Who says you need to join the gym or go jogging to git fit? Here are five highly effective ways to get fit and shape up from the comfort of your own home.
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1. Get fighting fit - fast
You don't need to slog away for an hour each time to get fit. It has been proven that a short burst of exercise can significantly increase both cardiovascular and muscular fitness. If you're willing to up the intensity, working out for just 20 minutes, 3-4 times per week can get results.
If you're short on time, opt for an exercise DVD that's broken up into short segments. For example, with the Fit in 5 to 20 minutes DVD (16.54), you can choose to workout in 5, 10, 15 or 20 minute sessions. It features martial arts, combat-style workouts to get you fighting fit.
2. Have fun with an exercise game
Even if you don't usually participate in sport, you can enjoy the fun and thrill of competing with Nintendo's Wii Fit. There are active games you can play with the whole family, from dancing to tennis, as well as activities to do on your own, including yoga.
Nintendo's Wii Fit Plus costs £72.95 and comes with a balance board. Games cost around £25 each – but are good value when you compare the cost to hiring a personal trainer. If you like a boogie, try Dance Dance Revolution (around £40 with mat) or Just Dance (£25).
3. Celebrity fitness DVDs
Every January, a host of celebrities launch their "all-new" fitness DVD. If most celeb regimes are a bit too young and energetic for you, give Rosemary Conley's workouts a go. As one of the UK's leading diet and fitness expert, Rosemary has more than 33 years' experience of helping people lose weight and get fit. You can pick up Rosemary Conley's Fitness Triple Pack for just £10.66. It includes her Ultimate Body Workout, Five-Day Fat Burner and Fat Attack.
4. Exercise at your desk
If you spend most of your day sitting at the computer, think about getting a mini-cycle to use at your desk. You'll burn calories without even noticing! It takes up less space than an exercise bike, and thanks to its low profile, you can cycle without banging your knees on the desk. The DeskCycle costs £156 and is very quiet, which means you can use it on the phone or in a shared office. The monitor comes with a long cable and stand, allowing you to see the distance you've cycled.
5. Try skipping
If you've not used a skipping rope since your school, then now's the chance to discover what a great workout it can be. Skipping is cheap and easily portable - and can be done anywhere and at any time.
Just a few minutes' skipping training brings a whole range of health benefits, including heart and lung fitness, strong bones, balance and flexibility. Just 15 minutes of skipping can burn around 200 calories – of course, you don't need to do those 20 minutes in one go. Try skipping for 20-30 seconds, marching on the spot for 30 seconds, and then repeat. As your fitness improves, you can increase the time you skip for. The TurnerMAX Speed Rope Jump Skipping Rope costs just £2.99.