As someone who has two degrees in exercise science and has based her entire career around healthy living promotion, I get the challenges people face when it comes to staying fit. Heck, I even struggle with the challenges myself! And, in today's world, where everyone's running in every direction, just trying to keep things together, sometimes figuring out how to get to the gym, come up with a workout and actually push yourself, just seems like too much effort. And let's get real about at-home workouts: while they can be every bit as effective as gym workouts, it's really easy to find reasons to skip them if you're not extremely motivated.
So what are the solutions if you want to get fit?
While there are lots of options, and no single option is perfect for everyone, there's a new program in town that's worth a look-see. Wello is an innovative way of delivering the best workout videos online, because unlike traditional exercise videos, Wello's instruction is completely tailored to you and delivered through live video feed by a certified trainer or exercise instructor! Yes, it's live, personalized instruction delivered through your laptop! Pretty cool, right? Well, I got to test out a session, courtesy of Wello, and this is what I discovered:
Setting up a session
Wello is easy to navigate and use. After setting up an account, I was able to "Find My Fit" by searching for trainers whose schedules matched mine, who could provide the type of instruction I was looking for and who offered classes that fell within my allotted budget. I could even choose whether I wanted to work with a male or female instructor.
I decided that to get the most out of my session, I needed to choose a type of workout that I should do more of: stretching and yoga. After doing a quick perusal of the instructors available, I chose Iduma Ortega, largely because of her five star rating, years of experience and her willingness to offer flexibility training, rather than straight yoga. I looked at Iduma's hours of availability and simply scheduled my session at a time that was convenient. I immediately received a confirmation email from Wello that asked me to finish filling out my fitness information so that the trainer would have it before our session. I was also able to send a note to Iduma, providing her with more specific information on my background, past injuries and goals. This was great because it gave me the chance to tell her about my back problems and to let her know that I specifically wanted to focus on back, hip and hamstring flexibility.
That night I received a message from Iduma confirming that she'd received my note and that she was looking forward to our session. Talk about great, hassle-free service!
The confirmation email from Wello included instructions on setting up my video session along with a link to the video feed. Shortly before our 2:00 pm start time I set up my laptop in my living room, laid out my yoga mat and clicked on the link. After a brief connection period, Iduma and I were talking face-to-face through two-way video! Because of the information I had provided, she knew I had a fitness ball and foam roller on hand, so she asked me to grab them, along with a belt, to use during our workout.
Whew! Our session was confirmation that I don't stretch enough! Seriously, Iduma put me through the ropes, focusing on exactly what I asked her to focus on! I ended up having an excellent 55 minute stretching workout that eased the kinks in my back, hips, hamstrings and quads. While I tend to think of myself as fairly well-versed on stretches and poses (even if I don't do them enough), Iduma introduced me to some new moves that were perfectly suited to my goals and fitness level. I finished up the workout and thanked Iduma for her time, stunned at how wobbly my legs were and how good my back actually felt. Just two weeks before I'd had a major back spasm that laid me up for almost 10 days, and I was still feeling the after-affects of the spasm before doing our workout. While my back is never 100% pain-free, the days following our session have been the best I've felt in a long time!
Obviously I was impressed by the workout and the Wello system. Unlike other online exercise video programs, the personalized nature of Wello, the one-on-one attention and the accountability of having someone waiting for you on the other end of the internet connection are all major pluses. While I think just about anyone could benefit from using Wello, here are a few types of people who may especially like the system:
- Anyone who is a techie or who feels very comfortable with online interactions. Our world has changed! People communicate much differently than they did 10 or 20 years ago. If you're a technophile who is just as comfortable with online interactions as in-person ones, Wello may be the workout you've been waiting for.
- Anyone who wants to work with a personal trainer, but is on a budget. Personal training isn't cheap. And it shouldn't be. Qualified personal trainers go through extensive training so that they can provide tailored packages designed to help you meet your goals. The problem is, when you buy personal training at a gym, the gym takes a big cut of every single session you buy (usually between 25 and 50 percent), which means you end up paying more to cover the gym's cut. Not to mention, you have to pay your membership fee, too! With Wello, the training sessions are much more reasonable because trainers set their own rates and Wello's fee is a fraction of the traditional cut taken by a gym.
- Anyone who wants to workout at home, but doesn't have the motivation or the know-how. Hey, there's no shame in wanting someone to tell you what to do to help you meet your goals! If you just can't seem to force yourself to pop in an exercise DVD or head out the door for a walk around the neighborhood, chances are you'll have more success following through if you know your trainer is sitting there waiting for you. Human accountability plays a significant role in follow through!
- Anyone who hates the gym. People hate gyms for lots of reasons. Whatever your reason is, it's okay! Don't force yourself to go somewhere you don't want to go, just find an alternative that you'll enjoy.
- Anyone who doesn't like to clean. Sure, there are personal trainers who will come to your home... but then you might feel obligated to actually clean. With Wello, all the trainer sees is the space where you're exercising. Just throw those dirty clothes into a pile a few feet away, and no one will be the wiser!
- Anyone whose schedule varies from day-to-day and week-to-week. Wello workouts are essentially on-demand. Yes, right now you have to schedule them in advance, but same-day appointments are completely acceptable. So, if you find out this morning that you're going to have 30 minutes free this afternoon, go ahead and get your workout scheduled! That kind of flexibility is worth a bundle!
- Anyone who wants to try a wide variety of workouts from a wide variety trainers. Whether you want to try aerobics, martial arts, Pilates, therapy, sports training or yoga, you can pick and choose workouts based on your interests and moods. Choose one style of training today and another tomorrow. Heck, try one trainer today and another trainer tomorrow... shop around until you find the workout and trainer that you click with. There are no bad feelings or obligations, as sessions can be purchased one at a time.
Note to trainers
My husband used to be a personal trainer, and I spent years managing personal trainers. If anyone knows the joys and pains of training, we do! When I saw Wello's system, I couldn't help but think that it's an excellent opportunity for quality trainers who want to get away from the gym environment. Like any opportunity, you'll only get out of it what you're willing to put in, but the framework for success is there if you want it. Plus, now is ground-floor time! The system's still in Beta, and they're still expanding. If you're looking for a change, definitely check it out.
GirlsGoneSporty discount & special offer!
Want a great discount on Wello's online personal training? Use the discount code SPORTYGIRLS25 for 25% off! Plus, the first 10 readers to use the code and use their sessions will get a $25 credit on their account (essentially a free, 25-40 minute session, depending on the trainer!).