I am EXTREMELY excited right now because I recently discovered two fitness apps that are about to change your life if you’re in or near Los Angeles. Let me give some background first.

What are the two most common reasons people give for not staying active?

1) They don’t have time.

2) They don’t like it.

First of all, you do have time. Just like with anything else you want to fit into your day, you have to make time for fitness. Schedule it in. Exercise becomes much easier to schedule in when you find something you truly enjoy doing. It also doesn’t really feel like “working out” anymore – it just feels like a hobby. So, how do you figure out what you actually enjoy doing?

Obviously, you need to try different things. One of the best ways to do that is to take different fitness classes! Yoga, pilates, barre, cycling, circuit training, HIIT, dance – you get the idea. Try out different forms of exercise and see what floats your boat. Taking different classes is also a great way to switch up your workout routine if you already have one. Variety in your exercise routine is important so you don’t get bored and so your muscles don’t get bored. If you do the same thing over and over again, you’ll be working the same muscles in the same way, and you won’t get stronger.

I completely understand how difficult it can be sometimes to fit exercise into your schedule. College, work, blogging, the podcast, doctor appointments, trying to have a social life,  setting aside “me” time – I constantly struggle to balance it all. I used to never even consider taking fitness classes. I don’t like to commit to things too far in advance in case another obligation comes up, and I usually don’t really know my schedule for the day until relatively last minute, anyway. For that reason, fitness classes were always kind of off the table for me. They’re also expensive, and I’m on a college budget. I can’t afford to spend a shit ton of money on workout classes all the time when my books alone cost me an arm and a leg.

Enter OPEN SWEAT. This app is a game-changer, and I seriously think everyone needs this on their phone. Open Sweat is an app that lists out a bunch of different fitness classes in your area and allows you to book them last minute for a reduced price – usually about half the regular price. You can search for classes by area (WeHo/ Beverly Hills, Culver City, Westside, etc.) or by the type of class you want to try (cardio, flexibility, strength). It’ll show you a list of classes you might be interested in, and then you can just scroll through and the pick one you want. There are so many studios currently on the app – Pure Barre, The Bar Method, Lock Box Crossfit, Pop Physique, Hollywood Power Yoga, Pilates Plus, Circuit Works, Rev Cycle, Sweat City Fitness, Fight Bike…the list goes on. The app tells you the time, the price, the studio, how far it is from you, and some other basic info about the class. When you see something you like, you can just book it right then and there, and you’re all set.

Last weekend I took a Pure Barre class for the first time through Open Sweat, and I had SO MUCH FUN. I’ve always wanted to try Pure Barre, but I was honestly too lazy to actually look into taking classes because I figured I wouldn’t be able to fit it into my schedule. I also didn’t want to pay for it. I finally took the class once I found out about Open Sweat, and the price was ridiculously cheap. It was so easy. No hassle. And I’m just really happy that I finally got the chance to try something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

What I love about Open Sweat is that you don’t have to commit to anything. I’m not the kind of person who is willing to commit to go to a class every Wednesday night from 5-6 for the next 5 weeks. I just can’t! A lot of the classes offered at my college’s gym work like that, and I’m not about it. Open Sweat allows you to book classes one at a time, no future obligations. I also loooove that it can be super last minute. I booked my Pure Barre class last weekend literally an hour before I went. I feel like this is an ideal situation for pretty much everyone because we’re all so busy all the time. A lot of people don’t like fitness classes because they don’t know what time they’ll get home from work or class. With Open Sweat, that’s no problem because you can just book the class last minute when you do have an idea of what time you’ll be free.

The other thing I’m really excited about is the fact that Open Sweat is going to be teaming up with a new app called Fitster. Basically, Fitster is like Yelp for fitness classes. People who have taken classes can go online and review the class and the instructor so other people can use that info to decide if they’d be interested in taking the same class. In other words, you won’t have to waste your time or money going to a class run by an instructor that you’re not into. I would love to be able to ask my friends for their opinions on different classes, but sometimes my friends have never taken any of the classes I’m interested in. That’s why Fitster is so useful – SOMEONE in L.A. has taken the class, and you don’t have to know him or her personally to get feedback.

I recently offered to write a Fitster review for the Pure Barre class I took through Open Sweat, and you can read that review here to see an example of what kind of info the reviews will have. Basically, reviewers will let you know who the instructor was, what studio they went to, what class they took, what the vibes were like, how effective the workout was, what the flow of the class was like, what kind of music was played, how intense it was, and an overall review. We all know that the same class can be totally different depending on what the instructor is like, so Fitster is the perfect way to make sure you pick classes taught by instructors you’ll enjoy. For example, I really want to start taking more yoga classes, but I’m always nervous I’ll pick a class that will be too difficult for me. Now I can totally prevent that from happening by just reading through Fitster reviews and seeing what other people have to say.

Fitster isn’t going to launch until next month, but Open Sweat is up, running, and ready to use! I also want to let you know that neither of these apps are paying me or asking me to write this blog post… I genuinely am really excited about them because I feel like this would make it so much easier for so many people to fit exercise into their lives. Especially if you’re a newbie and don’t really know where to start with your fitness routine. I know I’m going to be using both Open Sweat and Fitster a lot to keep adding variety to my workout routine and to try new things out, so I thought I’d share the love. Speaking of sharing the love, Open Sweat and Fitster were kind enough to create a 25% off coupon code for you guys to use if you book a class through Open Sweat! Just enter “LOVELY25” at checkout and you’ll get 25% off the already lowered price! (That code is valid until November 16, 2016.)

Are you guys into fitness classes? What are your favorite classes to take?! Let me know in the comments!

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