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What are Online Fitness Classes?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Online fitness classes are programs and videos available on the Internet to help give a person guided and structured lessons for various types of workouts. These programs can include videos that serve as online fitness classes, Internet forums for people to post reviews on workouts and advice to others, personalized fitness programs that allow a person to track what videos he or she has watched and provide suggestions on others to try, and many other possible features and options. Intended to provide the organization and professional knowledge of traditional fitness classes, online classes are also able to provide portability and potentially less cost than joining a gym with more options than purchasing a single workout video. They may come in the form of online Pilates classes, aerobics classes, or just about any other form of fitness workout.

Advertised as a way to take workout classes anywhere a user may travel to, online fitness classes are intended to provide all the benefits of video workouts with greater flexibility and ease of access. Many workout video programs require purchase of several different videos, or new videos every few months to create a complete and dynamic workout. Online fitness classes, however, may provide unlimited access to hundreds of videos with a wide variety of workout programs.

Most online fitness classes require some form of membership, either allowing a user to pay for individual videos on a pay-per-view basis or requiring recurring membership fees. These fees are typically used to pay the expenses of website development, hosting the videos, and maintaining an active online community. Membership costs for online fitness classes may allow a user to pay weekly, monthly, or even yearly for access to the website and its features.

Simpler online fitness classes may involve less website functionality, but promote more interaction between members. These could be free websites that host public videos of various workout regimens or user-generated content, or large collections of forum posts with detailed workout instructions and a loyal community of Internet fitness enthusiasts. Free websites such as these may not provide quite as many videos as paid sites, but the community may justify the lack of content.

Typically, the most useful type of online fitness classes will provide a combination of traditional workout video features, as well as integrating many of the benefits of Internet communities. Having a single website that provides dozens or hundreds of workout videos, while also allowing users to chat with each other and post tips, advice, and encouragement for each other, can create a virtual workout class that changes to suit the needs of each student. As with any other paid online service, however, potential users should look for reviews and recommendations from other users of a prospective website before joining.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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