Online fitness services offer a cheaper alternative to gym memberships and personal trainers. However, if you're not sure you're ready to commit financially to an online fitness training program, there are some free options to consider. Most offer online tools and general information, and many have forums for questions and support, but not personal attention like paid services. If you don't need the one-on-one help from a personal trainer, these options might suit you.

Livestrong.com

Like most fitness websites, Livestrong.com offers videos and pictures with written instructions that demonstrate exercises and fill you in on all manner of nutritional topics, as well as tools for tracking your efforts. It offers articles about health topics from nutritional supplements to ways to avoid injuries while exercising.

This website discusses nearly every popular form of exercise available, including ways to burn calories doing everyday activities. The site addresses weightlifting, Pilates, yoga, aerobics, stretching, mat exercises, dance and more. The selection of videos showing the movements of the exercises is limited, and there is no option to create a custom-made workout plan.

There is a quit smoking app and a MyPlate function for tracking food. The MyPlateD function offers advice for proper food choices for diabetics and allows you to track such things as glucose levels and insulin use. There's a calorie tracker available for cell phones. There's also a MyQuitCOACH app to help you quit smoking, but it's for the iPhone only.

Sparkpeople.com 

Sparkpeople.com is a more mobile-friendly online fitness program than Livestrong.com and offers many of the same features. You can track nutrition, workouts, weight and fitness goals either online or through the mobile app, which works for iPhone and Android.

This online fitness service offers workout routines and diet plans based on a very general survey. Experts oversee the message boards to answer questions and offer support, but they do not give the one-on-one advice that paid online personal trainers provide.

Motivation is the key to succeeding in any fitness program, and SparkPeople has a forum where you can share your experiences.

This site has a huge database of articles covering all areas of fitness including healthy diet, motivation, lifestyle issues (from motherhood to backyard gardening) and more. It also discusses health issues like depression, insomnia, allergies and pain management. There's a section for recipes, including those for diabetics. SparkPeople videos cover different workouts teach you general cooking tips as well as how to cook some of their recipes.

With so many online fitness services, there's no excuse to not get in shape. If you're ready for a healthier you, give them a try.

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