The Best Free Online Workouts and Online Yoga Classes:
How to Work Out when you Travel (or at home during a pandemic).
Staying healthy whilst I’m ‘on the road’ is really important to me. So in this post, I thought it would be helpful to anyone who also travels, to go over a few of the best online workouts (including some of the best free online workouts) and best online yoga classes, that are out there.
Keeping fit or working out when you travel can be challenging; you’re always moving around, you spend days getting over jet-lag, more days adapting to a new location and it’s difficult to establish regular workout routines or habits and stick to them. Especially if you aren’t sure of what type of place you’ll be living in next.
You lose motivation, long travel days make you feel a bit ‘meh’ and before you know it, you haven’t worked out or exercised for weeks.
Some gyms offer pay-as-you-go classes which could be an option as you move around, however, they are expensive to do this way, and it’s obviously cheaper to get an entire gym membership to get the best value.
When I was in New Zealand for instance; going to a pay-as-you-go Dance Cardio or Pilates classes at Les Mills was $20 a class – it was just too expensive if I wanted to go a few times a week.
So if like me, you’re a traveller or digital nomad and you travel full time or move around a lot – too often to take on a financial commitment like a gym contract – then I’ll show you why online workouts are perfect for you. And if you like yoga, you’ll see why trying out yoga online, is a budget-friendly way of continuing your practice.
Why Online Workouts and Online Yoga are Perfect for Travel
Aside from travelling, just look at the current Covid19 world we’re living in now. It’s such a crazy, unknown time and who knew all the gyms and studios would close and we’d all end up having to do online workouts at home!
That’s why online workouts and online yoga classes are the perfect solution when you travel – or when we’re in a pandemic. They’re easy to set up and join, low cost, all feature trained professionals and you can access online workout classes anywhere you are in the world, anytime you want to do them.
Let’s also consider that some people (myself included), don’t like the atmosphere of gyms and some people simply can’t afford pricey gym memberships, so they’re a great option for people on a budget too.
So you never have to worry about rocking up to a yoga class late, sloping in to find the good spaces have gone, and then spend the entire class squished against a wall. Nor do you have to worry about commuting to and from a gym, or fighting for parking spaces (or showers) at the gym in rush hour.
You are free to work out whenever you can fit it into your day, and you have the freedom to do it wherever you want e.g. your lounge, spare room, balcony, garden, beach, park, rooftop – basically anywhere you can find space!
I’ve done online workouts and yoga classes in lots of different sized spaces around the world. Sometimes I’ve been in a house sitting job with a whole house to myself, and other times I’ve been in a small Airbnb room, or in a hotel, or at a campsite- I always manage to tweak it to make it work.
Free Online Workouts (and the Cost of Online Workout Programs and Yoga Online)
The cost of online workouts and online yoga classes are much lower than ‘in real life’ classes at a gym or studio, making them a very affordable option. Prices are dependant on which ones you join but start from just a few dollars a month.
And almost all of them give you a free trial, like the first week or month for free. So at least you can try before you buy. Most of the online workout options I have listed have a free trial.
All ‘in real life’ gyms, studios and classes are priced differently around the world, but just to give you a rough idea:
- Fitness First membership – $26 a week
- Les Mills membership – $30 a week
- AnyTime Fitness membership – $30 a month
Let’s compare that to a couple of the top online fitness programs:
- Online fitness program Grokker is only $14.99 a month
- Online yoga classes with Gaia are only $12 per month
Both have a free trial and after that, it’s only around $4 a week.
And there are some online workouts that I cover in this post that cost even less than that, with most offering a free trial. In most cases, all you will need to get started is a device with a decent screen and an internet connection. And your gym gear of course!
I’ve been working out and keeping fit by doing online workouts for years now. At first, it was just easier and cheaper to do it online, when I was travelling. Although now I’ve realised I prefer it way more than going to a gym, as I don’t like spending time commuting to a gym, nor the ‘communal workout’ type of atmosphere – so it really works for me.
There are also lots of free online workouts on platforms like YouTube or Instagram if your budget is really tight. Although if you are wanting to learn from experts and develop a fitness plan, it’s better to start off by joining an online workout program, where you’ll get support and be learning from certified trainers.
Best Gym Gear, Fitness Clothing or Yoga Wear
I practice yoga, so wherever I travel I always carry a good Yoga Mat with me and use it as a fitness mat for online workouts too. My yoga mat/fitness mat is a $30 one from Evolve, but you can get better quality and longer-lasting yoga mats or fitness mats from brands like Manduka, or from discount yoga websites like Evolve Fit Wear.
Manduka is famous for its legendary Manduka PRO® Yoga Mat and the more lightweight Manduka PROlite® Yoga Mats, which they guarantee will never wear out – ever. Both mats have amazing cushioning, grip and a closed-cell design which stops bacteria build-up, plus the mat materials contain no harmful substances.
Manduka PRO® mats have a lifetime guarantee, so they’re definitely an investment. Although I haven’t bought one yet, I’m always hearing great reviews of them – so it’s become my ultimate ‘yoga mat want’.
For some cheaper yoga mat options, Evolve Fit Wear has an excellent selection of pro yoga mats from brands like Gaia or Manduka, and plenty of budget yoga mat options too. They also have the biggest range of beautifully designed, artistic yoga mats and accessories that I’ve ever seen.
For Workout or Gym gear, I try to invest in a few items of decent fitness clothing, because I wear them a lot and I need them to be durable and long-lasting.
I’m very petite on top, so I’ve found Under Armour and Adidas Women’s products fit me well. I currently have a few Adidas workout tops and they’ve lasted me years. My running shorts and workout leggings are Under Armour and they’re so comfortable and durable, they don’t pill or go out of shape – I even bought a second pair, because they’re that good.
For Yoga clothing, I love most yoga brands because they’re all so functional and look good (from travelling my personal style has evolved into wearing outdoor gear or yoga clothing 24 hours a day anyway!).
I get most of my yoga clothing items from Evolve FitWear, as they sell yoga & fitness brands like Gaiam, Manduka, Onzie, Beyond Yoga, Free People, and Mika Yoga Wear – often at massively discounted prices.
There’s also a yoga clothing brand called Spiritual Gangster – which I LOVE. Their products are comfy, cute, and yoga-inspired – casual, with a twist of bohemian and free-spirit style.
A lot of my tops I’m wearing in my Instagram posts are from Spiritual Gangster. I’d literally buy the whole collection if I could!
You can buy direct at Spiritual Gangster for the newest range of items, or checkout Evolve FitWear for discounts on Spiritual Gangster clothing and other yoga brands.
*TRAVEL SAVVY TIP* – You’ll notice both Spiritual Gangster and Evolve Fit Wear are US delivery only and I get around this by having a ShipItTo account.
It’s a free virtual mailing address in the USA, so you can buy products from any US website, ship your purchases to their warehouse, and then ShipItTo will ship the packages to you – wherever you are in the world. You also get up to 60 days of storage and access to their sales-tax-free Oregon warehouse.
(Having a ShipItTo virtual mailing address is free, you just pay the low shipping/postage cost to mail it to yourself).
Keep your Mental Health in check by doing Online Workouts or Online Yoga
So, time for a bit of interesting science.
This study by the APA, said aerobic exercise or workouts can lower levels of depression and alleviate anxiety. Apparently the endorphins that produce that ‘feel good’ feeling after the workout, can hang around for days, even weeks.
And anyone who has had to pay attention to their mental health will tell you that exercise or movement is so important to your mental wellness. If I’m going through some tough times and I don’t make the effort to work out or keep fit, I definitely notice it in the way I feel – physically and mentally.
So now almost everyone is working from home, (or WFH – as the new trending phrase is), we should commute to the yoga mat/fitness mat instead, as part of our daily routine. And help stop those quarantine, can’t travel, stay-at-home blues, during this insane world of the COVID pandemic crisis.
The Best Online Workouts or Online Fitness Programs
- Best for the widest variety of online fitness and online yoga videos
- Huge selection of top certified trainers and teachers
- Great for people who want added features like Nutrition & Stress Management
Grokker has the widest variety of Online Workouts, online Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, Nutrition, and even Stress Management videos. You’ll find well-known trainers and teachers, all selected for their expertise and skills, and Grokker’s high-quality instructional videos, are likened to having a personal trainer at home with you.
You’ll find pretty much everything you can think of in Grokker’s video selection; HIIT, Cardio, Dance Cardio, Strength training, Body Conditioning, Kickboxing cardio, Indoor Cycling, Weight-Loss Yoga, Pilates, Yoga, Meditation, and Nutrition.
Each trainer or teacher shares their profile and their credentials, so you can be sure you’re in the hands of actual certified teachers and instructors – not just some random unqualified person on the internet. Some of the featured instructors are even Olympic or international athletes.
Grokker is suitable for all fitness levels, so if you’re a complete beginner or you’re looking for advanced-level workouts, you’ll find what you’re looking for. The Grokker calendar helps you stay on track with workout reminders and you get support from the experts and other members.
And you can stream on all your devices; desktop computer, laptop (PC or Mac), tablet, smartphone, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.
Grokker is offering a 2-week free trial right now for individual members and during Covid19, Grokker is offering completely free online workouts for businesses.
It’s so quick to sign up, just the one form to fill in and you get access immediately to your free trial. So you can try before you buy for 14 days, without committing, no faffing around. Get in!
- Best for audio-based fitness or those who love audio workouts without a screen
- Perfect for people who love doing workouts through an app & headphones/earbuds
- Memberships range from $9 to $14.99 per month
Aaptiv is the #1 audio fitness app, specialising in audio-based fitness workouts and is the only audio-guided fitness app in this post. The main advantage being because you don’t need a device or screen, you can workout anywhere you can wear headphones.
I’ve found audio apps like this really useful in places where I can’t take my laptop with me, usually on trips where I want to pack light, or where I think my laptop might get damaged.
With Aaptiv you get access to instructor-led workouts in over 20 different categories including; outdoor running, indoor cycling, strength training, race training, cross-training, cycling, HIIT, boxing, yoga, flexibility and meditation.
Using the app is very easy and simple – you don’t need to be tech-savvy at all. You fill out your fitness goals, the app matches you with the correct workouts to help you meet those goals, and then you choose which ones you do.
There are a wide range of workout types, duration’s and their range of expert trainers guide you through every workout. You can even choose your music and it’ll be perfectly matched to your workout pace.
Offering unlimited access to thousands of fitness workouts, Aaptiv members will also get to try out the 30 new classes that are added each week and you can connect with other members, right in the app.
- Easy app-based platform for all fitness levels – newbies to advanced
- Customised interactive daily workouts
- Includes in-depth meal plans and recipes
Another app-based online workout program is My Fitness by Jillian Michaels.
Jillian Michaels is a certified LA Personal Trainer and TV personality (you’ll know her from the Biggest Loser and Sweat, INC.) and her popular fitness app My Fitness is known globally and has won her awards from both Google and Apple.
My Fitness is built around the user, you get in-depth meal plans and online workout routines customised for you, with options to modify them if you need to, as you improve.
You get: fully interactive daily workouts, you can choose the duration and workout intensity, the ability to listen to your own music, and customised shopping lists and recipes sent to you.
You can use your iPhone, iPad, or Android device to stream, and workout online with Jillian anytime and anywhere.
The Best Online Yoga Classes
- Best online yoga for the largest selection of yoga streaming videos
- Complete ad-free experience for members
- Excellent range of well known and qualified yoga teachers
- Great for those who want to pick out exactly what they need i.e. Morning Yoga or Yoga for Weight Loss
Gaia Yoga is one of the largest and well-known yoga streaming video services with the best selection of online yoga videos. There are more than 8,000 videos ranging in style, difficulty, and body focus area, to choose from.
You can filter by yoga type; Hatha, Vinyasa Flow, Yin, or Kundalini are just a few of the many yoga types available. You can also filter by difficulty level, video duration and area of the body you’d like to focus on.
Here are just a few options from their huge selection:
- Flows for a Quick Yoga break
- Deep Stretch Yin Yoga
- Yoga for Weight Loss
- Restorative Yoga
- Everyday Yoga for Beginners
- Yoga Practice in Small Spaces
A useful feature of Gaia Yoga is that you can quickly search the exact yoga type you want to focus on such as; yoga for weight loss, morning yoga, yoga for runners, travel yoga, strength yoga, stress relief yoga, or yoga for sleep.
Gaia also has lots of guided mediation videos and audio based meditations. And the largest resource of consciousness-expanding documentaries and thought-provoking original series & films. So if you want to learn about rewiring your brain through Neuroplasticity or the inner workings of Meditation or Mindfulness, Gaia has an excellent library to binge on.
If you like the look of Gaia Yoga, they’re offering a free 7-day trial, so you’ve got a whole week to try out as many online yoga videos as you want. After the week’s trial, it’s just 9.99 – 15.99 a month to continue your membership.
Part of the same brand, Gaiam sells their own yoga, fitness and meditation products such as; yoga mats, meditation cushions, back massagers, balance balls and foam rollers.
There’s even a section called Active Balance with useful items for Active Sitting and Standing Desk setups and brilliant articles – like this one – which explains why sitting is so bad for you.
You may or may not know that I’m a huge advocate of standing desk / active sitting options, as I have suffered back pain and side effects, from many years of office temping with unhealthy desk or workstation setups.
So it’s a huge thumbs up from me, on Gaiam’s selection of Active Balance products.
- Unlimited access to over 1600 classes
- Best for beginners
- From only $10 a month
YogaDownload is an excellent resource for online yoga classes and is perfect for beginners of yoga. As well as a huge library of 1600+ yoga classes to choose from, you’ll also find Pilates, Core/Abs, Strength, Flexibility and Relaxation classes too.
The mission of Yoga Download is to make yoga accessible and affordable for everyone, everywhere and they’ve accomplished this, with their stream-anywhere, affordable membership options.
One of the amazing features of this online yoga provider is when you join, you get access to their unlimited streaming yoga videos but you ALSO get unlimited, free yoga video downloads every month – to keep forever. I love this bonus feature because sometimes when I travel, I don’t always have a WiFi connection to stream online workout or yoga videos.
Yoga Download membership starts from $10 a month, which is paid annually, but if you prefer to pay monthly, you can join for only $12 a month.
It’s worth a look, as many of the Yoga Download 20 minutes yoga classes are completely FREE.
- Excellent range of yoga classes including complete beginners, advanced technique & understanding anatomy
- Stream on any device – iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku and more
- Huge 14-day free trial and after that no commitment, cancel anytime membership.
When you join Yoga International, you can stream hundreds of yoga classes and meditation classes, on any device and all classes are led by expert yoga teachers. You’ll have access to over 1,000 classes, from beginner to advanced level and you can choose classes from anything as short as 5 mins, up to 2 hr long classes.
You can even take deep-dives into yoga courses and challenges, for the more keen or confident yogis.
Stream on any device, including iOS, Android, AppleTV, Roku or FireTV, meaning you can take yoga classes in your own time or on the move.
Yoga International offers a generous 14-day free trial, and then when you join, they guarantee you won’t be charged until after 30 days. And because there’s no commitment or contract, you can cancel anytime – no strings
- Functional movement-based Yoga classes
- Classes created and taught by Certified Personal Trainer-Restorative Exercise Specialist™
- Fitness focus is on Alignment, Posture, Core and Stretching
Healthy Moving is a functional movement-based Yoga / Fitness program ran by the amazing Jen Hoffman, who is a Certified Personal Trainer-Restorative Exercise Specialist™ (CPT-RES™) and Registered Yoga Teacher.
Jen’s motto is “Everything I teach is based on one crazy (but totally logical when you think about it) truth. You don’t need to ‘exercise’. Your body is not shaped by what you do three to five times a week in the gym. Your body is shaped by how you move, and the positions you are in when not moving, all the time.”
Jen’s teachings are all focused on how your body is shaped, the way you move, and the positions and alignment your body is in. So you have to pay attention to how you move and position your body throughout the day – which results in ‘Healthy Moving’.
As someone who is a big campaigner for standing desks, active sitting, and yoga, I fully believe in the concept of healthy movement. Since I gave up full-time desk work, I have experienced a huge reduction in body aches & pain, and most of it was due to learning the functional movement mistakes I was making.
Too many of us are led to believe that 40+ hours a week sat at a desk, can be reversed by an hour at the gym a few times a week. When in fact there is a much deeper layer of body movement and alignment that needs addressing.
So if you’re interested in learning about alignment, posture, stretching accurately, and having a less painful body to live in, you need to be learning from Jen. She has created many classes and programs, all of which you get lifetime access to when you sign up as a member.
The Tech Body Fix Course is a modern, whole-body movement course and shows us how technology is changing the way we move our bodies. Jen also explains why we can’t reverse excessive hours of sedentary time with 30 minutes of exercise. (Also the Tech Body Fix Course can be paid in instalments if you can’t commit to the whole amount up front).
For a taster of the course – and also a great one to do if you’re on a computer or your phone a lot – check out Jen’s free Tech Neck Exercise video on Facebook.
And if you like the look of the Mindset Mastery Course, you can take her free Masterclass ‘Why Most Diet & Exercise Programs Fail”
- Internationally recognised and most-watched & loved yoga series
- Watch the TV series – available on Amazon Prime, PBS, cable, and satellite
- Beautifully shot yoga classes in picturesque locations around the world
Wai Lana.com is home to the world’s most-watched and loved yoga TV series. The Wai Lana TV series airs on five continents, nationally in the U.S. on PBS, cable, and satellite and her daily yoga TV shows are regularly watched by millions of people around the world.
It’s the longest-running fitness series ever on public television. Beautifully produced, all Wai Lana’s yoga classes are shot on location from Hawaiian beaches to California to the deserts of Sedona, so you can have a wanderlust element to your online yoga classes too.
Wai Lana also offers a large selection of yoga mats, props, and accessories, along with children’s yoga products and an array of Pilates products. On WaiLana.com you’ll also have access to Wai Lana’s Relaxation Club, yoga lifestyle tips, healthy recipes, and online meditation.
Access to Wai Lana Yoga TV series, can found on your TV channels, Amazon Prime or you can buy her DVDs to keep.
So those are my personal recommendations for online yoga classes, the ones I consider the best. However there are heaps out there and everyone likes something different, so here are a few more options for online yoga:
Kris Fondran is a body-transforming yoga expert and runs ShapeShifter Yoga, a program developed to help people to lose weight and transform their body shape, using yoga alone. She’s been practicing and teaching yoga for 12 years and has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Shape, and Yoga Journal.
You can try Kris Fondran’s ShapeShifter Yoga online program for free, with her 60-day free trial period. And you if you’re unhappy for any reason, you’ll get a full refund of the purchase price – no hassles.
Lucas Rockwood is an internationally-renowned Yoga Teacher, Podcaster, TedX Speaker, and Writer and he created YogaBody after opening his first yoga studio in 2006, in Koh Samui, Thailand. The company has now grown into an internationally recognized nutrition and education organization and In 2012, YOGABODY Fitness was founded.
From the back of his first yoga studio, Lucas Rockwood also launched a yoga props division that has now grown into a huge company in its own right and distributes yoga products in 81 countries, including; the Yoga Trapeze®, Wonder Wheel™ and Hurts So Good® Massage Balls.
Enroll in YOGABODY Fitness and you’ll have access to hundreds of on-demand videos and live classes daily and right now, you can try 7 days of classes for only €1.
Yoga Burn is a dynamic yoga program designed uniquely for women, to deliver ultimate fat burning results and body shaping effects, in the shortest amount of time. It’s run by Zoe Bray-Cotton, who is an internationally certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor.
The success of the highly popular Yoga Burn program is based on a concept known as Dynamic Sequencing. The program teaches you to correctly perform each movement, then continues to adapt and increase the challenge, before your body gets used to the routine – resulting in natural and healthy weight loss.
If you want to lose weight without having to spend countless hours in the gym or having to lift weights, then Yoga Burn may be a great fit for you.
That rounds up my review of the Best Online Workouts and Online Yoga Classes for when you travel, or for when there’s a virus pandemic. <<<This sentence is starting to appear too frequently in our everyday conversations!
I’m so glad I’ve been able to stay healthy and fit when I’ve been constantly ‘on the road’, over the last 10 years. Sometimes we’ve been house sitting full-time and I’m fortunate enough to have the space of an entire house to work out in. And other times I have to do it in a smaller Airbnb room, hotel room, or even a cabin.
The freedom to choose when I workout and being able to choose what workout type is best suited to where I’m staying, makes the small monthly cost totally worth it. I don’t have to worry about finding a gym, losing my routine, or any additional costs.
Have you been doing online workouts or practising yoga online? Do you choose them because you travel or because you prefer working out at home? Let me know in the comments which ones you’ve tried and the challenges you’ve faced to stay fit when you travel.
Stay Healthy and Stay Safe! 🙂
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