Five recommendations for the greatest YouTube fitness videos to help you modify your exercise habits.
Every January, there is a surge in intentions to be more physically active as a result of New Year’s resolutions. At the start of the year, gyms and leisure facilities often see an increase in membership sales and attendance.
However, as a result of the limits imposed in reaction to COVID-19, many people have turned to digital alternatives for exercise. YouTube is a great place to go for digital fitness. The popularity of YouTube fitness creators skyrocketed early on in the pandemic.
These YouTube workout videos clearly represent an accessible, free, and handy way to get in some pandemic-safe exercise. Researchers aren’t sure how YouTube fitness videos compare to traditional in-person training.
Techniques for modifying behavior
My colleagues and I were curious if YouTube fitness makers used any behavior modification approaches in their videos to increase exercise practice and adherence as physical activity and digital health experts. Techniques for promoting, motivating, and/or maintaining behavior changes, such as exercise, are known as behavior change techniques. They include things like goal-setting, action planning, repetition, and self-monitoring.
We looked at the 15 most popular YouTube fitness channels (as of Dec. 31, 2020) and investigated the top five most popular videos for each channel to see what sorts of behavioral change approaches they utilized, if any, in a study to be published in Journal of Health Psychology.
In total, 12.5 different behavior change strategies were used in the videos. Demonstration of the activity, instruction on how to conduct the behavior, and unspecified social support, which includes things like encouraging and motivational comments, were the most commonly employed.
The way the movies presented the behavior change approaches differed as well. Some creators, for example, did not speak throughout their workouts, while others voiced over or spoke while exercising. Roberta’s Gym, for example, didn’t show a real person exercising, but rather a 3D representation of a human doing the exercises.
The number of behavioral change strategies employed varied from one to twenty-seven. In fact, many of the behavior change approaches commonly utilized with in-person training, such as setting goals, making plans, and providing feedback, were mostly lacking in these videos—likely due to the video format’s limitations.
We also wanted to see if the quantity or type of behavioral modification approaches utilized was related to a creator’s video popularity. Surprisingly, neither the number of behavior change approaches utilized nor the use of anyone, in particular, was linked to the number of views, likes, or comments received by a video.
We can deduce from this that there are certainly more elements that influence a video’s or creator’s popularity. It’s possible that individuals will connect with a video’s aesthetic, the instructor’s personality, or the routines that a particular producer offers. Video’s enjoyment or entertainment value may also play a role in its appeal.
Five pointers for selecting workout videos on YouTube
Here are some suggestions for people searching for a YouTube fitness channel to help them stick to their exercise-related New Year’s plans, or just as a fun and accessible alternative to other types of exercise:
1. Take a few samples.
Don’t limit yourself to what’s popular. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of YouTube fitness creators, as we’ve highlighted some of the most popular channels here. According to our research, the more popular channels don’t generally utilize more behavior change approaches, so if you’re the type of person who benefits from more structure and reinforcement, check out our list of who uses them the most.
2. Figure out what works best for you and your timetable or habit.
Almost all of the top 15 channels we looked at included high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in their videos. Many people enjoy HIIT, and there are well-documented health and time-saving benefits to doing so. If the prospect of a high-intensity workout scares you, there are lots of popular designers that specialize in longer, more steady workouts or beginner-friendly programs.
3. Do more of the things you enjoy.
After a workout, a YouTube fitness channel that makes you feel successful, capable, and energized is a good sign that you’ve found something that works. The more positive people feel about themselves and the activity they’ve done, the more likely they are to exercise again.
4. Toss it around.
As previously said, there is no end to the amount of fitness-related videos available on YouTube. There are various ways to mix up your routine, from bodyweight exercises to yoga, dance, weight training, and walking. Maintaining enthusiasm in exercising is a terrific approach to stay on track with your goals.
5. Get involved in the community
People who feel socially supported are more likely to stay motivated to exercise and overcome obstacles. Many artists offer fitness challenges or social media profiles where you can interact with other people who are watching the same videos as you. Some creators even organize live workouts, where you may show up at a specific time and follow along while chatting with them.
Bringing in a friend or family member who enjoys working out (or seeing the consequences of doing out) can help you stay on track with your goals.
YouTube workout videos provide an amusing and essential alternative to gyms and recreation facilities that alternate between restrictions and guidelines for when and how they can function.