When it comes to getting healthy, weight loss is often portrayed as the most important goal. Theres no denying that losing weight can improve cardiovascular health, help to stabilize blood sugar and reduce stress on your joints, but its possible to reach your ideal number on the scale and still be unhealthy if exercise isnt part of your lifestyle.
Does that mean you have to hit the gym every day? You may find the answer surprisingly refreshing.
These days, all you need to get a good workout is a smartphone, tablet or computer and a good Wi-Fi connection. Your TV and DVD player are also ideal equipment.
Between free online workout websites, subscription services, YouTube channels and DVDs, there are literally thousands of workout videos ready to go when you are.
I post a lot of my workout routines on Instagram @VannaBeltWorkouts to give you some good ideas. There is a good mix of routines for the gym or an at home workout!
Choose bodyweight workouts to start getting fit without any equipment at all. Take your regimen to another level with light hand weights, a jump rope, resistance bands or kettlebells.
The best part about using videos to work out at home is that your workout time is just that. Theres no extra time wasted driving to the gym or waiting to use equipment. Once you get in your routine, youre done and can move on with the rest of the day.
GETTING FIT ON THE GO
You still have plenty of workout options when youre not at home. On vacation, you can go biking, hiking, walking, running or swimming, or you may try something adventurous such as white water rafting.
If your job sends you on the road, take advantage of hotel fitness centers, or work out right in your room by using the Wi-Fi to stream the same videos you use at home.
Even tasks you dont think of as exercise contribute to your activity level and can help improve fitness.
Doing housework or yardwork, washing the car and gardening all burn a few extra calories and work muscles that dont get used when youre sitting on the couch.
Add more activity by getting outside to play with the kids or volunteering to help with active projects in your community.
DO YOU NEED THE GYM?
If youve tried home fitness regimens but just cant seem to stick with them, heading to the gym may be a better option for you. The structure offered by classes and the accountability involved in working out with a group can help to keep you motivated.
You may also prefer the gym if your home environment is crowded with kids and pets or you simply dont have a lot of space. For serious training such as power lifting, only a gym will have the equipment that you need.
For most people, though, a gym membership isnt necessary. You can get fit in your living room, outside or at the local park as long as you establish a regular routine, stick with it and increase intensity over time.
For at home and in-the-gym workout ideas follow me @VannaBeltWorkouts!