If the thought of getting showered and dressed to go to a health club or gym makes you pull the covers back over your head, take heart. Work out in the privacy of your own home. The price of a few pieces of equipment and good shoes is far less than the joining and monthly fees of a health club. You may not turn into a competitive weightlifter at home, but you can certainly shape up and drop extra pounds.
Go ahead and invest in a good pair of workout shoes. Check out Ryka if you are a woman and have had trouble finding shoes that fit. They design shoes exclusively for women. The right workout shoe will keep your joints while working out, even if performing low-impact moves. Comfortable and appropriate workout clothes should be worn and if they are a couple of years out of style, no one will notice. Drink water during your workouts and afterwards, but do not guzzle it down. If you are feeling out of breath, use the pause button and march in place for a minute or two until you feel ready to start again. Listen to your body and take a day off if you really feel too sore or are ill.
A good place to find workouts on DVD or vhs is your public library. This will let you try different styles and types without a big investment. Watch out for older videos though. Many of them contain moves that are now considered unsafe. Check out VideoFitness.com for hundreds of reviews from fellow home exercisers who made the effort to write up their opinions. Cardio is advertised usually as beginner, intermediate or advanced choreography. Many instructors make an effort at clear instruction and even demonstrate a simpler move in place of a more advanced one. Weightlifting videos are separated the same way, along with extra instructions when needed.
For equipment, you can check on the Internet or yellow pages for used sporting goods stores. If you are interested in step aerobics, you will need a full size bench with risers. Other equipment that you may need when starting out are resistance tubes or bands, two or three light sets of dumbbells and ankle weights. Later on, as you try new styles or advance in intensity, you may move to stability and medicine balls and even jump ropes. Ebay can be a great place to find used workout equipment or to add to your video library.
If you have a particular health problem or looking to begin a workout routine from a sedentary lifestyle, many alternatives exist for the home exerciser. There are videos that instruct in yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. They categorized their videos as beginner, intermediate or advanced. Look for highly recommended instructors, as they should be very explicit in the proper way to perform a move. You may even wish to find an instructor and pay for a couple of classes in order to learn some proper forms.
The most important part of your routine is to find one that will keep you exercising. Make the time and stick to it. Aim for three cardio sessions of at least 30 minutes in duration each week and twice a week for strength training. The more muscle mass you add to your body, the more calories you burn. Working with weights will also strengthen your bones and help you in everyday activities such as carrying groceries.