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A Beginner's Guide to Exercise at Home

Updated on November 29, 2011

Everyone wants to get fit. But it's too hard, right? Gyms are too expensive, exercise is too boring. What if you could get a gym quality workout and train with world class fitness experts right in your living room?

Exercising at home is the cheapest, most convenient way to get fit. You can roll out of bed and get some cardio in before you start your day. Or ease your way to sleep with a little yoga.

Isn't it expensive?

Not really. You can exercise with no equipment at all. Pop in a CD and jog or do jumping jacks or push ups. However, this will probably get boring rather quickly. Having a few pieces of inexpensive equipment will spice things up and challenge you so you keep seeing results.

Here are a few items I recommend:

  1. A few pairs of dumbbells. I use 3, 5 and 8 pounds.
  2. A yoga sticky mat.
  3. A step.
  4. An exercise ball.
  5. A few exercise DVDs.

Of the five on the list, the most important is the DVD. With a few good DVDs, you can learn what to do with the other four.

There are so many different types of exercise, there really is something for just about everyone. You can belly dance, step or zumba your way slim. Try a hard-core weightlifting DVD and feel like a warrior. Or pop in a Pilate's and work your core.

Choosing a DVD can be a mindboggling experience. There are thousands to choose from. And yes, they are only around $20.00, but you don't want to waste $20.00, right? You should have an idea of what your workout is going to be like before you shell out the cash.

Before You Buy

Check out the library. At most libraries, you can order DVDs from other branches. So order a few that you are interested in and give them a try. You may get sick of them by the end of the lending period, or you may find one you really like and decide to buy it. Either way its free to try.

Read reviews. Look on or and read what others have to say.

View video clips. Take a quick peek to see what kinds of exercises you will be doing and if you like the instructor. Try or

Ask friends for recommendations or to borrow their copy of their favorites.

A few of my personal favorites:

If You Ask Me

Personally, I like exercise DVDs with basic but intense moves (push ups and jumping jacks, for example) and not a lot of challenging choreography. I frustrate easily. A good workout is a little bit harder than what I can do so I have something to work up to. Muscle failure is a good thing. Too easy is boring, too hard is frustrating.

Look for instructors you like. I like a friendly and knowledgeable instructor who explains moves thoroughly. Ones who are motivating, but not annoying about it. No woo-hoos or yee-haws. My current favorites are Kathy Smith, Michelle Dozois and Sara Ivanhoe.

But That's Not All

Of course, you can just look right here on the internet for good quality exercise videos. Here are a few of my favorite fitness websites:

  • www.sparkpeople.comThis 100% free website features a bunch of 5-10 minute workouts for all parts of the body using all kinds of equiptment. There are also three 10 minute cardio workouts. Do all three in a row for an intense workout using no equiptment at all.
  • has a wealth of videos on this subject. Here are a few gems I have found:

A whole series of 5-10 minute yoga videos.

Challenging pilates done to pop music. Fun!

And Last But Not Least...

 Wii's My Fitness Coach is my favorite item I have ever bought for my home gym. If you happen to have a Nintendo Wii, it is one of the cheapest games available. The variety is endless with over 400 exercises you unlock as you play. It includes cardio, strength and yoga. Each time you work out with Maia, she gives you different exercises. You can pick your focus for each workout (core or legs for example). And it monitors your progress. If a workout feels easy, click on "no sweat" and it bumps up the intensity so you stay challenged.

I tend to get bored easily by exercise DVDs, which is why I have a large collection. But this game has kept me interested for six months now, doing it two or three times a week. I highly recommend it if you can do high impact aerobics.

 So there you have it. This should be enough to get you started on a fitness plan. Exercising at home is convenient, inexpensive and fun. So no more excuses! Get to it!


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    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Yes, i love youtube for that.

    • RandomActs profile image

      RandomActs 7 years ago

      yah, youtube is a great source in finding exercise videos and following what they do. You can practically get a good workout for free. Nice hub

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for reading and commenting Eileen.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Well written with great ideas for those trying to exercise at home and you make it so simple. thanks for sharing

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Sure habee! Thanks for your comment!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for your comment prasetio30.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great tips! Could you come over and coach me?? lol

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Great information. I have to follow your step to make healthy body. I think with this video we can moving our body to get sweat.