Exercise is one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves, but sadly, we rarely ever make time to do it.

Oftentimes we’re just too busy, too tired, or just can’t find an activity we like enough to stick with it. Take heart, though – here are some things you can do to elevate your pulse and your spirits all year long.


Walking is one of the easiest and most effective exercises you can do. According to Mayo Clinic, walking can help you lose weight, strengthen your bones and prevent and manage a plethora of health conditions, including hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

In order to get the most out of your evening walk, consider investing in a pedometer or an activity monitor so you can keep track of your steps, heart rate and calories burned. A leisurely walk, while pleasant, may not be quite enough to get your blood pumping and really help you lose weight. An activity monitor or pedometer can help you set and achieve your fitness goals one step at a time. 


Who says exercise needs to be boring? Dancing can be a fun and invigorating way to get your blood pumping, elevate your mood and maybe even meet some new friends. There are plenty of ways to incorporate dancing into your fitness routine.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways is to invest in a dance workout DVD, such as ”Pure Barre,” “Body Revolution,” ”Latin Cardio party” or ”Cardio Kickboxing.” These can be done in the privacy of your own living room without having to worry about being stared at by total strangers.

If you’re not the self-conscious type, you can enroll in dance fitness classes at a local gym. Usually, these are included in the cost of membership or cost around $5 per class. Or, if you’re really committed to learning the art of dance, you can enroll in formal dance classes at a studio. While weight loss isn’t quite the priority here, you will definitely be burning calories and gaining muscle tone as you learn to plié and relevé your way to good health.


“Insanity,” created by exercise guru Shaun T., is not for the faint of heart. He calls it “the hardest exercise ever put to DVD.”

There are no weights and no special equipment — just your body and the DVD. You will spend a lot of time in intense interval training that includes squatting, crunching, jumping and using your own body weight for resistance training. In 60 days, some people have lost as much as 45 pounds by combining this exercise program with a healthy, balanced diet. If you are already fairly fit and want to take your fitness to a whole new level, Insanity might be just what you’re looking for.

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