Who wants to wait until 2023 to start getting fit? Unfortunately, the Christmas holidays are tough if you’re trying to stick to a fitness regime, or at least minimize the dent that the festive break is going to make in your progress. Being around lots of delicious but very unhealthy food and drink is challenging enough, but you may also find constraints placed on your time, so you can’t spend the time on the roads or in your local gym.
If your best fitness tracker is starting to give you little nudges because you’re not working out much over Christmas, guided 15-minute workouts could be the answer. There’s no equipment needed, and you don’t even have to fire up YouTube on your TV or laptop in order to access the workouts: just ask Alexa to guide you through them.
Celebrity fitness trainer Joe Wicks, otherwise known as The Body Coach, has lowered the barrier to entry for fitness with his 15-minute meals and 15-minute workouts. This ‘Lean in 15’ approach made him incredibly popular, especially over the Covid lockdowns, when his ‘P.E. with Joe’ series of YouTube videos, aimed at keeping kids entertained and active, proved a hit with people of all ages.
The seven workouts are graded from one (easy) through seven (intermediate). If you’re looking to squeeze in a short workout without traveling anywhere or using any expensive equipment, these Body Coach workouts offer the ideal solution. If you have the Amazon Alexa app on your phone, you’ll be able to play the workout through your earbuds, so if you’re the first one up, you can get a fairly low-impact workout in without waking the rest of your household.
It does include some jumping movements such as star jumps, but otherwise it's largely safe for overweight and older exercisers.
How to download and use the free Body Coach workouts
In order to access the Alexa audio guidance, voiced by Wicks himself, download the Body Coach skill onto you Amazon Alexa account and use it with your Amazon Echo Show with video, or just use the audio with your Echo Dot device, your best smart speaker, or on your phone with Alexa-enabled workout earbuds.
You can download it onto your Amazon account, then enter the Alexa app on your phone and access the 'Skills and games' section, then 'Your skills'. The Body Coach skill should appear here.
To access and start the first workout, use the voice command 'Alexa, star the Body Coach,' and follow the instructions.
More ways to work out at home
If you’re an iPhone user, you can access hundreds of guided workouts on the Apple Fitness+ workout streaming service, even without an Apple watch. If you’ve bought an Apple Watch, iPhone or Apple TV recently, it’s worth checking the terms of purchase to check whether you've been offered a free three-month trial of the service. Apple watch watch. If you’ve bought an Apple Watch, iPhone or Apple TV recently, it’s worth checking the terms of purchase to check whether you've been offered a free three-month trial of the service.
Apple Fitness+ also includes Time to Walk and Time to Run audio-only tracks designed to support your efforts outside. However, if you’re looking for audio instructions for a more intense workout than Joe Wicks provides in his Alexa skill, you can check out Tabata playlists on Amazon Music, Spotify or Apple Music.
These remixes of popular songs include timers to signify when you should exercise and when you should rest, usually in four-minute long intervals. Pick four moves (such as pushups, planks, mountain climbers and squats), and cycle through the sequence in 20-second intervals, with 10-second rests between sets. Three of these songs will make for a demanding workout, especially with the beats thumping through your best workout headphones.
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Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.
Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.