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Note: Free exercise videos located below the articles.

WebMd’s Recommendations for the 12 Best Exercise Videos for Beginners

Gin Miller Workout

1. Gin Miller's Build Up Your Muscles. It shows you how to use weights, tubing, an exercise ball, and ankle weights with four different 45-minute workouts. You learn the same exercises with different resistance. It's slow and clear and focuses on good form, says Zurowski.

2. The "For Dummies" series. Any of the "Dummies" series videos (like Shaping up with Weights for Dummies, Pilates for Weight Loss for Dummies and Basic Yoga for Dummies) are usually excellent, say Zurowski. These videos go slowly, explain the workout clearly, and show the exercise from multiple angles. The instructor is always alone, so there are no distractions. Another good feature of this series is that it also shows mistakes to avoid, says Glenna.

3. The Firm's Super Body Sculpt. This earns a spot on the top 12 list because it has three 15-minute workouts -- for the upper body, the lower body, and abs. The exercises are basic, and you can choose to do one segment or all three.

4. "10-Minute Solution" series. You can choose from toning, cardio, or yoga. Each video in this DVD series is divided into six, 10-minute sections. "It allows customers success to make it through 10 minutes and as they progress, they can mix and match any way they want to," says Glenna.

5. Minna Lessig's One-Minute Workouts. "The beauty of this DVD is you can program the body part you want to work, your level, and how long you want to work, and it randomly selects the exercises for you from 127 one-minute exercises," says Zurowski. Every workout is different. This offering makes great use of the DVD technology, she says.

6. Crunch Fitness Pick Your Spot Pilates with Ellen Barrett. This is concise, well-taught, and easy for beginners to follow, says Zurowski. With great imagery and plenty of modifications, this video is also divided into three, 10-minute segments.

7. Crunch Candlelight Yoga. Taught by Sara Ivanhoe, this beginner DVD is slow-paced and thorough, and all the poses are very simple, says Zurowski.

8. Videos by Leslie Sansone. You can choose from several walking and toning videos that are great for beginners because the moves are easy to follow and Sansone is very motivational, says Zurowski.

9. Debbie Rocker's Walking for Weight Loss. Rocker uses basic moves anyone can do and is very motivating, says Glenna. And because it's filmed in Hawaii, the scenery is breathtaking.

10. Crunch's Cardio Salsa. Great for the younger person, says Glenna. It's contemporary with a colorful set and offers no-impact, basic moves that you can also take out to the dance floor.

11. Gin Miller's Everybody Steps. Since people are often intimidated by step aerobics, this video rates high. It starts you out on the floor, learning the moves, before you get on the step, says Zurowski.

12. Kari Anderson's GO: Step for Beginners. This is a bit more complicated, but clearly executed if you want to try a step video. Anderson previews the moves and breaks down the steps well, says Glenna.


Here is a list of summer activities that you can enjoy outdoors and add to your activity minutes.

In-line Skating
Advantage: Inexpensive and all you need is a smooth, safe path to skate on. Another advantage is the scenery whiles you skate, which will keep it fresh, fun and motivating. But, make sure to wear protective gear as well as a helmet.
Calorie Burning Potential: A 150 pound person can burn 563 calories in 30 minutes.

Advantage: With swimming, you can stay cool while being active. Even if you are a beginner, water activities can help keep you fit and many pools offer water-aerobics that can tone your muscles as well as burn calories.
Calorie Burning Potential: A 150 pound person can burn 360 calories in 30 minutes.

Ultimate Frisbee
Advantages: Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact sport that burns calories while you’re having fun with your friends. Ultimate Frisbee gets you moving outside.
Calorie Burning Potential: A 150 pound person can burn 360 calories in 30 minutes.

Advantages: You can cycle most anywhere and at most any time. It’s great for beginners and as you get more proficient at it, you can advance your workout for longer distances and more difficult rides. It is a low-impact workout, so it is easy on your joints and if you want a more competitive ride, you can join a cyclist club in your area.
Calorie Burning Potential: A 150 pound person can burn 380 calories in 30 minutes.


Everyday Activities That Burn Calories (Yes, they really can!)

According to Kimberly Lummus, MS, RD, Texas Dietetic Association media representative and public relations coordinator for the Austin Dietetic Association in Austin, Texas, in 30 minutes a person who weighs 150 pounds can burn the following number of calories: (everday Health)

Raking leaves = 147 caloriescleaning
Gardening or weeding = 153 calories
Moving (packing and unpacking) = 191 calories
Vacuuming = 119 calories
Cleaning the house = 102 calories
Playing with the kids (moderate activity level) = 136 calories
Mowing the lawn = 205 calories
Strolling = 103 calories
Sitting and watching TV = 40 calories
Biking to work (on a flat surface) = 220 calories

Now, couple those everyday activities with some real exercise and you have a chance to burn calories, get healthy and improve your health numbers.


Setting a Realistic Exercise Plan


We know that adding exercise and physical activity to your life is one healthiest things you can do at any age. But some people fear that it might be too late to start exercising or that they don't know how to get started with a workout plan.

First of all, Lighten Up 4 Life recommends that you set realistic exercise goals for your level and experience. It's great to be enthusiastic about physical activity, but slowly build up to a solid workout plan, especially if you haven't been active for a long time. Even moderate activity can provide health benefits, but doing the wrong exercises or doing too much too soon, can cause injury or muscle soreness and cause you to quit exercising.

Here's what Lighten Up 4 Life recommends:

Determine your individual goals
Example: I'd like to do 30 minutes of walking a day in 4 weeks’ time. This is a realistic and attainable goal and easily measured. By recording your walking minutes every day, you can slowly increase minutes until you reach your 30 minute goal. By specifying that you’ll reach your goal in 4 weeks, you give a definite time-period to work with.     

Break up your activity time:

You don't have to all of your 30 minutes of activity at once, you can break up your sessions into three 10-minute chunks, as long as they total 30 minutes by the end of the day.

Exercise already part of your daily routine?
If you’re already doing 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity most days, you might consider increasing your activity time, or intensify the level of your workout.

Bottom Line: Time to get moving!


Which Workout Is Right For You?
It is important to select types of exercise that you can physically handle and continue to maintain after you’ve lost those extra pounds. Weight management depends on you being regularly active and sticking with it for the long term.
Quick tips for choosing the right exercise for you

  • Choose exercises that you enjoy or try one that might look interesting and fun to you.
  • To prevent boredom from doing the same exercise routine each and every day, vary your exercise routine by choosing more than one type of workout.
  • Alter the intensity of your exercise workout. For example: you might dance-your-heart out in a Zumba class one day and then the next day, take an extra-long walk.
  • Set aside a designated time to exercise every day. If exercise becomes part of your routine, you are more likely to make it a permanent part of your life.
  • Choose exercise options that are available to you. In other words; don’t choose to take a class at the gym that may conflict with your daily schedule. You will get discouraged and possibly quit before you really get started.
  • If you like competitive workouts, join a sports team at your gym or in your area. You might look forward to the games and forget you are actually exercising.
  • If the weather reduces your days outdoors, have an alternative exercise routine available. Make sure you have a couple of exercise DVD’s on hand for a rainy day or utilize the workout videos available here on this page.


Ways to keep you motivated to make exercise a part of your daily routine: Here’s how.

family playingIt’s important to make exercise a part of your daily routine. But you may ask, how can I do that? With most of us, our days are filled to the brim already and it’s seems daunting to try to add one more task to our day. However, if you look at adding exercise in ten minute increments, it doesn’t seem as bad, especially because we’re not telling you that you need to get your workout clothes on, drive to a gym and workout for an hour. We’re simply suggesting a short ten minute walk at lunch and maybe another when you get home from work and maybe another ten – twenty minutes of basketball with your children. 

According to the CDC, ten minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise at a time is acceptable. The whole point is to get you moving and increase your activity. In other words, if you don’t have 30 minutes at lunchtime or you can’t get up 30 minutes earlier in the morning, try to add a small chunk of exercise whenever or wherever you can. As long as you’re doing an activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time, three times a day and you do this five times a week, it will add up to 150 minutes a week!

CDC video
Physical Activity Guidlines:
Aerobic Activity - What Counts?


WebMd “do’s and don’ts” of exercise

webmd core
WebMd’s Killer Abs

yoga core
Yoga poses for your core.

home gym
Setting Up a Cheap Gym by WebMd

man w/weights
WebMd’s Top Muscle-Building Moves For Men
(That women can do too!)

webMD weights
WebMd’s Video: Cardio or Weights?
  ab exercise
WebMd’s 9 Tips for Flat Abs
outdoor exercise
Outdoor Exercising With Allergies
15 Pilates Moves That Get Results, WebMd
taming belly fat
Taming Your Trouble Spots: Belly Fat

booty blast
Booty Blast

yoga piltes
Yoga Pilates
  mini 3 total body workout
Mini 3 Total Body
core power
Core Power. It’s important to strengthen your core.

Chances are you’re thinking about starting an exercise routine to help you burn off those unwanted pounds. But before you do, here is a great video that demonstrates basic stretches to keep your muscles in tone and to prevent injuries.



Here's a great Interval Walking video to help rev up your metabolism.

interval walking



Get your buns and legs in shape with these exercise tips!


Ever wonder how many calories you are really burning? WebMd has a great tool to help you calculate the calories you burn based on your weight, duration of exercise and what type of exercise you are doing.
Click here for WebMd’s Exercise Calculator


30 minute workout

30-minute workout slide show


American Heart Association walking videos

Click here for the American Heart Association’s Start Walking at Home.

Leslie Sansone’s 1 Mile Walk
Time: 21:50

For more information about starting a walking program check out this walking guide.


How to Burn Calories Faster

Now that you’ve made the commitment to lose weight and get healthier, we’re here to help you burn those calories faster!

Did you know that people with more muscle and less fat generally have a faster metabolic rate, while people with more fat and less muscle generally have a slower metabolic rate? So, that means you have to increase your muscle to fat ratio in order to increase your metabolic rate. And, you guessed it that means you have to exercise!

Now we’re ready to help you burn more calories, faster! Here are a number of ways to increase muscle in order to increase your metabolism to burn more calories:

Build muscle with this strength-training guide – this no-gym workout will not only increase your muscle but will sculpt your body as well! Click here for this muscle building workout.


Step-by-Step Weight Training Guide from Mayo Clinic that walks you through a multitude of strength-training exercises that will build muscle the right way. Click here for this strength-training routine.
weight training

More metabolism building advice:
Do strength-training at least three times per week, do cardio exercise for 45-60 minutes a day at a moderate pace, eat a healthy, lower calorie diet, but don’t eat less than 1,200 calories per day or you
are likely to wind up with a slower metabolic rate, which can make it more difficult to burn calories and lose weight.


no-gym workout

No Excuses. The WebMd No-Gym Workout!

This is a great way to start an exercise routine that you can do at home.

  Just Getting Started With Exercise?
Here’s a video to help!

ab exercise

Exercise Videos

We’ve done the research to find you online resources that are FREE and reliable.

preacher curl
Arm Exercises - Preacher Curl with Stability Ball
bicycle crunch
Ab Exercises - Bicycle Crunch
triangle pose
Yoga - Triangle Pose with Yoga Block
downward facing dog
Yoga - Downward-Facing Dog
3 cone drill
Speed & Agility Exercises - 3 Cone Drill

Exercise Tips

    • Eating before you exercise. According to experts at Mayo Clinic, you should fuel your workout by eating. So, if you exercise in the morning that means getting up early enough to eat breakfast or a snack before your workout.  But, make sure you allow the appropriate time for your food to digest before you begin exercising. Here are some general rules to follow:
    • Large meals. Eat these at least three to four hours before exercising.
    • Small meals. Eat these two to three hours before exercising.
    • Small snacks. Eat these an hour before exercising.
    • Common barriers to exercising. Time, being too tired or thinking exercise is boring are all common barriers. Here are some suggestions to overcome these barriers.
    • Too little time to workout? Stop making excuses and come up with simple solutions to add a little exercise to your day, like getting up a little earlier, going out for a brief walk at lunch or instead of sitting at the movies on a Saturday afternoon, go for a bike ride with friends and family.
    • Exercise is boring. This is a very common problem and excuse for not exercising but changing up your exercise routine by:
      • Dancing with friends instead of walking on the treadmill
      • Learning how to strength train with weights
      • Challenge yourself to walk or run a 5k race in your community
      • Create an exercise group in your neighborhood or at work
    • Self conscious about how you look exercising.
      • If you're uncomfortable exercising around others, go solo at first. Try an exercise video. Or consider investing in a stationary bicycle or a treadmill.
      • Remember that as you become fitter and more comfortable exercising, your self-confidence is likely to improve as well.
    • Too tired or no energy to exercise? Without exercise, you have a tendency to feel drained but if you exercise it can increase your energy. Just get started!
    • Setting exercise goals: Map out a walking or running route and set your goals to go a little farther every day. Check out our link to a “Map Your Route”

These three yoga poses can help you increase tone and flexibility for your entire body.
yoga poses
sculpt core
Sculpt your core, whittle down your waist and help your center of gravity with these core workouts.

Fun Summer Exercise Activities
to Help Keep You Fit

Summer is here! This fun season brings longer hours of daylight, hot temperatures and a lot of opportunities to be outside. Summer also brings a chance for outside activities that you can add to your fitness routine that can also provide calorie burning benefits and overall fitness advantages.

Below is a list of some fun activities you can try out as a beginner
or improve your skills if you are already familiar with them.

In-line Skating
Advantages: Inexpensive to get started. All you need is a smooth, safe path to skate on. So, that means you probably can try out some new scenery practically every time you put them on, which will help keep things more fun and motivating. Make sure you wear protective gear as well as a helmet.
Calorie Burning Potential: A 150 pound person can burn 563 calories in 30 minutes!


Advantages: You get to stay cool while being active. Even beginners, who can’t “officially” swim strokes, can perform water activities that keep them fit. Many swimming pools/clubs offer water-aerobics that can tone your muscles as well as burn calories.
Calorie Burning Potential: A 150 pound person can burn 360 calories in 30 minutes!

Ultimate Frisbee
Advantages: Great non-contact sport. Burn calories and stay fit while having fun with your friends. Ultimate Frisbee allows you to use some of your competitive juices and get you moving outside.
Calorie Burning Potential: A 150 pound person can burn 360 calories in 30 minutes!

Advantages: All you need is a bike. You can cycle most anywhere. It is an appropriate activity for beginners and you can continually advance with your workout. It’s a low impact workout. If you want a more competitive ride, you can join a bike club in your area and train for a bike race.
Calorie Burning Potential: A 150 pound person can burn 380 calories in 30 minutes!






Walk Whenever Possible

  • Walk instead of drive, whenever you can
  • Walk your children to school
  • Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator
  • Take a family walk after dinner
  • Replace a Sunday drive with a Sunday walk
  • Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV
  • Get off the bus a stop early, and walk
  • Park farther from the store and walk
  • Make a Saturday morning walk a family habit
  • Walk briskly in the mall
  • Take the dog on longer walks
  • Go up hills instead of around them

Click here for more physical activity tips



Here’s a great treadmill interval workout chart that will help you maximize your workout so that you can achieve better results.
Plus Click here for 5 Treadmill Workouts you can do in an Hour or Less


water yogaWhich exercises can provide you with great fitness, but not be too hard on your joints?
For some of us, certain exercises can prove to be painful. But, there are a number of fitness choices that will help your overall health without hurting your joints.

Examples of joint-friendly exercises include:
Swimming; which offers a great cardio without putting stress on your joints.
Low-impact aerobics; walking, dancing and low-impact cardio machines will all burn calories and build bones with minimum stress on your joints.
Click here for WebMd’s “Joint-Friendly Fitness Routines” and check with your doctor who is experienced in treating a full range of physical challenges, including but not limited to:

  • Athletic injury
  • Total joint replacement
  • Spine disorders/Back injury
  • Sprains/Strains


Can Adding Strength Training Help Weight-Loss?

Dieting and cardio exercise are equally important to losing weight, but when it comes to raising your metabolism and changing how your body looks, weight-training wins hands down. Plus, if you want to lose fat, one of the most important things you can do is strength training. But, if you've hesitated to start a weight-lifting program, it may help you to know the benefits:


  • Weight-training can help raise your metabolism because muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn.
  • Lifting weights is especially important for women because it also strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis.
  • Strength training can make you stronger and increase muscular endurance which will help you with your cardio exercises and everyday life.

Even though strength training burns fewer calories than other forms of exercise, it's no less beneficial for weight loss. A 1995 study by the 62nd Medical Group at Fort Lewis found that fat loss is a function of calorie burn and not exercise intensity. The important thing is to burn calories. It may take longer to burn a comparable amount of calories while strength training; however, you nevertheless achieve the same weight loss results with regular workouts.
Chris Dinesen Rogers,

Forms of strength training:

    • Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can also invest in weight machines for use at home.
    • Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools.
    • Body weight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try push-ups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.
    • Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store.

    lift weights

    Click here for WebMd’s “The No-Gym Workout” – You can do this at home!


Is Exercise Really Important For Weight-Loss?

Experts all agree that exercise is important to weight-loss. Sure, anyone can lose a lot of weight if you cut way back on calories without exercising, but physical activity is the key to maintaining your weight-loss. Because no one can sustain an extremely low-calorie diet forever, you are more likely to gain your weight back without exercising. Read more…

  Getting Your Exercise Program Started - Here’s a place to help you set up a complete exercise program with cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises. There’s great information to get you started, track your progress (exercise log) and even the right clothes and shoes to wear.
No excuses, let’s begin!


The 30-Minute Workout Routine
A Work Out That Works
Tips for Success

chest exercise

Here's a great workout to do on those rainy days of summer!









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