Alternative ways to get in shape

By Jen Weddle

When I think of New Year’s resolutions, my mind instantly fills with thoughts of overcrowded, sweaty gyms – you have to wait in line for a treadmill or weights just to fulfill the promise every other person in a five-foot vicinity has made to themselves.

Losing weight is at the top of many people’s New Year’s resolution lists, but it isn’t the easiest thing to do. It’s definitely an obtainable goal, but it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

“There are plenty of alternatives for workouts at home,” said Eric Appiah, the assistant director of fitness and wellness at the Student Recreation Center. “If you do not own fitness equipment at home, you can do body weight exercises. There are also DVDs or other videos that help individuals follow a routine to a certain workout.”

No Equipment, No Problem

Gym equipment can get expensive, and that’s why finding an exercise that uses your own body as weight resistance is perfect for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money. Exercises like yoga and pilates are becoming increasingly popular because they’re proven to increase strength, flexibility and balance; all it takes is a mat and a living room floor for these types of exercises.

The best thing about body weight exercises is that anything can be used. Walls can be used for wall sits, which are completed by forming a right angle at the hips and knees while having the back flat against the wall and heels on the ground. Chairs can be used for chair squats. To complete a chair squad, find a chair, then stand above it with your feet hip-width apart, lower toward the chair without sitting down and keeping your weight in your heels. Straighten your body and repeat.

It’s All Fun and Games

The trend in video games becoming fitness tools for helping people lose weight never fails to amaze me. There are a lot of options when it comes to trying to choose something that works for motivation and fun. These options include games for individuals that love to dance, play sports, fight or even become the character of a game.

So for those who want to escape reality for their next fitness routine, look into game titles like Dance Central, Zumba Fitness, Wii Fit Plus, EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp or Punch-Out!!.

Video Didn’t Kill the Radio Star – It Created Those Awesome Abs

Fitness videos have been around for quite some time, going back to as early as Richard Simmons in his signature tube socks, short-shorts, and bedazzled tank tops.

Fitness videos have come a long way from that, and it definitely shows. has three best-selling fitness DVDs, which include Insanity: 60 Day Total Body Conditioning Workout, P90x: Tony Horton’s Extreme Home Fitness Workout and the Zumba Fitness Exhilarate Body Shaping System. These videos don’t come cheap, especially when the least expensive choice is the Zumba video set with a price tag of $59.95. These DVDs offer an in-home personal trainer who can give people what they crave: variety and a challenging work-out for a healthy body and mind.