CLICK HERE: for COVID-19 Information and Vaccine Availability


Educational health information to improve your well-being.

YouTube As Your Tool for Physical Activity

June 5, 2018 | By Lishey Dent, student intern with Community Outreach
Published in: Fitness, Nurses Health Corner

Closeup of woman using her mobile phone

While many people might associate going on the internet and watching YouTube videos with inactivity and being a couch potato, YouTube and other internet resources can really aid a physical activity routine. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity with a notable heart rate increase every day. YouTube can help you enjoy those 30 minutes each day or introduce you to a new activity.

YouTube was launched in 2005 and has enriched lives all over the world through cat videos, TV clips, educational videos, how-to instructions, and much more. Another enrichment from YouTube has been instructional exercise videos. Many types of exercise videos exist on YouTube like instructional exercise classes, yoga classes, proper exercise or weightlifting form, full workout routines, and dance routines, to name a few.

YouTube can be a great way to start a new physical activity routine right from your home which comes with many benefits.

  • You can try something new or challenging without any of the self-consciousness that might come with being at a gym or other public exercise area. You can gain a sense of freedom by trying something new alone or with a partner.
  • You can pause and rewind to see an exercise or routine again to make sure you understand it correctly.
  • It's free! As long as you have internet and a way to access it, you do not need to pay anything extra to watch YouTube videos.
  • It's fun! Have you ever tried a boxing class? Have you ever tried yoga? Have you ever learned an entire dance routine? All of these are great ways to be physically active and all can be found on YouTube.
  • You can find your comfort level to begin. YouTube is home to over a billion videos. You can find the right physical activity level for you with great quality and move up gradually from there.
  • There are specific niches of exercise videos. You can find exercise videos aimed at your age, chronic condition, injury, or other condition.

Many other health-improving videos can be found on YouTube as well. The challenge is to search for those healthy resources and use YouTube as a tool in addition to a place to relax and be entertained. YouTube has many other videos to aid other aspects of health. You can find guided meditations at any lengths of time depending on how much time you have in your day to help your mental health. You can find instructional cooking videos with healthy recipes. A large benefit to using YouTube here is the ability to pause, rewind, and re-watch the videos. You can also see how other people deal with their chronic diseases such as diabetes, giving you tips on ways to benefits yourself or simply acting at a reminder that you are not alone in your chronic condition.

YouTube can be a great and useful tool to get moving to a healthier lifestyle. Make sure to talk with your health care provider first about your physical activity limits or concerns before starting a new physical activity routine. Follow any guidelines or recommendations that they present for you. Lastly, remember all of these health-improving videos that are at your fingertips, just as long as you have access to the internet!

Augusta Health is not responsible for YouTube content and encourages you to consult your health care provider before starting any exercise program.

Yoga with Adriene

Instructional yoga classes ranging from five minutes to an hour and ranging from beginner to advanced levels. Also includes yoga videos for specific conditions including back pain, stress relief, digestion, wrist pain, flexibility, and weight loss, to name a few.

Popsugar Fitness

Wide range of workout-along videos for complete beginners and more advanced or fit individuals. The videos range from 5 minutes to an hour with many topics including cardio dance, high intensity interval training (HIIT), muscle-targeting workouts, pilates, boxing, and more.


A slightly more advanced channel where you can work hard, have fun, and get fitness results. Includes REAL-TIME workouts that you can do anywhere, with or without equipment. Workouts range from quick 5 min muscle targeting blitzes to 1.25 hr full body mega workouts. The majority are 15-30 mins and stackable to your time constraints and fitness level. Every workout and exercise can be modified to you fitness level.

The Mindful Moment

Guided mindfulness meditation videos for varying times of day, moods, and personal comfort levels. Includes guided meditations for beginners and also for specific needs. Videos are geared toward reducing stress and anxiety, finding peace, loving kindness, self-acceptance, improving health, and relaxation. Videos vary in length from about five minutes to an hour, but most are between 10 and 20 minutes long.

Information provided by Lishey Dent, Intern from JMU, working with Community Outreach.