No Gym? No Problem

No Gym? No Problem

Perhaps you, like myself, are one of the millions of Americans eager to get in shape for the New Year. Perhaps you, like myself, also probably can’t muster up the often times exorbitant membership fees for the local gyms. But there is a solution.

While working at Lady Footlocker in high school I discovered the thrills of workout videos. Now, with student loans to repay, I’ve rediscovered that thrill after a recent trip to retailer Target.

If you want to work out but can’t afford the gym or can’t fit it into your schedule, consider workout videos. You may be able to find them at your local video rental store or library (and if a particular branch doesn’t carry the video you’re looking it can request if from another location). You can also check out athletic stores like Footlocker of Foot Action who may offer discounts and coupons you can use when making your purchase.

Find the right video. Check out the customer review sections at and other retailers’ Web sites. and Amazon are my favorite sites when browsing for most items because of the usually large number of customer feedback.

Switch up your workout routine to exercise different muscles and prevent boredom. Try experimenting a bit. If you’ve been anxious to test out the pilates or yoga there a plenty videos to choose from. If you’d really like to try something new try looking into a belly dancing DVD. Make the workout fun by including friends, spouses or children. If you’d like a more intense workout check out a Tae Bo video. Or if you can no longer stand the redundancy, look into utilizing resources that are around the house. If you have stairs in your home or apartment building make a workout playlist to get you going and jog up the stairs in set intervals. I started out doing three 10-minute sets and worked my way up to 13 minutes. Don’t forget to stretch properly before and after the exercise.

There are many household items you can use that can potentially yield the same results as a full on gym membership or weight loss program. You can use canned food as light weights and chairs for triceps dips.

For fun activities that may be good for the entire family, consider a Nintendo Wii. The extra games such as Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Fit, or tennis will keep you off the couch and offer a fun virtual workout.

As I wrote in my column, be sure to check with your physician before starting any fitness program.