Before I had children I never believed it was possible to be REALLY fit without going to a gym and using expensive machines.
It was only when I became a mother and that was no longer possible that I realized the truth: You don't need a gym OR any expensive machines. You don't even need a lot of space!
Granted we have a nicely equipped home gym, but if you have nothing more than a DVD player and are looking for an AMAZING workout you can do at home, I definitely recommend the Insanity fitness program by Beachbody.
Although it retails for about $150, you really get your money's worth. You get:
*An introductory DVD with a fit test
*9 workout DVDs
*A calendar that shows you how to put it all together into a 60 day fitness program
*A nutrition plan
Now I have not done the 60 day plan, but have tried out the DVDs on my own schedule (I usually do one on Saturdays) and I can tell you they are as promised: a seriously kick-ass workout!
The best part is you need no equipment and you don't even need much floor space. So I have also discovered that if you are travelling and your hotel has an in-room DVD player, or you bring along a portable DVD player, you can workout anywhere!
Most of the workouts are interval/circuit style and very high intensity, offering an amazing cardiovascular workout, as well as exercises that help build muscle strength and power.
My only major criticism is that the instructor, Shaun T., does 5-7 minutes of static stretching after the warm-up. Recent research has demonstrated that static stretches at the beginning of a workout actually decrease performance and can increase your chance of injury. So I always fast forward through it or jog on the spot.
The moves are all easy to follow and execute so you don't need to have a background in dance to keep up and it is perfectly suited for men and women.
The nutrition plan is pretty sound and offers a number of options depending on your food preferences and energy needs. But I don't think you need to purchase their expensive protein shakes. There are all sorts of whole food options that you can consume to come up with a snack made up of the shake's 280 cals, 34g of protein, 34g carbohydrates, 2g fat and 6g of fibre if you don't want to spend the extra money.
Just keep in mind this is a SERIOUS workout program so it is important to get the "okay" from your doctor before beginning.