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Getting Fit Online

The magic of the internet brings fitness right to your home…sort of.

If classes or personal training aren’t your thing, but you still want to add a little variety to your workouts, there are millions of ideas available on the internet. Anything from workouts you can do in your living room, to routines that require nothing more than a flight of stairs, to new ideas to take with you to the gym, you can almost surely find it there.

Of course, the catch is that you have to actually get off your computer and do some of the exercises for them to work. Bookmarking them does not burn calories. And you have to be thoughtful about what exercises you actually do—many might pose safety risks for some individuals, and many might make you think you are working when in reality it’s not doing a thing.

So when you are evaluating an exercise, think to yourself: 1) is this risky? (i.e. is it going to put a strain on a joint, in any way endanger my neck or spine, or cause me to get in a position that could twist or sprain something); and 2) is it actually doing anything worthwhile (i.e. getting your heart rate up or working a major muscle group).

For example, there are lots of exercises on BodyBuilding.com. However, many of them require heavy weights or various jerky movements that would not be suited to everyone. If you are familiar with body building exercises already and just want some new ideas, that’s one thing. But a beginner (or even intermediate) exerciser should not just jump into these.

On the other hand, online magazines like Prevention.com have various exercises highlighted at various times, and they usually include reminders about warm-ups and modifications for the exercise to make it either easier or harder. Modifications are always a good sign for someone starting out that this exercise is manageable.

Many brand name workouts, like T-Tapp, off free exercise routines on their websites. So if there is a particular exercise you like, you may be able to find some routines for free.

Another thing that you can often find is videos as opposed to just articles. These can be hit and miss, and often don’t include a whole workout, but it’s so much easier to get a grasp of an exercise when you actually watch someone do it as opposed to reading an article and seeing a few photos. WorkoutsonDemand.com has a lot of videos that you can purchase, but they also have short video examples of various exercises you can pull from.

Lastly, motivation is always key. There are lots of motivating blogs and websites out there that can be very inspirational. Keep in mind, however, they only count as motivation if you actually get up and move after you finish reading.

These are all just ideas, and no where near an extensive list. Nor have I gone through and sampled everything on these sites, so take it with a grain of salt.

Obviously, if you have medical or health conditions, you should never start a workout yourself without consulting a doctor specifically about exercise. And doing things at home always pose the extra risk of not having someone at ready call should something happen.

So be smart, but don’t just think you are limited if you can’t afford a gym.

Cecilia Miner January 30, 2012 at 02:03 PM
My fave: www.sparkpeople.com Four-prong focus: nutrition, fitness, wellness, motivation Result: down 70 pounds since this time last year
Cherise Curby January 30, 2012 at 04:46 PM
That's awesome Cecilia--it's great if you can find a one-stop-shop with all the points of focus.
Jack Jones January 30, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I found very useful information here to help me get my sixpack http://www.quicksix-pack.com/

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