Get fitter fast

How many people made New Year's resolutions to take more exercise, and how many people joined a gym with the best intentions? Now, three months later, how many people are still going to the gym and following their exercise plans? Not quite as many, I'm betting. Don't feel bad though! It's not easy to stick to an exercise regime - it does require willpower and enthusiasm. But since summer is approaching, maybe it's time to get back in the exercise bike's saddle. Check out the most popular searches in fitness and health for some ideas to get you started.

If you haven't already joined a gym, it might be a good place to start. You get access to a variety of exercise machines, personal training and advice if you need it and maybe even a swimming pool. The most popular gyms are Virgin Active, LA Fitness, David Lloyd and Fitness First. Now is a good time to get a membership as many gyms are offering spring discounts and offers on fees. Not everyone can afford gym memberships, but that doesn't mean that you can't use gym facilities. Most gyms will allow you to attend exercise classes such as yoga, pilates, aerobics and spinning, without being a member (of course you will have to pay per session).

Maybe the gym isn't for you. In that case, using home gym equipment is a good alternative. You can easily buy scaled down versions of the machines you find in gyms such as rowing machines, exercise bikes and elliptical trainers that are just as effective as long as you use them correctly. These machines should be able to offer you good resistance training, as well as cardio workouts. The treadmills and crosstrainers used in gyms tend to cost a few thousand pounds each but it's easy to find cheaper versions at shops such as Argos. They may not have all the functionality of the gym ones but they will still make you get a sweat on! You can also search for second hand and used fitness equipment.

For toning and weight training exercises, dumbells and barbells are widely available, and if you're going to be bench pressing, you will also require a weights bench. Many people find that supplementing their weight training with fitness products such as protein supplements and creatine is effective. However, always check with your doctor before taking these kind of supplements in case they're not right for you. To tone up your abs, you need to do lots of situps. To help you with your workout there is a great variety of abdominal exercise equipment available such as the Roman Chair and resistance bands.

Exercise balls have increased in popularity recently due to their simplicity and low price. It's basically a big ball that you can use in different exercises to train the core muscles - the abdominal back muscles. You can find them easily online and also plenty of exercise ball workout plans to show you how to use them.
Another excellent piece of home exercise equipment is the humble skipping rope. They're not just for kids! If you have the space to use one, they're cheap and effective for cardio exercise and building stamina - why do you think boxers use them?

Speaking of boxing, it's an excellent way to add some variation to your exercise routine. You don't have to spar with other people - you can just get some boxing gloves and a punch bag and take out some aggression on it. If you find that you want to go further than this, there are kickboxing, martial arts and boxing classes taking place all over the country. It's a really popular way to exercise and it can also be a lot of fun!

Exercising at home can often be scuppered through lack of motivation. It can be really tough keeping up your exercise plan alone. If you workout with other people then that's brilliant - you can spur each other on. If not then maybe an exercise DVD would help? This way you have an instructor right there in your home to tell you what to do and encourage you to keep going. Yoga DVDs, pilates DVDs, aerobic workout and celebrity exercise DVDs - there are so many different types of DVDs that you're bound to find one to suit.

Are you a gym bunny or home-exerciser? Have you let your good intentions lapse or are you regularly pumping iron? Leave a comment and share your exercise anecdotes.

Top fitness searches:
  1. Exercise plans
  2. Abdominal workouts
  3. Exercise equipment
  4. Treadmills
  5. Exercise DVDs
  6. Weight training
  7. Cardio workouts
  8. Fitness machines
  9. Resistance bands
  10. Exercise classes