7 At-Home Workouts That Are Better Than the Gym

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Work Out at Home to Lose Weight

at home workouts to burn fat
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If you're trying to get in shape or lose weight with exercise you need to be prepared for at home workouts. Gym workouts and outdoor exercise sessions are great, but they are not always convenient. There are days when the weather is bad, your kids are home sick, or home chores get in the way. Your weight loss program will suffer if you can't work out at home.

So how do you burn calories and blast fat when you're stuck indoors? Some exercisers use online workouts to blast calories. You might even have a good workout DVD that keeps you motivated. But there are a few other ways to get fit and have fun in the privacy and comfort of your living room.  

These home workouts are perfect for exercisers of all levels. They are especially good for beginning level exercisers, but advanced exercisers can use them to challenge their bodies as well. Each workout provides surprising and unique benefits that you won't get when you go to the gym. 

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Virtual Personal Training

at home virtual training workouts
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You don't need a big budget to get personalized workout training from a professional. There are workout websites that provide real-time, in-home training with the help of 2-way video technology. 

Services like Wello allow you to connect with a trainer that meets your needs. You choose from a wide range of experts that can help you to improve strength, rehab an injury, improve flexibility, decrease stress or burn fat and calories. Then you make an appointment at a time that is convenient for you. At your meeting time, you connect using the video camera on your computer and enjoy a personalized session. 

For many exercisers, a personalized at-home workout is better than going to the gym. Virtual training is usually more convenient and less expensive. Personal training sessions at Wello cost as little at $14 or you can take small group fitness classes for as little as $7. 

In addition, the gym-intimidation factor is gone when you exercise at home. You might be more willing to try new types of exercise or work harder when no one else is looking. And if you're homebound with young children, this is a great way to get fit without putting the little ones in daycare or paying for a sitter.

At-home workout tip: If you're not ready to exercise in front of a trainer, follow this step-by-step guide to get a 30-minute celebrity workout at home.

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Bike Trainer

Home bike workouts to lose weight
Blackburn Tech Mag 5 Bike Trainer. Blackburn

Can't make it to your regular spin class? Not ready to try boutique cycling? Or maybe it's just too cold to take your bicycle outdoors for a ride. If you have a bike trainer at home, then you can keep your workout program on track.

A home bike trainer is a small folding device that allows you to use your bicycle indoors for exercise. Trainers like the Blackburn Tech Mag 5 (pictured above) retail for less than $200. That's less than a month's worth of classes at a trendy spinning studio. And you'll probably get a better workout.

When you exercise on your own bike, you prepare yourself for real-life riding. So when the weather improves, you're ready for long rides, hilly rides, and fast rides that build muscle and burn calories.

In addition, when you work out on a bike trainer at home, you choose your own music. So you can play the songs that make you ride faster and harder. On easier days, simply set up your trainer in front of the television and burn calories while you catch up on your favorite show.

At home workout tip: Blackburn spokesperson Marcus Vyvyan suggests that you begin each bike trainer workout with a 10-minute warm up and end the session with a 10-minute cool down. If you get bored on the bike, he suggests mixing things up by doing intervals on the bike. Pedal at a moderate cadence for 3-5 minutes, then pick up the pace and pedal faster for 3-5 minutes. You can also use a heart rate monitor to make sure you speed up and cool down effectively.

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Dance Workout

dance at home workout
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If you love Zumba but can't find a class that fits into your schedule, then dance your way to fitness at home. Gettin' your groove on is one of the best ways to burn calories because it challenges you to move your body in different ways. Plus, the fun factor makes the time go by faster.

So how many calories can you burn when you boogie? It depends on how hard you work, but a 40-minute session can burn 200 calories or more. If you want to make sure that you're burning enough, wear a heart rate monitor and track your intensity throughout the workout. 

If you feel like you have two left feet, then invest in a video game that teaches you how to dance. Just Dance helps you burn calories while you learn dance moves to popular songs. There are other games like Gold's Gym Dance Workout or  that are popular as well.

The best thing about dancing at home is that it's free, it relieves stress, and you don't have to be good at it to get a good workout. Zumba classes at the gym are great workouts for people who can follow the moves. But if you're a newbie it's hard to follow along continuously, so your workout may suffer.

In addition, dancing at home allows you to have fun with friends and family members. It's a great way to connect with your kids or get silly with your sweetie. 

At home workout tip: Try to dance continuously for 20-30 minutes as you do your workout. You'll burn more calories if you don't take breaks. Gradually work up to a 40 or 60-minute dance session.  

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Housecleaning

at home workout to clean house
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If you like to multitask, you can exercise at home while you clean your house. Believe it or not, housecleaning can burn 300-400 calories per hour depending on your size and how hard you work. So why not blast away fat and tidy up at the same time?

In addition to burning calories, a housecleaning workout also provides functional training benefits. Functional fitness workouts improve your muscular endurance, balance, stability and coordination. While you might get some of these benefits in the gym, you also get them when you reach up to clean spaces over your head, when you squat low to tidy up underneath beds and when you balance laundry baskets or cleaning tools while you climb stairs.

At-home workout tip: Use this housecleaning workout to strengthen your muscles and burn more calories. For a greater challenge, add a few functional training exercises to your cleaning routine.

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Mini Workouts

mini at home workouts for weight loss
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The best thing about exercising at home is that you can break up your workout into mini sessions to accommodate your schedule. So, if you can't make it to the gym to do your regular 45-minute circuit training class, you can do 3 15-minutes sessions at home between household chores, kid's activities and carpool.  You can even exercise in front of the TV if you don't want to miss your favorite show.

At-home workout tip: If you don't know what exercises to do during each mini workout, use any of these quick workouts to burn calories and shape your body. They require little or no equipment and you can do them in a small space like your living room, kitchen or bedroom.

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Stairs

at home stair workout
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At home workouts can be especially challenging if you live in a small apartment. But if your building has a staircase, you have access to one of the best home workouts.

Climbing stairs is one of the most effective forms of exercise because you burn mega calories and build strong muscles in your legs at the same time. In addition, while climbing up stairs is harder, walking back down the stairs provides coordination and stability benefits as well.

This at home workout is better than a workout that you get on a stair climber at the gym because when you climb real stairs you have to continually lift all of your body weight to climb. On gym machines the stair moves down to meet your body at a resistance that you choose, so it's easier to cheat. 

At-home workout tip: If you are a beginning-level exerciser make sure you are healthy enough for exercise before you climb stairs. Then, walk one flight at a time and take breaks as needed. Intermediate level exercisers can alternate walking and running stairs. Advanced exercisers can alternate sprinting stairs one, two or even three steps at a time.

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Kid's Games

kids game burn calories
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If you can't go to the gym because your kids are home from school, put their energy to use. Play kid's games to burn calories.  A backyard game of tag forces you to run intervals to burn calories. You can even put the kids in charge of a game of follow-the-leader. Encourage them to teach activities that they've learned in their physical education class. 

When you exercise with your kids rather than going to the gym to exercise alone, you teach them the value of physical activity. And research has shown that when you learn to enjoy exercise as play, you're more likely to stick to the habit.

At home exercise tip: If the weather doesn't allow outdoor play, play a 30-40 minute game of Twister. You'll bend, twist and balance your way through a workout that provides the same benefits of a yoga class at the gym.

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