Although many people plan to get fit every year, very few do. One of the primary reasons people don't improve their fitness is that they think they need to go to the gym to get in shape. Going to the gym is great if you can afford it and have the time to go regularly, but you can get in better shape without ever setting foot inside a gym.

Don't let your inability to join a gym stop you from achieving the fitness level you deserve. Start working out in your own home at your own pace and watch your body change from flabby to fit in accordance with your dreams. Every workout should begin with an exercise for your heart. Any kind of exercise that gets your heart pumping a little faster is good for you. It not only makes your heart and lungs stronger, but also helps energize you and promotes a positive mood.

If you're prone to depression, exercise of this nature is an important part of your daily routine; even if you don't suffer from depression, you are missing out on benefits if you don't start with a cardiovascular workout. You can do just about any exercise you enjoy, as long as it gets your heart pumping. If you have exercise equipment in your home such as a stationary bike, treadmill, or running in place this is ideal for cardiovascular exercise.

You can also use exercise DVDs or search for exercise videos on YouTube. Don't overdo your cardio workout. Start small and then gradually build the intensity or the time you spend exercising. Eventually, you want to do 20 minutes of moderate cardio three to five times a week. After you finish your cardio routine, you might want to do some additional exercise to tone your muscles, such as strength training.

Most gyms have weight machines to help you build muscles and tone the muscles you already have, but if you're at home you may not have access to weights. Instead, you can do some traditional exercises similar to the ones that you probably did in gym class when you were a child. Incorporate exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups into your daily exercise routine. After you've finished these exercises, follow them up with jumping jacks and squats. This routine allows you to build both upper and lower body muscles.

After you've finished working out, it's important to stretch. Working out puts extra pressure on your muscles because you use them in ways you may not be used to. After working out, your muscles are warm and loose; when they cool down they may suddenly contract and tear. This causes you to feel sore. If you stretch after working out, it loosens the muscles further. This makes it less likely that you will injure your muscles and feel sore following a workout.Going to the gym sometimes motivates people to exercise, but it isn't really necessary.

You may find it easier to exercise in your own home. If you make it part of your daily routine to turn on that exercise DVD or get on the treadmill when you get up, soon you'll find yourself losing weight, building muscle and having fun--all without leaving your house.

Author's Bio: 

Marc Ouellette is a certified fitness trainer through International Sports Sciences Association and owner of Personal Training Alliance LLC. My services include in-home and online personal training for all fitness levels - grab my free report giving you the blueprint on this! Go now to and learn how to get results fast!