My perfect existence would be like the ones lived by the humans in the movie Wall-E; I’d be tied to a hoverchair and have a screen broadcasting right into my vision. Unfortunately, in order to survive here on Earth, we need to move our bodies on sometimes.
Aside from choosing to reside in cities that are easily navigable on foot, I’ve never led an active lifestyle. This has allowed me to maintain a healthy number of steps each day. But as I’ve gotten older and as I’ve moved to a city that was designed for automobiles, things have begun to shift for me.
I’ve noticed that my jeans are starting to feel a little too snug, and I’m constantly fighting off feelings of tiredness. Turns out doing nothing besides working at a desk doesn’t make you feel happy.
At first, I decided to give walking on a treadmill every day a shot, and I did so for a good portion of that time. But I quickly lost interest in it, and after skipping a few sessions here and there, I finally decided to give up on it.
I started by searching for assistance on the internet. There is an unfathomably large number of fitness apps, services, and influencers parading around their own programs, all of which are centered on the concept of sculpting a perfect body;
However, the only account that is broadly focused on feeling healthier that caught my attention is called GrowWithJo (thanks to my TikTok For You page).
Johanna Devries, the inventor of these fitness regimens, wears a grin that is contagious as she works out and responds to posts from her fans showing off their own results from following her instructions. These were not people who spent hours working out at the gym or who adhered to stringent dietary regimens.
The moves appeared simple and, dare I say it, even a little bit enjoyable. I gave her videos a try, and although the exercises themselves aren’t complicated, I quickly realized that I was having a great time doing them. Despite the ease of the routines, I was soon soaked in perspiration and feeling the intensity of the workout.
I watched several of Devries’ free videos on YouTube for a while; there are hundreds of them to select from. However, I realized I wanted something that imposed some accountability and tracking on me.
My budget wouldn’t stretch to cover the cost of a personal trainer, but thankfully there’s an app called GrowWithJo (iOS, Android). It’s the one and only app I’ve ever spent money for, but I don’t feel bad about it at all. You can get it for $20 each month, but the one that costs $60 for the whole year is considerably more reasonable.
Workouts that may be completed on any given day are included on the app, in addition to plans that span multiple weeks. I started out by following the Easy Bounce Forward+ program, which is a five-day-per-week routine that targets the entire body and does not require the use of any equipment.
(Some of the routines do require you to bring weights like dumbbells, but the app makes it very clear what is needed.) The fact that I can select the days on which I want to exercise and the days on which I want to rest, and the app will then sort the calendar for me, is something that I really appreciate.