Fitness on the Cheap: Top 5 At-home Exercise Programs

You’re lying on your couch, it’s way past your bedtime, and four easy payments of “19.99” is starting to sound pretty reasonable.  You’ve entered the “Infomercial Zone” and if you don’t escape soon, you might just end up with an Ab Lounge, a Body Bow, or, heaven forbid, a Shake Weight.   

To help you navigate this dimension of false promises, cheap gimmicks, and doctored before and after photos, I’ve compiled a list of the best at-home workout programs that keep your bottom line (and your bottom) in mind.

1) Beachbody: The DVDs produced by Beachbody are a great option for home-bound fitness enthusiasts because they follow sound exercise principles, avoid making unrealistic promises, and include dietary guidelines that compliment the exercise programs.  Whether you are a beginner (“10 Minute Solution”), intermediate (“P90X”), or advanced exerciser (“Insanity”), there is a Beachbody program that is right for you. also provides continued support with message boards, fitness tracking software, and nutritional supplements.

2) Zumba: With a combination of Latin dance moves, high-energy music, and easy-to-learn choreography, Zumba has taken the fitness industry by storm.  You don’t need to belong to a gym to join the Zumba party, however, as they offer a “Total Body Transformation System” DVD set that includes 6 different workout DVDs and a pair of maraca-like toning sticks.  Just visit their online store on to purchase.  

3) Denise Austin: The age-defying Denise Austin has spent over 25 years producing some of the best selling workout DVDs of all time.  Whether it’s “Boot Camp”, “Belly Fat Blasters”, or Yoga and Pilates, she’s got you covered.  Her exercise programs are definitely “old school”, but the sheer variety and her unwavering enthusiasm is sure to keep you motivated.

4) Rodney Yee: If your goal is to find some inner peace with your fitness, Rodney Yee is your man.  His DVD sets from Gaiam feature traditional Iyengar Yoga, Yoga for Athletes, Yoga for couples, and Yoga for families.  Many of the DVDs are shot on location in Hawaii, giving the videos a particularly relaxing vibe.  Detailed descriptions of each posture and high production values add to this series’ appeal.

5) Fit TV:  Part of the Discovery family of networks, Fit TV offers a full lineup of programs that covers the entire fitness spectrum.  Almost all of their exercise shows require little to no equipment, a pair of hand-weights and a resistance band at the most, and are designed to be done within a small living-room sized area.  The best part about Fit TV is that you can use your DVR to record shows and create your own at-home fitness library.


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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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  1. Thanks for such an useful post,well i do running and yoga every day for last 12 years and i have no health problem what so ever till date....

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  2. Very useful post proving that it is possible to get fit in your own home, and without it costing the earth