My Fitness Journey with Workout Apps
This social distancing world we have been stuck in feels like it’s been going on for an eternity! Okay. I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but you can’t tell me that the last six months has not felt like forever. And if you say that you have not found yourself a bit out of shape because of COVID and Quarantine, you must be a deity because we humans have had a struggle with gyms being closed and outdoor activities being shut down. Many, like myself, don’t have a home gym and aren’t in good enough shape to run with a mask or even have the physical ability to be runners. After I finally stopped denying that the bit of muscle I had left was slowly becoming mush, I decided I had to adapt to the pandemic reality we are living in. So, I set out to find the best workout apps and tools to help me increase my activity level and improve my health while being stuck in a domestic prison cell. That’s how I found JOYN.
I have tried a multitude of workout apps and online fitness programs throughout my struggles with health and fitness, which is why when the pandemic struck, I felt there was no hope. Before the world around me shut down, trying to stay motivated with a fitness plan was like trying to convert Pat Robertson to Satanism: pretty much an uphill battle on roller-skates.
A Review of JOYN
I tried going to the gym, but my body dysmorphia always awoke the screeching voice that bullied me into being self-conscious of my size compared to the toned-bodied women around me. I would slowly creep back into the sloth den of my home and the fitness journey would end. I turned to online fitness programs or workout apps because then I would at least not have to deal with the anxiety of being seen covered in sweat and in workout pants and a tank that clung to my body while taking a class led by the fit and fabulous. Then I found JOYN.
For those who are not are not familiar with the JOYN program, it is an online fitness subscription program that features a workout app and only costs $9.99 a month. There are a variety of different workouts available that incorporate yoga, Pilates, and dance workouts allowing for a flavorful routine that does not become dull and repetitive.
In addition to JOYN workouts, there are also mindfulness guided meditations available which is great, as I need to focus on my spiritual and mental health as much as the physical. I will admit that I have tried many workout subscriptions of this kind before and failed with the follow though as either they became boring or I could no longer take the regular viewing of some hard-bodied female telling me to work it out. JOYN is the first virtual fitness program and workout app that I have stayed engaged with because of the fun and variety but also because of the relatable instructors.
One societal stereotype is that if you are not a size small you are not fit. JOYN shows that plus-size can be fit and healthy. Honestly, I was in the best shape and health in my life five years ago when I was a size 16, not in my younger years when I was a size 0.
With JOYN, real women who are not the Cosmo definition of ideal lead you to fitness through body positivity and encouragement. If you are someone who is limited physically, all of their workouts show how to get a great session with a chair or low impact modification.
I love to dance and have tried other dance-based workout programs but being a plus-sized woman, and currently having the stamina of a 90-year-old smoker, I found myself critiquing myself more than building myself up. I’d compare my heavy breathing and sweat drenching plump body to that energy-filled person leading with tight glutes and rippling abs leading me, and I’d inevitably stop. Another barrier was that these workout programs were always based on one style of dance, and being a hyperactive kid at heart, I would get bored and lose interest.
Then I found JOYN and their dance classes. They have hip-hop, hula, and my favorite. waacking. If you are asking yourself what waacking is, let me tell you. Waacking is a form of dance developed in the underground balls of NYC, it has been brought into the pop culture spotlight by the show Pose with Billy Porter. If you have not watched it I highly recommend it. When I saw this offering, it was a sign that I had found a home routine for 2020 that I would love and look forward to. I set up my phone on my tripod and went to work and was glowing me when I was done. The instructor was full of energy and offered encouragement, and the women that were with her were relatable and smiling the whole time.
Besides the great dance classes, I also enjoy JOYN’s Tai Chi and sultry stretching. The assortment of classes provide something for whatever mood you are in. I log in to JOYN daily, and if I am having a rest day, I do one of the meditations.
I have been using JOYN for over a month and I’m still going strong. It’s the first this has happened and I know that it is due to the body-positive vibe and the variety of offerings. Another thing that really spoke to me was that at the beginning of a class when the instructor introduces themselves and their helpers, they also include the preferred pronouns of each individual. This may not seem like much to many but to me, it really speaks to the inclusivity of this program.
I know that JOYN may not be for everyone, but for those that have found sticking to workout programs like these difficult because of feelings of inadequacy, I would say give JOYN a try. As a plus-size individual who has a life long battle with body dysmorphia and finding comfort in fitness classes, JOYN has given me hope that I will finally not lose to those inner voices while engaged in workout classes. It also is a budget-friendly subscription at just ten bucks a month. I mean that is three lattes or a trip through the drive-thru. I am looking forward to my continuing journey back to being fit and having JOYN in my toolbelt.