In an era where the nation seems to have fallen into a fitness frenzy, it’s understandable that you want to get in better shape. You probably have many coworkers and friends who make the gym a regular stop after their work day. However, whether it’s because of the blasting music, or the show-off muscle builders or the monthly fees, a gym might not be the place you want to be to get in shape. The good news is that there are many ways to stay in shape within the comfort of your own home.
If you are just starting out, the chances are that even if you have a variety of fitness equipment in your home, you aren’t sure of what exercises you should do. Luckily, there are many work out videos available in the form of apps for your phone or other electronic devices or DVDs from your local library. Start out trying one of these options so that you can get an idea of what kind of workouts you like before you spend the money on the videos. When choosing a video to start out with, it is important to keep your fitness goals in mind. Are you looking to improve your flexibility, strength and muscle tone or cardiovascular health? No matter what your goals are, there are a variety of options for workouts at home.
If you are looking for an option with minimal equipment that will improve your flexibility and muscle tone, either Pilates or yoga might be the option for you. Both of these options only need a mat, but you may want to buy straps or blocks for yoga if it turns out to be a good fit. While these forms of exercise are similar in that they mainly use the body itself as resistance for building strength, yoga has a much stronger mind-body approach than Pilates. Immediate results in flexibility and upper body strength will be greater in yoga, while Pilates will give you faster results in toning abs.
If are willing to make a small buy for equipment, a resistance tube is an excellent buy. Instead of buying an entire dumbbell set, you can buy one inexpensive tube. You can adjust the amount of resistance you feel by stepping on one end, leaving either more or less length on the side you are working on. With an resistance tube, you can do bicep and tricep curls as well as most other exercises you would do with a dumbbell. Then, if you find you like those kinds of exercises and the resistance is no longer strong enough, you can make the buy of the dumbbell set, knowing that you will put it to good use.
Another useful buy if your goal is to tone and build strength is an exercise ball. Many of the balls come with a card or DVD showing exercises you can use the ball for. The ball is a great way to target your lower abs as well as your back muscles. In addition, if you spend a lot of time sitting at home, sitting on the ball will not only improv your posture, but it will tone your legs as you bounce while you sit.
Even if your main goals are strength or flexibility, its important to maintain good cardiovascular health. The good news is that cardio workouts are extremely easy to find and they need very little equipment. If you have a chair that is sturdy enough to step up onto or a jump rope, they can both be useful, but neither is needed. The important thing with cardio workouts is to find something you find fun to do. If you like dancing, find a dance cardio workout DVD. If you like martial arts, many workout DVDs would intrest you. If you like the more traditional workout, find one that includes running in place, jumping jacks, step ups, etc. There are no shortage of options. Anything that keeps your heart rate up will work.
No matter what your fitness goals are, there is a way to meet those goals by working out at home. With a few small buys and a bit of time, you can be well on your way to fitness without ever stepping into a gym.