I started working out at home in the early 90’s. VHS was where it was at and Susan Powter was seen in TV infomercials raising her fists and yelling, “Stop the Insanity”. The truth is I was immediately hooked on the colorful leotards which stretched up past the instructor’s hipbones, the big hair and loud makeup, and the bad music. Hey, it was an easy transition since I am an 80’s girl at heart. Armed with a step aerobics bench my mom bought for me at a yard sale, a few VHS tapes, and mismatched hand weights, my home workouts began and they’ve never stopped. What has kept me working out at home for over 20 years? It’s the variety, convenience, flexibility, affordability, and an interest in the preservation of my health. Plus, moving my body feels good and it’s just fun!

Collage Video has been an essential key to my consistently working out at home all these years. It was and still is my favorite place to buy workout videos. Now I shop online instead of their paper catalog and I purchase DVD’s not VHS. However, I still own many tapes and have a combo VHS/DVD player so I can continue to work out with my favorite step aerobics tape of all time; Kathy Smith’s Step Workout ©1992. That’s right, I made a $10 investment 20 years ago and Kathy and I are still going strong. Their website www.collagevideo.com offers shoppers a video clip of each DVD. I love this feature because I can get a feel for the instructor, workout, music, and set. If I buy something I like I am more likely to use it.

At Home Workout

While I started out with strictly step aerobics tapes I now have a variety of workouts ranging from classical ballet to booty shaking salsa. I have learned over time to vary my routines so I don’t get bored. Also, when I feel the need for some inspiration, I turn to online fitness websites for exercise ideas. Sites like www.shape.com and www.fitnessmagazine.com offer a variety of exercise demonstrations meant to be done at home with little to no equipment. They have great instructional photos, written descriptions, and videos…all for free!!

I have lived in tiny apartments and comfortable homes and I have always had enough area to work out. When I was tight on space I stashed my workout gear under my bed and put my tapes on a bookshelf. Now I have a dedicated room for my home gym, so I have added a few items including a medicine ball, some resistance tubes and a mat since my gym does not have a thick carpet. Mostly, though, I remain surprised at how little space and equipment I need to get in a good workout at home.

At the invitation of friends and co-workers, I have signed up for gym classes a few times. I found I did not like the inflexibility. What if I can’t make my cardio class at 7:30 tonight? What if it’s raining or snowing or I just don’t feel like packing my gym bag and driving to the gym? These are obstacles between me and working out. At home, I can pick the time and type of workout I want to do each day. Saving on driving time, gas, and a gym membership are all bonuses as well. Most importantly, at home I can really let loose and be the star of my very own fitness video that is playing in my head. And, yes, I am in spandex, leg warmers, and a matching head band. What else would I be wearing?