How to Choose the Right Online Workout For You

Whether you want to bliss out with a full-body stretch or take it to the max with a HIIT session, these tips will make it easy for you to find the right routine—fast!
Published November 22, 2020

Online workouts make it super simple to get the benefits of top trainers and group classes at home. With so many options, you might worry that you'll run out of steam just searching for a suitable routine. So how do you find the right session for you—fast? Read on.

3 steps to find your next online workout

Once you’ve found some space for movement and changed into workout clothes, it’s time to get started. Here’s how to choose the perfect workout for you.

Step 1: Consider how much time you have

You can squeeze in activity with as little as 5 minutes. “Do what you can when you can,” says Chris Gagliardi, a certified personal trainer and the scientific education content manager at the American Council on Exercise. “Bouts of activity of any duration have health benefits.” Cranking out a couple short sessions throughout the day may be as effective for boosting your heart health and fitness level as sweating through one longer session, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Every bit of activity will help you reach the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

Step 2: I.D. your workout goal

If you want to focus on sculpting muscle, consider categories like strength or Pilates. Trying to get the maximum burn? Look for cardio or HIIT (high-intensity interval training.) For a gentler approach, select yoga or stretching. Every kind of activity counts as exercise, so go ahead and choose something you're excited about doing. “The most beneficial type of workout is the one you enjoy,” Gagliardi says. And while sticking with one type of activity can help you build a routine, home sessions may help you discover something new you like! “For some people, the thought of attending an in-person group class may be intimidating—with online workouts, there’s some comfort in the privacy,” Gagliardi says. “You can experiment with many options.”

Step 3: Check the intensity

If you haven’t exercised in decades, a high-intensity kickboxing workout is not the place to start—it can be challenging to keep up with and leave you feeling frustrated. “Ask yourself, ‘Is [this workout] appropriate for me now?’” Gagliardi says. “If you’re new to working out, start with a format that will allow you to be successful so you can build on that success as you move forward.”


Jeanine Detz is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. She has contributed to many publications, including: Consumer Reports on Health, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, Men’s Health, Parents, and Women’s Health.

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