Review: GaiamTV

DISCLOSURES
At the end, not because they’re not important, but because they mess with the flow.

BACKGROUND
I’ve been dealing with a bit of gymbivalence the past few weeks.

gymbivalence

I love my gym workouts but given the abundance of yard chores last week, my temporary location halfway across town from my gym this week and the gruesome thought of going out in the crazy heat to get there, and the fact that some idiot (not me!) broke the balance ball at the gym, thus eliminating one-fourth of my workout moves, I just haven’t felt like going.

This does not mean I haven’t been exercising, of course. That’s kind of like breathing for me. I’ve been walking, riding my bike, and taking care of those outdoor chores (7 hours worth last week!)–trust me, I be huffing and puffing plenty.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels a bit of gymbivalence from time to time, and I know there are people out there who–*gasp*–don’t like going to the gym at all. It’s nice to have alternatives, isn’t it? Today I bring you one possibility from the land of gym alternatives.

THE PRODUCT
In a startling bit of good timing, the folks at Gaiam recently asked me to produce my own line of workout videos take a look at GaiamTV, their streaming internet channel with on-demand videos on a wide variety of subjects, including: yoga, fitness, wellness, spirituality & metaphysics, and environment. And more besides. There’s even a section called “vintage” for us old folks. (I prefer to think of this category as “timeless”. Wayne Dyer is NOT vintage.)

You can take a free peek at the offerings on the website. I’ll wait.

OBSERVATIONS
Here’s what I like about GaiamTV:
– The site is easy to navigate and videos load fairly quickly, even on my slow Internet service.
– The variety of videos offered is enormous and encompasses a whole-self approach to fitness and wellness. That’s important, in my book.
– There are videos for all fitness levels, from Getting Started on up! (Beginners: Leslie Sansone is a good place to start. It feels like you’re not doing much at first, but the effort accumulates and you get a pretty good workout.)
– For some categories, content can be filtered. In Fitness, I can select only Balance Ball workout videos (since I have to do those at home for now, thanks to gym bozo), and/or I can choose SomeoneNotJillian as an instructor. In Yoga, I can choose among the different disciplines (not that I know one from another) and/or look for all things Rodney Yee. And so on.
– I really, really liked the section on Stretching and hope to try several different videos. I’ve been stuck on a Gaiam video, Balance Ball Daily Stretch for Health, which is one of the best stretching workouts I’ve ever done. I can’t find it for sale anywhere, but I hope they’ll release it in the future.

And the things I wish were different:
– The Weight Training videos I saw weren’t really what I think of as weight training. I’d love to see a few videos with more focus on lifting heavier weights. (It’s possible they’re there and I haven’t found them yet.)
– I’d like to have the ability to filter out certain instructors, workouts, or titles. **CammyTrivia Alert** For example, the words ‘extreme’ and ‘booty’ and ‘fat blaster’ are personal irritants, and I won’t even look at videos with those words in the title. Fortunately there don’t seem to be many of those on GaiamTV.
– I really wish they’d remove the link to the Gaiam store. Or hide it at members’ request. It’s a real productivity killer. Plus, I drooled on my keyboard when I saw the Garden Path bedding.

FINAL VERDICT
Overall, I like the site and at $9.95 per month for unlimited viewing, I think it’s a good deal IF you consistently use it. It’s less expensive than most gym memberships, including my cheapskate gym. To be honest, if I had more disposable dollars, I’d probably sign up for a while in addition to my gym just for the non-exercise videos. And for those times when I’m feeling gymbivalent. :)

Note: Gaiam also sent me a couple of products to try out, and I’ll be back with a review of those later in the week. I’ll even have a wee giveaway!

FTC and Other Interested Parties Stuff:
1) Gaiam provided me with a one-month membership (value: $9.95) to GaiamTV for purposes of review. No expectations of eternal gratitude and devotion were requested or offered. But I really do like them a lot.
2) I am not currently a Gaiam affiliate, but I am considering becoming one. None of the links in this post are affiliate links, and the possibility of becoming an affiliate did not influence my review. (I didn’t even know they had an affiliate program until 2 minutes ago, I swear!)



17 thoughts on “Review: GaiamTV

  1. That stretch sounds like something I need! I got the same offer and turned it down because I knew I wouldn’t get around to any of the videos. I have a hard time getting motivated at home:( I’ve had a yoga video checked out from the library for ages now and have yet to try it.

  2. I’m sure it won’t work here, but it sounds great!

    I can’t believe gymbivalence is a word. I’m going to use it often!

    • I think I might have invented gymbivalence. The word, not the attitude. :)

      I’ve got a query in at GaiamTV as to its availability internationally. I’ll let you know when I find out.

  3. I tried it out for awhile, because of my own gymbivalence, but I ultimately dropped it. For me, the biggest issue is that I wanted to be able to stream it from our Roku player and watch videos on our TV set, rather than running them off my laptop. But the Roku interface was clumsy, and the selection was more limited than what was available on the main website.

    I also tried the iOS app and found it even more limited than the Roku app—though it was nice to finish my gym workout with some guided yoga stretches.

    I think the GaiamTV service has a lot of potential, but it doesn’t quite meet my needs—yet.

    • THANK YOU for the additional info, Laura! Here’s hoping Gaiam adds a little functionality (and variety) across the tech spectrum soon.

  4. Sounds very intriguing, especially since my favorite old folks gym closed, and the temperature is hitting 106º this week. So, indoor activities at home could be very useful. Then again, I could be waisting $10.00 if I don’t use it!

  5. It’s good to have alternative ways to work out. I don’t much care for videos – I get tired of hearing the same things said over and over. I guess I kind of like doing my own thing and I have never belonged to a gym. I guess I am more of an exericse “loner” if you will.

  6. We tried it a while ago… I thought it would be great, but there were freaking commercials or breaks…really long ones that you couldn’t forward through and as I recall that was even with the fee.
    Am I getting that right?
    So, that was a total deal breaker for me.

    • I think we may be talking about different products, Teresa. (Could you have been watching via Hulu?) None of the videos I’ve seen (so far) on GaiamTV had commercials or breaks at all.

  7. thank you for the review. I was mildly curious before my yoga’resolution and have grown more and more…

  8. Really sounds interesting Cammy! You have me wondering about that stretching one & would be nice to have it for the yoga for me which I want to try.. my weights I rather do in the gym. :-) THX for the review & can’t wait to see what else you will be reviewing!

  9. I really can’t stand the gym. I just got through complaining about how much I hate the gym, as a matter of fact. I’m so glad you posted this! Gaiam TV looks like a wonderful option for me! I’ve been doing a few workout videos, but it’s expensive to get a decent collection going so that you’re not bored to death.

    I saw a YouTube video today about Dance Walking. Have you seen it? I actually cheered out loud it was so awesome. What you do is crank up your iPod, then instead of walking like a normal person down the street, you get your groove on and dance down the street. LOL Hilarious! It looked like way more fun than a workout video, but I’m a sucker for silliness and not acting my age.

    • I should have known a girl in yoga pants would be intrigued with GaiamTV! :)

      Thanks for the tip on the Dance Walking. I’m going to look that one up, because I have yet to find any rule anywhere that says we must act our age.

  10. Gymbivalence! Best new word of the year. Yes, as much as I like going to the gym, I have periods where I definitely have a case of gymbivalence.

    • Gymbivalence used to bug me, but now I know it’s an ebb and flow thing. As long as I keep moving, I figure I’ll be okay. :)

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