african american woman exercise computer

As a trainer, I’m about to commit a cardinal sin: I’m about to admit that, for many, fitness is a luxury they cannot afford.

Let’s be honest: for lots of people, getting fit becomes a financial challenge. They may not have the money for the trainers they need, or the gym with the classes and equipment that’d best serve them.

That being said, you don’t need the gym that can cost you anywhere from $15 for the bare bones to the reported $750 for the luxe treatment. In some instances, just about everything you need can all fit right into your computer.

Yes, that’s right! Your computer.

As so much of our media shifts away from handing you tangible products that you have to store in your home – and risk damaging – for safe keeping, I’m starting to see that shift happen with the fitness industry, as well. Your average fitness DVD? Kiss it goodbye. It’s all about live streaming now, baby.

One of the most meaningful things about taking classes and hiring people like me is the guidance you receive during your session. You’ll get someone helping shift and adjust you, you’ll get someone modifying movements for you on the fly, and you’ll get someone patting you on the back when you do well.

Now, that $20 that you spend each month buying a new fitness DVD can get you access to hundreds if not thousands of classes, granting you the opportunity to try a new class, teacher or DVD every time you sit down. And in the 21st century, it’s not just a pretty location and someone prancing around in fancy workout clothes. We’re talking teaching an actual class, with all the trimmings.

Take, for instance, GaiamTV. Gaiam, one of the leading providers in fitness products to the public, offers all of its DVDs online for streaming, at a little less than $10 per month (with a free trial to start with.) With an offering of Yoga, pilates, Qigong, as well as big-name fitness brands like The Firm, Jillian Michaels and Walk Away the Pounds, GaiamTV can certainly keep you busy.

Also consider the FitnessGlo and YogaGlo websites, where well-trained teachers guide a classroom of students and – most importantly – YOU through a series of movements, poses and exercises guaranteed to give you a burn. The site’s a bit pricier – coming in at around $17 for YogaGlo, and $12 for FitnessGlo – but both come with 15-day free trials.

That’s not to say that you couldn’t find some amazing resources for free-ninety-nine, either. Countless YouTube channels bring major heat on a regular basis – Keaira LaShae and JR Rogers both bring creative and enthusiastic routines to the DailyBurn channel, Andia Winslow shows you how to bring fitness into basic everyday tasks, Cassey Ho brings pilates to your bedroom on her Blogilates channel, and FitnessBlender brings you a couple who really knows their high intensity interval training. And, if that wasn’t enough, Lionsgate Films runs the BeFit channel that provides lots of clips of fitness DVDs to help you get moving in 15 minutes or less.

(And, if you need a little training and fitness inspiration, there’s always my own channel to help you get moving!)

Oftentimes, the more money you find yourself spending on fitness, the more distractions you’re paying for. Keeping it simplified also keeps it focused. When you choose your avenues of training – Yoga and running? Pilates and HIIT? – you can look for resources that specifically target your chosen path, and that specificity can only help you get better. As I always say, your body will thank you for it!

Erika Nicole Kendall is the certified trainer and writer behind the award-winning blog, A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss. Ask her your health and fitness-related questions on twitter at @bgg2wl.