Tech Tuesday: How to exercise without leaving the house

We all know what jogging strollers were invented for, but that doesn’t mean we feel inspired to use one. Even if it’s outfitted with an insane attachment that promises to increase the efficiency of the workout.

(Love Handles run $99.)

Maybe it’s -2 degrees outside; maybe your toddler is sleeping; or maybe you simply cannot get motivated to pack your child up to go exercise. I don’t have any of these excuses myself, yet I still have a hard time getting myself out there.

My go-to indoor exercise method is low-tech. I pick a TV show that my husband doesn’t care about and I place a child’s step stool in front of the TV. I hold 5-lb weights in my hands and step up and down on the stool for the duration of the show. During commercials I do something more intense to get my heart-rate up, such as jumping jacks or push-ups.

But technology has brought us more options. Here are some of the ways I’ve experimented exercising indoors.

1. On-Demand Exercise TV. I have Comcast cable, and in the On Demand menus, there is a section called Fitness Workouts, which is found in the Sports & Fitness category. There are at least one hundred workouts to choose from, from 8-minute Cardio Dance sessions to 30-minute power workouts let by Kristi Yamaguchi.

2. Free You Tube workouts. No cable? That’s alright. Cafe Mom, among others, have posted complete exercise classes online. Just prop your laptop or tablet up and press play. Here’s one I did recently. Search YouTube for “30-minute workout” to find some choices.

3. Not-free stuff on iTunes. If you want a certain program, you’ll probably find it on iTunes. I have Apple TV, which means I can watch any iTunes content on my big screen, but even without that, watching on a mobile device works too. (Just note that there’s no need to buy the popular Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred on iTunes because you can find it free on YouTube.) Most podcasts are free, actually, and there are some that coach you through a yoga session and other indoor activities. So search in both the TV Shows section and the podcast section of iTunes.

4. Virtual, but real, trainers. Navafit is a website where you can sign up and get four free classes to try out before paying a monthly subscription fee. The exercise classes are live online, and a Skype-like interface makes it so that you are literally in a class with other people and the trainer can see you. Register for the classes in advance and then log into the room when it starts. I had a couple of sessions with one of the trainers, Byron, where we talked about my fitness level and set goals. I loved the accountability it forced on me, but ultimately, I fell off the wagon.

I like having all these options at my fingertips because trying something new keeps me coming back. As many times as I have set the intention to do the 30-Day Shred for 30 days, I have never made it past four or five days. I always end up back in front of Beverly Hills 90210, stepping up and down with my hand weights.

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