I'd never call myself an exercise junkie — no sooner have I raved about the benefits of cycling/ yoga/ trapezing than I'm already back in a horizontal holding pattern on the sofa. Between work, drinks with friends, not being a morning person and plenty of hygge (couch potato-ing, but make it Danish), I've never been able to carve out a regular time or niche when it comes to working out.
However, as I get older, I find my vices are beginning to catch up to me. Whether I'm enjoying Toronto's best international cuisine from my home or sipping wine straight from the source in Niagara, there are always temptations at my fingertips. So, I took fitness app Movement by NM for a test-drive.
With travel plans popping up, my schedule rarely looks the same two weeks in a row. But Movement by NM — an online fitness app — offers bitesized classes that you can do from your phone from anywhere: my living room, a hotel room or even one of the world's best beaches. Here's how it went.
Movement by NM: How it works
The subscription-based online fitness platform is a Canadian company founded by mother-daughter duo Gabriela Schonbach and Amanda June Giannakos in 2020. With a background in fitness, the pair were keen to get people moving and feeling confident, and wanted to make fitness less intimidating and one-size-fits-all. For beginners like me, it offers a gentle nudge into the world of fitness.
Movement by NM offer classes in a range of disciplines, like dance, yoga, movement and strength, and all are in the region of 5–35 minutes. However, when you really dig down into it, you can find a class for virtually any level or preference. Feeling calm? There's a class for that. Looking for a yoga project? Try the Namaste 14-day Challenge. Seeking a re-entry into fitness following an injury or pregnancy? It's all there.
I mostly streamed classes through my phone while I was on the go, but Movement by NM is also available on Roku, FireTV, Apple TV and Android TV. Download the channel, then broadcast your classes to your living room. Just unroll your yoga mat, grab your resistance bands and away you go — or just bring yourself (each class outlines which equipment you need).
At $15 a month or $99 a year, the fitness app is a pretty cost effective way of getting back into fitness. The advantage over simply throwing on a YouTube workout video is that you've paid, which — in my experience — is a surefire way of making me more committed. There are also weekly classes to encourage you to check-in regularly, and the categorizations let you see videos by instructors, length or style, so it's easy to navigate and dip into what you fancy.
Movement by NM: The workouts
If I'm left to my own devices, I'll typically stick to things I know like yoga or cardio classes. However, having a class schedule sent to my inbox every Monday morning featuring new releases was a great way to mix things up. Ariana Grande dance parties, belly dancing and combat boxing certainly weren't disciplines I'd normally pick myself, but they changed up the monotony of my tired (and sporadic) workouts, and helped me to show up more than I would have.
In addition to new classes and instructors popping up, Movement by NM recently launched Bedtime Tuck yoga classes. The series focuses on gentle movement and calm breathing that supports the overall health and quality of sleep. Plus, there are even short stories and documentaries about sport, athletes and even meditation to inspire you before or after a session.
One small grievance: Some of the dance videos require you to sync your music to their video. You can find their playlists on Spotify and they'll count you down to press play at the right time, but it's a few extra steps that could easily put you off if — like me — you're always on the precipice of quitting and turning on Netflix.
Movement by NM: The verdict
If you're desperate to get back to pre-pandemic normality with in-person classes, this probably won't float your boat. Admittedly, there is something about being in a room full of people that makes you do one more lunge than you would in your living room. However, if you're looking for a gateway workout app, Movement by NM is a good bridge between at-home workouts and trudging through the snow to the gym.
Even as a lazybones, I can safely say that these classes are not too challenging. But, as an accountability tool, I found the fitness app very useful. Will I still be keen six months from now? Only time will tell. However, if you need a kick up the butt to get started, take the 10-day challenge and find out for yourself.