Weight Loss Tips: Home Fitness Workouts

This article discusses how someone can begin a home workout fitness routine.

"The gym's too expensive, inconvenient or is co-ed." "There's not a safe place to walk around my neighborhood." "It's too hot (or cold) to exercise outside."

If any of these reasons for not exercising have come to mind, you are not alone. Many people simply do not have a place or the money to exercise outside the home. Therefore, a home workout routine seems like a good solution. Is it? Can a person get a good workout at home? The answer is yes. There are hundreds, even thousands of great videos, DVDs, books and other resources dedicated to help someone get a good workout at home.

If weather or a safe place is more of a worry than space or money, then a treadmill might be a very good purchase. If set up in front of the television, it is easy to walk away a couple of miles a night in the safety of the home. Treadmills are pricey, though--a good one will cost as least as much as a year at the gym. Most will run at least $200, usually more. Used ones are available, so check the classified ads. But treadmills are good for a steady, safe workout. This may be especially important for someone whose knees or ankles cannot endure much walking on hard concrete or much jumping around. Most treadmills also have variable speeds, inclines and even preset programs for various fitness goals. But, the home exerciser can always set the treadmill and go at a steady pace for 30 minutes to an hour.

If a treadmill is out of price range, a stationary bike might be a good answer. The same rules apply--30 minutes to an hour, and at varying speeds. Make sure the bike is sufficiently adjustable so that it is very comfortable to ride, or the exerciser will not use it much.

Weights can also be used at home. A weight bench and a basic set may be more suitable for a basement or garage, but weights are usually available from the classifieds as used sets.

Many people find that exercises by video or DVD, such as Pilates and aerobics are ideal choices. The good thing about these options is that the workout is designed for a set amount of time, and includes a warm-up and cool-down, both of which are important so the exerciser can avoid injury. They are also usually available in a wide variety of styles and formats. Some people prefer a more dance-oriented workout, while others lean toward kickboxing or Pilates. Tapes are usually inexpensive and are widely available used. The one drawback is that they can become boring after a while. The key is to find exciting tapes that are motivational, even with repeat uses.

Tapes are also available that emphasize stretching and body sculpting, and an exercise ball and a pair of light hand weights are ideal for use with these workouts. These are very inexpensive and can be found at discount stores.

Most people who are beginning a home workout routine will want to start slowly. Someone who is a reforming couch potato might not be able to exercise more than 10 minutes without becoming very winded. That's all right--the key is to gradually increase endurance. Even 15 minutes three times a week for a person who has been mostly sedentary is a great improvement. The goal should be to increase gradually to 30 minutes, three times a week, shooting for at least 30 minutes five to six times a week.

Many adults, especially the obese, will not want to think about a workout that includes a lot of jogging or jumping. So, they should look for workouts that are high-intensity, but low-impact. Low-impact means that one foot is on the ground at all times. They can also feel free to modify the workout to their needs. This is another reason that home workouts are popular. Many overweight people are very self-conscious and would rather work out in the privacy of their own homes. A good home workout will allow them to become healthier, and without being ashamed of how they look while exercising.

Exercisers should wear good athletic shoes. If there is a little extra money, one might want to consider getting a pair of dance sneakers. These shoes have a flexible sole and extra cushioning for dance moves. They are comparable in price with regular sneakers and can be found on the Internet.

Mostly, someone beginning a home workout should strive to make it a routine, and to find something he or she enjoys doing. Keeping an exercise log is not a bad idea, either, since seeing how much one has increased duration and frequency of the workouts can be a real motivator. The main thought to remember is that this is a positive thing to do and may help ward off poor health in the future.

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