Indoor exercise

I’m rather clumsy. If an activity requires too much in the way of coordination, I generally can’t manage it. I was great at step aerobics, though. I also need to lose some weight. There’s a ballpark five minutes’ walk from my house with a walking track, but it’s so hot now (Louisiana in summer) that the only times one could reasonably walk out there are very early in the morning or nearly dark. I’ve been doing that, but I’m looking for something I could do in the house as well. Could anyone recommend some exercise tapes or DVDs that might be good for me?

I find exercise shows on cable. I started every morning with a show that worked out on a faaaabulous beach. They did aerobics and weights; both machines and free weights.

I bought my husband the Boflex adjustable weights. They’re really worth it, in my opinion. The stand doesn’t take up much space, and you have all the weights you need in one spot.

I used to jog in my (lower level) apartment. I didn’t have much in the way of furniture in the living room (a futon) and I had an 18-foot ‘track’. Every morning I’d put get the espresso ready and do up to 135 sit-ups (started with 30 and worked up), 30 push-ups, and 45 minutes of jogging back and forth while I listened to the stereo. A few minutes before I finished I’d jog over to the kitchen and turn on the espresso pot, and I’d have a nice cuppa joe when I was finished. Then off to the shower and to work. Sometimes I’d throw in 50 toe-touches (fingers to opposite toes, stretching backward on the upswing) and 40 reps with 22.5 pound handweights.

Then I got a computer…

I sympathize as one with the exact same issues as yours, Telperien.

I have a stationary bike in our living room. I can crank it up for as long as I need to and just pedal away while watching movies and listening to music. I hope to get back into running when I’ve lost enough weight, but for the time being, this works very well.

My sister dropped from a size 18/20 to a 12 doing nothing but stationary bike. I wish I had room for one!

I work out at home essentially running in place (picture Flashdance, without the sweatshirt :wink: ), light weights, and a little yoga. I have a small living room, on the second floor so I had to find the least noisy method I could, and for the running I basically just try to stay on the least creaky part of the living room floor, or at the top of my hall stairs.

Sounds lame, but I’ve lost 40lbs and gone from a size 16 to an 8. Exercise doesn’t have to involve a gym, or any machinery, or even a lot of space. You just have to keep moving!

Perhaps some good yoga or tai chi? I know that every book store I go into has a bunch of instructional DVDs for that stuff.

If your ceiling and your coordination allow it, maybe jumping rope? $5, can’t beat that. You can start as slow as you like and work up as fancy and fast as you like. If you can’t jump rope then even marching in place is good - you can find motivational routines to suit your taste on DVD.

Personally I throw in some concert DVDs (whatever gets your blood pumping, my tastes run towards AC/DC and Judas Priest but to each their own) and do pushups, various types of crunches, feet elevated dips using a chair and the coffee table, etc. That’s all free, too :slight_smile: You can work in some weight training for your arms and shoulders with just a simple set of dumbbells (if you are just starting, cans of soup or bottles of water are great substitutes, get a decent book on weight training for tips on specific exercises).

Thanks for the tips so far. I have never been able to jump rope, ever, not even when I was a little kid. I had been thinking of yoga since I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately. The most important thing to me besides losing weight is not hurting myself. I learned that lesson with Tae-Bo tapes years ago. (ouch) I already have small dumbbells that someone gave me so I can use those.

I guess I need to find an instructional video or two for a complete beginner. It’s been very helpful to know what you folks do in your own exercise routines.

I’d like to recommend a couple of fitness sites that can help you. The first is This is a catalog of hundreds of fitness videos that are rated for beginners, intermediates and advanced exercisers by people who actually follow the videos. They breakdown each video by minutes doing cardiovascular work, muscle toning work, flexibility,etc. The prices are reasonable and I’ll bet you’ll find videos by fitness experts you’ve never heard of. The second website is This website has several forums devoted to fitness and the members give advice, commiserate with each other and generally support each other’s efforts to get in shape. I hope these help.

Thanks, medstar. I’ll check out those links.

We do pilates. We have one with five ten minute ones, and do a couple at a time. Although we’ve been walking since we moved, as we don’t have a TV in the living room yet.

The biggest change you can make for yourself when it comes to your waist size is not how many calories you burn, but how many you take in.

If you want nice abs to go with the reduced waist, you’ll need to throw in training for that too of course (squats and weighted situps are good). There’s no aesthetic benefit to doing crunches if you can’t see your abs to begin with.

Do you have Netflix? Because if you find a video from one of those other links, check and see if Netflix has it. Then try it out before you buy it. (I suppose you could also check your local video store or library too. Anyway, that way you can try before you buy.)

That’s how I decided to buy Kathy Smith’s Lift Weights to Lose Weight, because I gave it a try through Netflix to see if I liked it.

I wouldn’t rule out walking to the track in the heat so offhandedly.

Sure, you gotta be on the watch for heat stroke and dehydration and hyponatremia, but it’s not like one minute you’re alive and the next second you’re dead. It’s only 5 minutes away, and you’re walking.

Embrace the sweat.

Have you heard of interval training? The DVD I do is, for 1 minute you jog on the spot, do star jumps, skipping (you don’t need a rope, making the arm movements will do the same thing) just anything to get your heart rate pumped this will help burn fat then immediately after the minute going into aerobics, after 3 sets of aerobics is another minute of intense fat burn (jogging…) and then back to aerobics and then after another minute of fat burning and so forth.

It’s a sign of a good workout if you get a little puffed, not so much that you can’t talk but enough that you couldn’t necessarily sing a song.

Also cardio box is a lot of fun.

I’m in the UK so I don’t think you will be able to do the one I do.

My advice is go onto and search for fitness DVDs, you get the information and also user reviews.

After the fat burning I also do Pilates to muscle define.

half hour of interval training half hour of pilates works well.

Um… so that means you’re topless, right?

I’m not ruling it out, just looking for other activities besides that.

I’m not sure how your interval training compares to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), but HIIT is considered the most effective cardiovascular exercises. After properly doing an HIIT session (15 minutes tops), you should be absolutely breathless, and possibly puking the first couple times. HIIT is intended for people who are already in shape in the first place. A quick google search will bring up lots of material, but the idea is that you alternate sprinting at your absolute maximum with walking or slow jogging at 30 second intervals.

There is a series called **Walk Away The Pounds ** that I used a few years ago. It’s very popular, and I think I got it at . It’s essentially marching in place, some side-to-side steps, but to music. You follow class and instructor’s movements. It’s a good one for the coordination-challenged, and it’s a good workout.

I came in to recommend this. I’m definitely not on the graceful end of the spectrum, and they’re easy, even for me.

The one problem I have with this video series is that I get bored. However, I’ve solved the problem by using books on tape. Once I’ve seen one of the videos a couple of times, I can follow along without hearing the peppy talk, so I mute the TV and turn on a recorded book. Works a treat.