When my kids were pre-school age I would have loved to go to the gym but young kids and time for yourself to exercise don’t always match up. I did buy a sturdy buggy with good suspension that enabled me to go running with the baby along for the ride, but I could never quite get to classes or join in with yoga and the stacking of this, day after day made me feel like I was bottom of the list or priorities which is not a fun place to be.
Since my kids got to school age, I found it easier to find time to exercise. I’d run to school with my kids in a pull along trolley or when my daughter went to high school and walked with her friends, my son and I would do the school run together – me running whilst he rode his scooter alongside – giving me a pace to follow. I found my ‘me time’ again.
This all changed a few months ago when my step-dad became ill and suddenly it wasn’t my kids needing my support and time but my ageing parents. Days were spent juggling my own family responsibilities with work and meetings where I’d accompany mum to the social workers to discuss care, evenings were spent visiting at the hospital. Weeks passed where I had no time to exercise and it started to get me down. I wasn’t up to doing anything too ‘aggressive’ like boot camp or body combat, but I just wanted a gentle and nurturing yoga class to feel like I was in my body again – to help soothe out all the aches and pains that were starting to accumulate.
This was when I found GymCube. GymCube is one of the UK’s leading online fitness providers developed by fitness and nutrition experts and one of the series 10 candidates of BBC TVs The Apprentice, Katie Bulmer-Cooke. There are hundreds of different workouts online from yoga and pilates to HIIT classes, circuit, step workouts and even the ‘little black dress workout’! I was able to squeeze in a workout at a time that suited me, and not having to travel or be in a class at a set time was extremely useful with my extreme time pressures.
I simply logged in to GymCube from my Smart TV at home and selected the workout I wanted to do then followed along. You can also log in via your computer or tablet but I preferred the larger screen of my telly. You can choose your workout by type (fat burning or toning etc) or you can search by body zones (core workout or legs). If you find that you prefer a certain instructor you can search their workouts only or you can see the selection depending on what equipment you have such as dumbbells or a resistance band.
The workouts I enjoyed most were the yoga sessions filmed in Ibiza! The instructor would lead the class from a sunny beach side location so I could enjoy the scenery as much as the workout. A sunny sky really helps to life the spirits on a cold, grey winters day. GymCube do all the classes you’d expect from your local gym – even a spin class (but you’d need a spin bike at home) however there are plenty of classes that require no equipment at all. GymCube even runs live online classes daily so you can join in knowing that others across the world are doing the class with you. I never made it to a live class, as I always found the pre-recorded workouts slotted into my schedule much easier but after each completed workout, my account control panel showed me how many calories I’d burned by doing that workout and I could easily see my stats for the week in terms of number of workouts completed, total calories burned and how much time I’d worked out for. This is a great way to stay motivated.
GymCube also has a member’s only Facebook Group so that you can ask the experts questions or seek advice from other members or offer and receive encouragement. It really is a virtual gym as through the Facebook group you can make ‘gym buddies’ just as you would at a gym in real life! There are around 40,000 registered GymCube members so far and it is growing but it’s not just about exercise. There’s a whole nutrition section of the website too where you can find menus and shopping lists and articles about healthy eating.
There are 3 payment options for GymCube and no contract so you are free to join and leave whenever you want! It costs £7.95 monthly; £17.95 quarterly or £77.95 annually. Learn more at www.GymCube.com. I found having this website extremely useful when I was struggling to find the time to exercise and whilst I do prefer a live class when I’m in a room with my workout buddies, GymCube really helped me on those occasions when I was not able to get to a class. Taking a virtual class to get your exercise is better than no class at all, so I could really see this website being useful to busy mums who don’t have the childcare in place to be able to attend a traditional gym. Of course the benefit of GymCube over a home workout video is that the content changes daily, so you are not doing the exact same exercise each time which would quickly get boring!
Have you ever used an online gym like GymCube? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments!
I was given a complimentary membership for the purpose of this review.