9 Ways to Engage in Fitness at Home That Are Fun ...

Whether the weather is cold outside or you are just anti-social when it comes to exercising, engaging in fitness at home can be a godsend. For me, it is usually a combination of the two. I love running in the cold, but it is constantly raining here in Wales so I usually have to find something to do indoors. As for gyms? Call me impatient, but I don't like waiting for equipment to be free. Fortunately, fitness at home can be just as enjoyable, and you still see all the benefits.

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Fitness at home doesn't get much better than this. I have fallen in love with yoga this year more than any other year. Before I put myself through a 30-day yoga challenge, I wasn't really that sold on it as an exercise. However, I have since learned how different twists and stretches can energize, get my abdominal organs pumping, and de-stress me. Get started with some YouTube videos or books, and before you know it you will be able to guide yourself through some moves.

2. Kettlebell

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Kettlebell workouts are mainly strength building, however, they still burn more calories per minute than most other workouts. I have found that some of the moves just aren't worth it, such as the ones that see the kettlebell bang into my wrist joints. Kettlebell swings however, feel amazing and they are great for your abs.

3. Ballet

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Always wanted to do ballet when you were younger but never did? Well you ain't going to be starring in Swan Lake anytime soon, but you can see all the benefits of the stretches from your front room. YouTube is full of ballet videos. There is some beginner classes for adults, so see how you get along with them. Before you know it, you really will have thighs of steel.

4. Belly Dancing

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Belly dancing is one of those few exercise classes that seem to favor all body types. All of that jiggling and writhing doesn't look as though it's up to much. Trust me, do one class and you will ache like you've put yourself through a triathlon. Before you start belly dancing, make sure you give yourself a good stretch. I have sometimes found that the online classes I use aren't that great on the warm up and cool down front.

5. Kickboxing

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When you are feeling aggressive, kickboxing is a great way to take out your anger. Although yoga is great for de-stressing, there is no denying that a lot of us could just do with a good thrash every so often instead. Cardio kick is an approach that speaks for itself: it has cardio thrown in. However, aside from HIIT, I am not hot on the whole 'let's change what we're doing every 10 seconds' approach. Kickboxing alone is great. Do pay close attention to what the DVD/online instructor tells you, as they give a lot of great information on not damaging your knees.

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While we're on a breathlessness-inducing roll, there is HIIT. Otherwise known as High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT moves you between high intensity bursts of cardio and rest periods/calm exercise. One of the most famous HIIT programs is 'Insanity'. If you don't want to pay for insanity, seek out free videos on YouTube. HIIT is exhausting, but it is brilliant at lowering blood sugar and triglyceride levels.

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Okay, I haven't actually given this one a go properly, however, my mother swears by it. She uses Zumba on her Wii, sometimes for hours at a time. I am probably going to stick to belly dancing. However, I can see how Zumba is fun.

8. Treadmill

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I have a manual treadmill under my stairs. Sometimes I feel as though I would love to go for a walk or a run, but I am too busy or the weather is looking a bit biblical. I also enjoy watching A LOT of TV and movies. Cue the treadmill: it allows me to multitask. I picked mine up from eBay, so I didn't have to spend a lot on it.

9. Exercise Games

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If you own a Wii or an X-Box, you can get stuck into exercise games. I tend to deviate from this a little and try games like Just Dance instead. When I do stick to my exercise games, I enjoy seeing my avatar reach measurable goals. Usually these games tell you how effective your moves are. It really makes you pay attention to your body, which in turn prevents injuries.

Okay, so exercising at home is not only fun, it saves a lot of money. Realistically, most of us just let our gym memberships go on without visiting it on a regular basis. YouTube is a great source of free videos, and there are so many out there you should never get bored of your routine again. If you engage in home based fitness, what is it that works for you?

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