I’ve been a proponent of working out at home for quite awhile. There is no need to bundle up, get in the car, and head to the gym when you exercise in your living room. In addition, most home workout equipment, such as exercise DVDs, is inexpensive and lasts for quite awhile, so working out at home can be quite a cost-saver.
My preferred home workout consists of following along to a DVD for 45 minutes before work, most days of the week. Over the years, I’ve acquired quite a few workout DVDs, and I thought I would share three of my favorites (including two recent finds that happen to be a nice change from my standard “dance off the pounds” videos).
Dancing with the Stars Latin Cardio Dance
I pop in this DVD whenever I feel like doing a low-intensity dance workout. The DVD consists of a short warm-up followed by four, 10-minute routines choreographed to merengue, cha-cha, samba, and mambo dance moves. The routines are easy to follow and combine light cardio with core toning exercises. At the end of the four routines, there is also an optional “Dancer’s Toning Workout” that features toning moves used by the Dancing with the Stars pros to train their celebrity counterparts.
Jillian Michaels Kickbox FastFix
I’ve recently gotten into kickboxing, which combines fast and controlled movements in both the upper and lower body. Basically, you punch and kick your way to a more toned body. This DVD consists of three, 20-minute routines that target the upper body, lower body, and abs, respectively, although each routine contains exercises that tone all three areas. I’ve had friends who claim that Michaels’ other DVDs are brutal and often a challenge to complete, but I don’t feel this way about her kickboxing program. It’s easy to follow, and she offers lots of opportunities for adapting moves that might seem too difficult. Unlike other DVDs that seem easy, I feel like I am getting a full-body workout by toning all the major muscle groups while burning a lot of calories at the same time.
10-Minute Solution High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, incorporates two of the most effective fat-burning methods – working out at a high intensity and alternating between high and low intensity exercises – to help you burn major calories in a short amount of time. This DVD contains five, 10-minute workouts that each include eight different high intensity exercises. The exercises are performed for 20 seconds at a time, twice, with a 10-second rest in between. Each workout has a different theme: HIIT 101 serves as a good intro to high-intensity training by incorporating a variety of exercises to work the whole body; HIIT explosion consists mainly of jumping, or plyometric exercises; and Ab HIIT, Upper Body HIIT, and Rock Bottom HIIT are pretty self-explanatory in terms of which muscle groups they target. I normally perform 3 at a time and feel like I’m burning more calories in those 30 minutes than I am with most other 45- or 60-minute workouts.
These DVDs can be found at Target or online, and they cost between $10-15. When choosing a DVD, find one that fits your exercise level, interests, and schedule; many DVDs contain exercises for both novice and expert participants and can be broken up into several short workouts when time becomes an issue. If you have a favorite exercise DVD, feel free to share it in the Comments section.