8 Helpful Hints for Home Video Workouts

Exercise DVDs and videos offer alternatives, but keep these tips in mind before you begin.

By Lani Boyer

Not sure if you want to brave the gym yet, or ever? With a wide variety of workouts now available on DVD, you can save time and money by getting fit and burning calories in the privacy of your own home. Before you get started, check out these useful tips:

1. Shop around. Before trying a workout video or DVD, read the description to make sure it’s the appropriate fitness level and length for you, and that you already have or don’t mind buying any necessary equipment. If you want to “try before you buy,” check your local library or video store to see if they carry exercise videos. You can find dumbbells, aerobic steps, and other workout equipment in most sporting goods stores.

2. Clear the area. Make sure you have enough space (you might have to move some furniture) to move around without kicking anything. Be extra careful if you’re trying out a video for the first time — you need to have enough room for any unfamiliar moves.

3. Be prepared. Get your water bottle, tissues, and any workout equipment you need assembled before you start the workout, so you don’t have to stop and get something.

4. Watch out for kids and pets. If you have pets or young children, make sure they are safely out of the way. Having a cat batting your ankles during yoga is not the best path to peace of mind!

5. Stay focused. Keep a notepad and pen handy so that if you think of something distracting during your workout, like an errand you have to do, you can just write it down and continue with your routine. This will help you concentrate on the workout.

6. Mix it up. Variety is the spice of life, so if you enjoy working out at home, you can slowly accumulate more workout videos to prevent boredom. Even if you absolutely love one routine, you should still try to have at least two workouts you can alternate, to prevent overuse injuries.

7. Don’t get too eager. If the workout includes instructions on proper form, watch it before doing the workout for the first time. Unlike working out at the gym, you won’t have an instructor checking your form, so you need to make sure you’re doing moves correctly.

8. Have fun. Smile, and remember: You’re going to feel great after the workout! When you’re done, treat yourself to a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit or handful of nuts, and give yourself a hug for finishing. You’re taking care of yourself on your own terms. As you do more workouts, you will start to feel and see results, which is the best possible motivation!

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