveness

Most applications on average range from $0-$10, which is a competitive price compared to some expensive gym fees. Some popular applications, to name a few, include

  • Skimble Workout Trainer
  • Nike Training
  • Pocket Yoga
  • Workout for Women
  • 7 Minute Workout
  • Sworkit

With the colder months approaching, these applications make for great “at home” exercise options, or even in the office.  These applications can be done virtually anywhere, with little to no equipment needed.

All the comforts of home

The home is usually a safe and comfortable environment for exercisers, especially when you consider the idea of “gym intimidation” that can cause many individuals to avoid the gym.

On-demand television and subscriptions now make it easy to have the feel of a personal gym in your own home. For example, some of the more popular options available are:

  • BeachBody subscription
  • PiYo
  • Les Mills Virtual
  • Daily Burn
  • Insanity
  • 21 Day Fix

There are also fitness companies like Peloton, which bring live spin classes right to your home. The downside of these options is the cost. Peloton bikes are now starting at $2,200 and treadmills $4,300.   

Is it right for you?

Working out at home may sound enticing for some, but it is important to assess yourself and your environment. Be honest with yourself. Some considerations may include:

  • Are there potential distractions in your home?
  • Is there enough space for the exercise you choose?
  • Will it be easier to make excuses for avoiding workouts if you’re at home?

Using technology is an easy and convenient way to be more physically active. Just don’t forget about the beauty of the outdoors for exercise or about the benefit of human interaction at a gym or exercise class. What’s most important is to keep moving!

For more tips on exercise and your health, visit the Moving section of our Lifespan Living health and wellness blog.

Arianna Colella

Arianna Colella is an exercise physiologist in the Center for Weight and Wellness.