Tips For Getting The Most Out of Exercise Aids (Mobile Apps, Video)


You’re about to take a business trip and you’d like to do some type of exercise while on the road. Or maybe you’re in town, but working long hours and getting to a gym or a yoga or pilates class just doesn’t fit into your schedule.

In the wired world in which we live today, this is not the problem it once was. One session on the Internet will give you a wealth of material that you can download or apps you can use on your smartphone. There’s no shortage of video instruction – at all levels – for those who are serious about wanting to keep in shape.

One iPhone app that I think is very good is Nike Training Club (it’s free). It has options for different goals: getting lean, toned, strong or focused and different types of workouts for each. The workouts are short and targeted. They talk you through the exercises and give you video so you can see how it’s done.

Let me give a few pointers on how to get the most out of these sorts of aids:

  • Be sure to select the appropriate level.
    A sure way to get discouraged and lose interest quickly is to find yourself trying to twist your body into positions that it’s not ready for. Select the beginner level and start slowly. If you don’t look like the person on the video who’s demonstrating the move, that’s fine. You’ll get there.
  • Don’t overdo it.
    If the video shows 12 exercises, you may want to start with six. It’ll take less time, which will keep you coming back and it won’t tax your body so much that you get sore. Continue with the other six in your next session.
  • Aim for correct form.
    Although you may not be able to bend or stretch as far as the person demonstrating, the important thing is to get the benefit of the exercise which means you want to work the targeted muscle. Watch carefully and try to do it correctly. As you progress, you’ll get deeper stretches which will work the selected muscles more.
  • Dress for the activity.
    I’m not suggesting that you need to wear beautiful outfits like you’ll see on the video. But I promise that you’ll do a better job if you feel like you’re here for a reason rather than just showing up. Therefore, opt for shorts or tights rather than jeans, and wear a top that gives you freedom to move rather than a baggy sweat shirt.
  • Variety.
    Although I’ve offered a suggestion with the Nike Training Club, there are many others equally as effective, so search around. One of the biggest reasons people lose interest in an exercise program is boredom. No reason for that to happen with all the variety available to us today.

And keep in mind, even without any technical help, there’s always a way:

  • Stairs just sit there, waiting for you run up and down them.
  • Jumping jacks work just as well as they used to in junior high gym class.
  • Sit-ups and push-ups can be done anywhere, anytime.

No excuses – go get fit!

About Cherie

Cherie Gruenfeld, Boingo's official butt-kicker, is an Ironman age group champion and world record holder. She is a grand masters triathlete — a sport in which she didn't even start competing in until her 40s — proving that top fitness is achievable at any age. She has raced in more than 25 Ironman triathlons, has 18 wins overall, and has won her age group at the Ironman World Championships a whopping 13 times. She's also an incredible fitness coach with great insights on goal setting and fitness on the road. Have a question for Cherie? Email her at You can also learn more about her non-profit organization, Exceeding Expectations on Facebook.
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