A College Student's Favorite Free Fitness Resources

It's no secret that, along with baking, working out is one of my go-to stress relievers. I played soccer throughout most of high school, and as soon I started college, my love for fitness shifted to running, HIIT workouts and, more recently, weight lifting. While I'm lucky to have access to my university's gym most of the year, I can't always find time in my crazy work schedule to get across campus. And I know I'm not the only one who doesn't always have the time or money to hit the gym...

A College Student's Favorite Free Fitness Resources

..,which is why I thought a post sharing my favorite free fitness resources was waaaay overdue. So whether you're a college student like me looking for effective at-home workouts you can do in your dorm room, want to know about some of the best free fitness apps I've used over the years or just hope to add more free movement into your daily life, I hope this post introduces you to some new, awesome fitness resources!

1. Nike Training App

I've been using this fitness app since my freshman year of college over five years ago, and if anything, I love it even more now than I did initially. The app offers tons of workouts - ranging from yoga to weight lifting to HIIT - that guide you through each move in real time. Some are rep based and others are time based, and you can also filter all the workouts by body focus (abs, butt, etc), workout length, difficulty, intensity, amount of equipment needed and more. This fitness app is also designed to be used at home or at the gym, depending on what workout you pick. Plus, the app is constantly being updated, so there are always some new workouts to try.

A College Student's Favorite Free Fitness Resources

2. Fightmaster Yoga on YouTube

I've shared my love of hot yoga before, but when I can't make it to an actual yoga studio or just want to stretch out at home, Fightmaster Yoga is one of my favorite fitness YouTube channels. You'll find tons of different yoga workouts, ranging in difficulty, length and purpose (for stress, for energy, for weight loss, for anxiety, etc). My personal favorites are the 40-minute Yoga Workout for Balance and the 40-minute Yoga Workout with Twists (great to help with digestion!), but new yoga practices are constantly being added. I usually play music or a podcast instead of listening to the actual YouTube video as I practice, but the instructors' voices and the background/atmosphere are usually very soothing, and you can pick some videos staged outside or on the beach if you want a "getaway" kind of feel. Whether you're just starting yoga or have practiced for a long time, I think Fightmaster Yoga on YouTube is a solid option!

3. Popsugar Fitness on YouTube

One of the newest fitness Youtube channels I've fallen in love with is Popsugar Fitness. They seriously have hundreds of different workouts, ranging from dance to boxing to HIIT to strength training. I especially love PopSugar's HIIT workouts or their toning workouts with weights, like this one. Some of the moves may seem simple, but I always feel the burn by the end of each round. I also love that modifications are given for almost every move, so the workouts can be tailored to each person's fitness level.

A College Student's Favorite Free Fitness Resources

4. Workouts from my favorite fitness bloggers and Instagrammers...

Now, it's important to note that being an influencer or a blogger, or just being fit, doesn't mean someone is a great source of fitness information or effective workouts. (And on that note, as I try to stress with every post, I'm not a nutritionist or a fibromyalgia or celiac expert - I'm just sharing lessons learned from my own experience, including the fitness resources that have helped me in this post.) However, over the years, I have found a handful of bloggers and Instagrammers who regularly offer some awesome workouts, as well as helpful fitness information. So I thought I'd share some of my favorites.

One fun fact before we dive into my recommendations: while making this list, I realized that I look toward my bloggers for more at-home bodyweight or circuit workouts and my Instagrammers for more weight-focused workouts, so that may help you decide which of these people could be more helpful for your individual fitness goals!

A College Student's Favorite Free Fitness Resources

Favorite Fitness Bloggers for At-Home or Gym Workouts:

  • Peanut Butter Runner by Jenn Eddins: Jenn's site has an extensive workout index, with her workouts ranging from bodyweight to cardio strength to home training to HIIT. I've enjoyed all the workouts I've tried of hers and found them challenging but possible. All the cute photos she shares of her new baby boy is an extra bonus! ;) 
  • Peanut Butter Fingers by Julie Fagan: apparently peanut butter is a common theme among fitness bloggers because Julie's workout index is just as helpful as Jenn's. I especially like that most of Julie's workouts are short and sweaty, which makes sense since she's a busy mom of two.
  • A Healthy Life for Me by Amy: Amy offers a TON of delicious allergy friendly recipes, but she is just as helpful in the gym as she is in the kitchen. She doesn't offer as many workouts as some other fitness bloggers, but you can find lots of helpful fitness information on her site as well. 

Favorite Fitness Influencers for At-Home or Gym Workouts:

  • megmo7: for weight-focused/lifting workouts. One fun fact is that she also has celiac disease!
  • hittburn: for high-intensity workouts that seriously push me to the limit.
  • makaylaanisa: for weight-focused/lifting workouts, plus a good amount of positive reflections on body image, strength and life in general! 
  • desb__: for (mainly gym-based) weight lifting circuits and some reflections on an active lifestyle, healthy eating after being a bikini competitor and more.
  • oliviaostrom_: for HIIT and weight workouts, as well as doses of body positivity and motivation. 
  • alexricee: for mostly gym-focused weight workouts, though some use limited equipment and you can also find cardio circuits. 
A College Student's Favorite Free Fitness Resources

*I also want to acknowledge that for some people, following a "fitspo" account may not be the healthiest choice. In that case, I would highly recommend skipping my Instagram recommendations and sticking to the bloggers I've mentioned above, who focus less on just fitness and more on a balanced and healthy lifestyle overall. But if you are looking for videos of specific workouts or exercises you can try for yourself in the gym or at home with weights, the Instagrammers I've linked above are awesome resources.

5. Long walks with some of my favorite podcasts!

In the last few years, one of my favorite past times has been going on long walks while listening to a good podcast. I'm fortunate enough to live in a town with lots of nearby sidewalks and trails, but if you don't, find a park that's convenient enough to visit regularly. Then all you need is some comfy walking shoes and, if you want music or a podcast to keep you company, a phone/iPod and some headphones.

A College Student's Favorite Free Fitness Resources

If you're looking for some recommendations on podcasts to enjoy during a walk or workout, some of my favorites lately include:
  • Crime Junkie: a weekly true crime podcast that does a great job not only telling interesting stories but also reminding listeners about the real-life lessons and implications of each true crime.
  • The Shrink Next Door: a new podcast that tells a crazy (real) story about a psychologically manipulative therapist and his various affected patients. 
  • Hidden Brain: an NPR podcast that uses science and stories to explain human behavior. 
  • RISE Podcast with Rachel Hollis: basically, a podcast full of tips and tools to help you be your healthiest, happiest, most successful badass self!
  • Crimelines True Crime: another true crime podcast that also considers the historical and cultural context of the crime. 
  • Oprah's Master Class: Oprah interviewing famous "masters" of various skills, from musical artists like Jay-Z and Tim McGraw to famous journalists like Barbara Walters. The podcast is created in an "interview style," but all the questions are cut out so you just hear a monologue from the interviewed subject instead.

My Biggest Piece of Advice for Staying Fit and Healthy in College...and Beyond

I'm fortunate to enjoy exercise, a trait I inherited from my dad. As a result, I don't often need to work at motivating myself to break a sweat. However, a big reason for why I'm motivated to work out 99% of the time is because I make it easy for myself by having a membership at a nearby gym...and by having free fitness resources like the ones I've listed above always available.

A College Student's Favorite Free Fitness Resources

If you do have a hard time getting into the mood for exercising, having quick workouts literally a few clicks away can make a big difference. But I think the most important thing is finding what workouts work for you. Do you like HIIT workouts - or would you rather go for a run? Do you like weight lifting - or would you prefer yoga? Personally, I don't follow any set "workout routine," and I love experimenting with different kinds of movement, ranging from hiking to rollerskating. And the more different kinds of workouts I've played with, the more fun I have - especially as I see how much my body can really do!

So the next time you want help finding a good workout, I hope that these free fitness resources help. And if you know of an awesome fitness app or blogger whose workouts you love that I haven't mentioned, I'd love to hear about them in the comments!



Tell me - what are some of your favorite free fitness resources? I'd love to hear!

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