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Ways to Work Out at Home

written by: Donna Clarke • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 9/28/2009

With the responsibilities facing us nowadays, exercising and our personal fitness goals seem to be getting shoved to the bottom of the list. It doesn't have to be that way. Filled with unique ways to get fit, this article puts the focus on fun while exercising, all in the comfort of your own home.

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    There just doesn't seem to be enough time...

    Let's face it, with the schedules we keep nowadays, it's hard enough squeezing in time for the necessities like laundry, meal preparation, food shopping and basic housekeeping. More and more, our own time for fitness takes a back seat to driving the kids to soccer practice, picking up the dry cleaning, or solving the latest crisis at work. By the time our responsibilities have been met, the kids are asleep, dishes washed and work crisis averted, we are just too tired, or it's simply too late to go for that jog, drive to the gym, or take laps at the local pool.

    And yet, it is not nearly as impossible to get a good workout at home as it once was. All it takes is a little ingenuity, some stick-to-it-tiveness and a smile!

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    Working out doesn't have to mean going out...

    Working Out on the Stairs

    Did you ever take the time to count how many steps you have in your home? Carrying up laundry over several trips instead of using the laundry basket will offer a nice workout for your heart and lungs! Use care to not go too fast and always begin slowly with one set of five or ten times up and down.

    Don't have a lot of steps? All you need is one! You can use the bottom step in place of a stair stepper. Beginning with the right foot, step up and down repeatedly to your favorite CD. Alternate right foot, left foot, solely right foot, then left and then mix it up a bit! Step with lunges, side steps and step into squats for a more intense workout. Be sure to keep your arms involved as well! Simply move them straight out in front of you as you step up and bring them back down to your sides when you step down again.

    Working Out With Your Pet

    Perhaps exercising on steps is not for you? No problem! Take your dog for a nice brisk evening walk and relieve some of the day's stresses while getting a great cardio workout. It's easy! Grab your iPod or favorite CD and your headphones, call the pooch and get moving. Walk to the beat and sing along, too. It's a great workout...and it's fun!

    Don't have a dog? Try this option: when the meal is finished and dishes washed, don't just sit on the sofa. Put on some music and get on your feet! Dance, dance, dance! It's fun, great for your stamina and fabulous entertainment for the entire family. Remember to keep those knees up and keep your arms moving.

    Free Music for the Home Workout

    Need to take the kids to the library? Why not renew your own library card and rent a book on tape to listen to while you exercise your legs with lifts, splits and squats. Begin with one set of ten and then build every few days by five. You'll be able to firm your body, while you catch up on that reading you always wanted to do! You can mix it up a bit by renting some exercise DVDs at the library while you are there. Rotate each time you go between available styles of workout DVD. Not only will you enjoy the variety, but your body will, too!

    Got just a few minutes at the beginning of each day and want to get started with exercise? Try picking up some hand weights. Mix up your routine between cardio/aerobic and weight/strengthening. Start with one set of ten crunches and slowly build from there every few days. Take it slowly and enjoy the results. Don't have weights? No problem, use two water bottles, instead.

    Looking for a more calming form of exercise, and really don't like to sweat? Try some yoga exercises with soothing music to tone and relieve the anxiety and stresses of the day, all while strengthening your muscles.

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    The reality of exercise

    The reality of exercising is that if one type of exercise worked to satisfy the needs of all human beings we wouldn't have all those infomercials! The way to develop a positive exercise regimen is to understand how your body works and how much time you are willing to dedicate to personal fitness. Set a realistic goal for yourself and stick to it! More importantly, just as you maintain your car with tune ups, oil changes and gasoline, maintain your body with proper diet, stress management and sleep - whenever possible!

    Just remember, home exercise and fitness is as easy as 1 2 3!

    1 Always keep a realistic fitness expectation.

    2 Remember the importance of keeping variety in your workouts. It keeps it interesting, and fun!

    3 Have patience and soon you will see the fabulous change of increased stamina, energy and overall improved body health...

    From there, just keep going!