Cardio Workouts on a Budget
Have you got a television set and a VCR? That's all you need to get a cardio workout at home! Just start off
with a couple of exercise videos (it's best to have at least a couple for variety) and for somewhere between 20 and 40
dollars you are good to go! You don't have to know how to dance - Leslie Sansone
offers some very basic, but heart-pumping videos. Her In-Home Walking
tape is a great place to start if you've never exercised before. Two-Mile Walk
is longer and gives you a great cardio workout. Richard Simmons
is another good beginner's pick. If you'd like to learn some aerobic moves, there are many great videos to get you started.
One of the best is Gay Gasper's Fat Burning Workout For Dummies,
which teaches you ten basic aerobic moves. Kathy Smith
has many great, easy-to-learn videos - one of the best is Functionally Fit: Peak Fat Burning,
which combines fat-burning aerobics with lower body toning. TimeSaver Cardio Fat Burner
is another good video from Kathy - it has two 20-minute aerobic workouts. If you really want to get dancing, then
and Petra Kobler
will give you challenging moves and a good reason to sweat! Try Donna's Donna-Mite
or Petra's Reebok Rhythmic Power - both are fun if you like footwork!
Moderately-Priced Cardio Choices
Got a little more money to spend? Invest it wisely by buying an aerobic step
and a set of dumbbells.
Expect to spend a hundred bucks on the step and between 50 and 80 bucks on the weights if you buy these brand new (assuming you get one step
and a set of light weights - say, 3, 5, 8 and 10 pounds for a beginning woman exerciser). You can also save some money by buying these items used at a garage sale or through
You can use the dumbbells for some of the best aerobic videos around - The Firm series. Videos like Total Body: Maximum Body Shaping
are challenging and incredibly popular, and even older tapes in the series, such as Time Crunch Workout
still kick serious butt. The Firm videos get you serious results. Denise Austin
also has some good toning videos that combine weights and cardio. The aerobic step will take your cardio workouts to the next
level, especially if you like choreography. If you're new to stepping, the basic video that comes with the step will probably
leave you breathless, but keep at it and soon you'll be able to graduate to something more fun like Crunch Fat Blaster: The Next Step
or Petra Kobler's Reebok Step, Rhythm and Moves -
or maybe something really challenging like Reebok Intense Moves
with Gin Miller. Its basic steps belie just how incredibly intense it is - this one's a video for experienced steppers!
Big Spenders - Here's the Cardio for You!
Variety is the spice of working out - it keeps both body and mind challenged - and you should change up your routine
frequently. Do the aerobic videos one day, go for a walk or run the next, slip a step tape into the VCR another day. If you're
a gym member you also have access to a variety of cardio machines - treadmills, stair steppers, stationary bikes and elliptical machines.
If you've got the money, you can buy one or more of these machines to use in the privacy of your own home. Expect to spend
at least 800 dollars or more for a quality machine, and don't even look at anything less. Cheap machines are usually more difficult to
master, don't work as well and aren't as fun to use as the higher-priced models. You get less options and they're more likely
to be shunted into a closet (after all, the more money you spend on a machine, the more likely you're going to use it - you want to get
your money's worth, right?). Smooth Fitness
carries a variety of treadmills and ellipticals, and while they're not cheap, they're sold factory direct, so you're actually
getting them for less than you would elsewhere. Body Trends
carries name brand treadmills
and elliptical trainers,
along with stair steppers
and exercise cycles, both upright
and recumbent -
just like the equipment you'd find at a big fitness center. Invest in these machines, if you can afford to - it's an investment in your health!
So that's it - cardio fitness for any budget. Just remember - the best way to burn fat and keep your heart healthy is to
use the tools you purchase on a regular basis. You need at least 30 minutes of sweat-inducing exercise three to five times a
week to stay healthy. For optimum fitness, exercise for an hour five times a week and add strength training to your cardio routine.
Work with your body and it'll work for you - for a long, long time to come.