By Megan Gates

The holidays are right around the corner and for some of us that means we loose the desire to work out. After a long day at the office, it’s often tough to get to the  gym and then have to wait to get on a treadmill.  Even though there are fewer sunny, warm days to motivate us to run or bike, below are a few workout ideas that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

1) Workout DVDS:   If you are a busy working mom (or dad, I suppose!), pick a couple nights aweek to get together with a few friends. Find the style of  workout video the interests you most; i.e. Zumba, theWii fitness games, and even belly dancing are fun, yet make you sweat!  After you’ve gotten a good work out in don’t forget to eat a healthy meal. In the winter we tend to snack a lot more, and not eat as healthy.  The key to staying in great shape is to eat the right foods. Warm hearty foods like soups, root vegetables and whole grains (and chicken/meat/fish) are grounding and can help keep our core warm and nurished during the cold winter months.

2) Yoga/Pilates:  Take some time to balance your life by finding a quite place in your home to stretch and practice yoga. Carve out one day a week or if you can’t find the time for that, a few times a month to center yourself.  There are all sorts of resources on yoga; check on the internet, go to the bookstore, buy a dvd, whichever your preferred method to search for information.

3) Indoor Spinning:  If you already have a stationary bike or a workout bike then all you need to do is hop on that seat!  If you don’t already have an exercise bike you can turn your mountain/road bike into one.  Simply purchase an indoor trainer for your bike, mount the bike on the trainer and whallah, you are ready to begin your own spinning class at home.  A workout of 30 minutes is always a good place to start.

4) Eliiptical/Treadmill:  Running on your own elliptical or treadmill is quite simple, you can even multi-task. While running or walking; read a book, study for a test, listen to your ipod or catch up on the news. Gradually increase the resistance,  the incline and riding time to up the anty.

5) Circuit Training:  Circuit training has become more popular in the last few years. Circuits are a great way to keep your body tight and in shape if you are strapped for time and just don’t have an hour or two to go to the gym. This style of training can help increase mobility, flexibility, strength and can tone your overall muscles in as short as 5 mins. Alternate between different circuits  depending on how you feel and what your body is asking for and can handle.  An average time for any given circuit is 5 to 10 minutes.

I’ve picked out a couple websites that show a some great circuit routines.

Ab Circuit http://www.circuittrainingexercise.com/abdominal/abs-a-upper-body-workout-on-fitness-ball-training-w-tammy.html
Cardio Circuit  http://www.circuittrainingexercise.com/cardio/
Exercise Ball Circuit http://www.circuittrainingexercise.com/exercise-ball/ten-minute-workout-with-fitness-ball.html
Resistant Band Circuit http://www.circuittrainingexercise.com/resistance-bands/
Various Circuits http://www.circuittrainingexercise.com/various/

Megan Gates is an outreach representative for Gym Source (gymsource.com) – a leading retailer of home gyms and various other exercise and fitness equipment.  Megan contributes written work to the blogosphere related to health and fitness.

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