Home workouts have come a long way from the days of pumping iron in a dank basement corner, or keeping up with the cast of the "20-Minute Workout." The market is full of fitness equipment, clothing, and DVDs to help you achieve a fitter, slimmer body – in the comfort of your own home.
Consider the following home workout tips:
Keep your eyes on the prize
Establish your fitness objectives: Do you want to lift weights, do cardio, or both? Do you want to include yoga, Pilates, or tai chi in your routine? Perhaps you'd like to do a bit of everything?
Begin with exercise activities you know, like, and can afford and gradually add new and more challenging activities to your routine.
Location, location, location
Pick a spot in your home that's furniture-free and big enough to accommodate tall and bulky exercise equipment such as a universal weight-training machine, treadmill, or free weights. Basements are ideal exercise zones because they insulate the sounds (and smells!) of your workout.
Get the right gear
For heavy-duty exercise machines, comparison shop at different fitness stores or online. If you're on a tight budget, purchase one machine and complement your workout with do-it-yourself aerobics such as jumping jacks and invisible rope skipping as well as weight-bearing exercises such as push-ups and lunges.
Browse the aisles or websites of book retailers or fitness stores for suitable workout DVDs.
Choose comfortable, well-fitting workout clothes and running shoes, and any extra desired gear, such as a yoga mat, pedometer, or sweat bands.
Set the stage
If possible, install bright lights and mirrors on one or more walls to monitor your progress and to help you assess your form when doing exercises.
Use sufficient air conditioning or oscillating fans to keep the room cool and moisture-free.
Protect your flooring against the strain of machinery and heavy weights by installing thick, sturdy rubber mats.
Consider installing a TV to follow workout videos, or to minimize monotony when using cardio machines.
Go the distance
Fitness experts say that to lose weight, you should exercise for 45 minutes to an hour, 4 to 5 times a week. Diversify your workout to help you maintain momentum: mix up your cardio exercise with skipping and kickboxing moves; break up weightlifting time with abdominal crunches, push-ups, and movements on a core board (a three-dimensional muscle-strengthening device); and invite a friend to exercise with you.
Challenge yourself with increasingly longer and more intense workouts. If you stick with it, eventually the pounds will melt away to reveal a slimmer you.
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