4 YouTube Channels That Have Changed My Outlook on Health and Fitness
These are not for the faint of heart, and I'll warn you, if you are easily offended, this is not the article for you. The four channels below are dedicated to putting out factual information concerning health and fitness and debunking the fitness hype so commonly found on social media, delivered with tough love at times, with a side of humor. To me, their mission is simple: arming the public with good, solid, factual fitness information and encouraging everyone to be healthy.
1. My Thoughts Will Probably Offend You: Michelle McDaniel
I love Michelle's channel. She is so funny and has the cutest little pug named Yoshi. She uses clickbait titles on purpose, and if you take the time to watch her videos, you'll see that she provides intelligent commentary, valid points, and important information concerning health and fitness. Michelle is an experienced personal trainer and she helped me realize that I needed to get serious and take responsibility for my health.
I threw away my scale and vowed that I never needed to count calories about five years ago. At the time, I was in my mid-twenties, consistent with my workout routine, and pretty happy with where my body was. As injuries happened and my sweet tooth took over, somehow I managed to gain weight. Stepping on the scale during my doctor appointments and seeing photos of myself, I realized I needed to make a change. Watching Michelle's video, Easy Ways to Lose Weight (Body Fat) made a light bulb go off in my head.
Right then and there, I decided that I was going to get serious and start counting my calories. I also did some research and purchased a new scale. It was important to me to purchase one that not only gave me my weight but also could measure my body fat percentage and muscle mass. How much I weigh isn't as important to me as getting my body fat percentage into a healthy range, and seeing my muscle mass is just as important to know if my strength training is actually working. I'm proud to say that I've been consistent with tracking my calories. In addition, not only have I lost 12 pounds, but I've dropped my body fat percentage from 22.7 to 21.5. Michelle gave me the little push I needed to get started.
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2. Shredded Sports Science: James Linker
I'm a sucker for a British accent, and James' voice is smooth and silky. If he had a channel reading a phone book or from a dictionary, I'd probably watch it. Silliness aside, James is a certified sports scientist and in his videos, tackles common fitness myths and trends with a sense of humor. He debunks the hype with solid science and explains it in a way that is easy to understand.
James has a variety of videos on his channel, ranging from fitness peer reviews and sifting through the myths spread on social media, to fitness supplements and how to best achieve your fitness goals based on science. James' channel is a valuable resource, whether you are a fitness beginner or you've been training for years.
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3. Swolenormous: Dash Kellner
Dash, or Papa Swolio as he is more commonly known, has a lot of education and experience under his belt. He places his focus on health, regularly exposing the hype found on social media and the internet, and presenting fitness and nutrition facts, all with raw humor and an amazing beard. In addition to his YouTube channel, he has a podcast, Daily Swole, where he tackles important topics related to health and fitness. Papa Swolio is all about common sense and I greatly appreciate his informative videos. I especially love his Ask Papa Swolio series, where he answers people's questions about health and fitness. Swolenormous is a must-watch channel for anyone interested in fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle.
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4. Every Damn Day Fitness: Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts is a force in the fitness industry. More than anyone on this list, he reiterates that your goals should prioritize being healthy over how you look. I wholeheartedly agree with his idea that yes, you can be pretty at any size and love yourself at any size, but you should love yourself enough to get healthy. Alan tells it straight, he doesn't sugar coat anything, delivering his message with tough love and passion. For me, Alan is a combination of an auctioneer, he talks fast in his intro and outro: an enviable skill, and a dad, he speaks with authority and knowledge, delivering the facts you might not want to hear, but need to.
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As I get older, I find myself gravitating more toward trying to be healthy versus aesthetics when it comes to my fitness training. I've been passionate about fitness for a long time, but I didn't start getting serious until after my son was born. I was determined to not let the common excuse, "I just had a baby," be my reason for letting my body go.
As I dived into the world of health and fitness, my goals constantly surrounded what my body looked like. Even after reading personal training education materials and taking a course to become one, I was always concerned with how I looked and felt.
This led me down a dangerous path, flirting with over-exercising, injuries, and trying to out-train a poor diet. I had tried to follow different diet programs in the past, all to a degree of success until I stopped following the diet. I also fell for the instant gratification and allure of diet pills and supplements, despite knowing deep down that they weren't good for me.
When you're in your 20s, you don't truly consider what the consequences of your actions will be in the future. In addition to that, I had tried counting calories but found myself getting bored with the monotony of it all or flat out forgetting to write down what I was eating. I could never stick to it, and so I just stopped.
For a long time, I lived by the motto of everything in moderation. That worked for me for a while. I was able to work out, eat when I was hungry, indulge in treats occasionally, and maintain the body I wanted. But life happens. I suffered several injuries related to my training, life got busy, and I found that I couldn't sustain working out for hours a day. All of that combined with the wonderful discovery that it's much easier to pack on the pounds than lose them as you get older, and the realization that certain workout programs I loved doing were contributing to my reoccurring injuries, led me down a YouTube rabbit hole.
Education is one of my top priorities, and I love learning new things. This is especially true when it comes to my passion for fitness. As I've gotten older, my focus has shifted from just wanting to look good to being healthy. The following four YouTube channels have helped give me a new outlook on fitness, encouraging me to embrace those goals more related to being healthy, living longer, and having a better quality of life.
It's perfectly fine to want to look good and that is definitely still a goal of mine, but what these channels have helped me realize is that being healthy is much more important. What difference does it make if I look good, but I can't enjoy fun activities with my son? Being alive and healthy, seeing my son grow up, and being able to still be active and enjoy fun activities with my grandchildren in the future is much more important than just focusing on how I look right now.
This is knowledge I think we all know deep down, but it's much harder to put it into practice. The channels outlined in this article were exactly the push I needed to start implementing changes in my own life.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.