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Shaping up in the comfort of your home

Published On: Nov 14 2011 03:09:46 PM CST
Updated On: Sep 19 2012 05:27:52 AM CDT
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(NewsUSA) - With many companies producing equipment and programming for the home exerciser, it's now possible to get a high-quality workout in the comfort of your own home, on your own schedule.

The challenge, of course, is setting yourself up for success: it's easy to put off exercise when you just don't feel like getting off the couch.

To help you get into a home exercise routine that you can commit to, Stott Pilates offers these tips:

- Set an exercise schedule -- then stick to it. Create a workout schedule that works with your lifestyle and preferences. If you have energy to spare in the evenings, do your workouts then. Or exercise before the workday starts if you're an earlybird.

- Find an uncluttered space. Make sure you have enough room for your workout. Lie down on the floor and make a snow angel by extending your arms and legs diagonally. If you don't bump into anything, you've got enough room.

- Start off slow. Forcing yourself to do an hour-long workout when you're used to 10 minutes of exercise at a time is likely to turn you off quickly. Start with 20 to 30 minutes, two to three times a week, and you'll be amazed how quickly your body is ready for more.

- Vary your exercises. Pick up a few exercise DVDs so you can change your routine regularly and prevent boredom. Consider trying a new form of exercise, like Pilates, as a low-impact way to increase your strength, reduce stress and improve flexibility.

- Use fitness accessories that multi-task. Toning balls, stability balls and flex-bands are affordable and can be used in multiple ways, giving you more exercise bang for your buck.

- Be patient. While it will take several weeks of consistent activity to see results, know that your body is benefiting from every single workout.