The number of home fitness programs and gyms available to consumers is enormous. Each new guru or machine claims that they alone can help you become fit and trim in no time at all. Finding a great home fitness program is more about the fitness goals of the individual than it is about the ‘new science’ of the latest machines. There are many great home fitness programs available, and choosing the right one involves understanding two things. What are your goals, and how much time do you really have to spend? The answers to these questions will help guide consumers to a great home fitness program that they will use.
What are Your Goals?
Every person is different and each will have different goals. The same person will change his or her goals as the program progresses or as life changes occur. Determine short-term goals, such as wanting to lose 10 pounds by the holidays or gaining the ability to touch your toes by the end of the month. These goals can be easily achieved by participating in three days of aerobic activities for 30 minutes each day and some stretching exercises after each workout.
Determine mid-term goals, such as running a mile in 12 weeks or increasing muscle mass by 5%. These types of goals will require at least three days of more intense workouts, such as running progressively longer distances or lifting progressively more weight over the course of 12 weeks. Cross train with other aerobic activities to keep motivated as needed.
Set long-term goals to achieve in one year. Examples include running a marathon, swimming a mile, or any other challenge that will motivate continued participation in the program. These goals will require ongoing exercise programs that will change as endurance improves. One example is to begin running .5 miles the first week, and then add one mile each week to the distance of the run until you are capable of running 26.2 miles. Cross training with other aerobic activities, such as biking and swimming, will help keep the program interesting. Once these goals are set, it is time to compare fitness programs. Determine if your goals emphasize muscle tone and mass or overall fitness and endurance.
How Much Time to Spend
Consumers who are interested in overall fitness and endurance training may want to consider a home fitness program that doesn’t require a home gym. One example for an overall health program would be to run, bike, or swim for 20 minutes twice a week and do muscle building exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, and leg squats once a week. This program can be modified to target specific muscles with different exercises. Biking and running will increase leg strength while swimming will exercise the entire body. As fitness improves, lengthen each aerobic exercise and add one more day of muscle building and another day of aerobic activities. Don't forget at least one day of rest to allow the body to repair any minor damage.
Always check with a doctor or medical professional before beginning any new exercise program to ensure you are healthy enough to participate. Finding the right fitness program will help ensure the program is followed and modified as needed to help you work towards your long-term goals.