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New innovative ways to stay in shape

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

New workouts to get you fit

Today's busy mom rarely has time for two-hour bouts at the gym. Working out at home is attractive, but staying motivated when working out to the same DVD every day can be difficult, too. Let's face it, managing the rigors of family schedules, work deadlines and self-care means you need to find time-conscious and budget-friendly workouts that are engaging and get results. From functional fitness tools that target the whole body to challenging home-based exercise that can be done at your convenience, the following workouts are innovative, entertaining and seamlessly fit into any busy lifestyle.

Woman downloading exercise video

Exergaming

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), America's leading fitness authority, one of the top fitness trends for 2010 is exergaming -- and not just for home use, you can expect to see game-lovers sweating it out at the gym, too. One of the newest interactive home fitness products is Nintendo Wii's Your Shape. This inventive fitness program even features a camera that detects your movements that allows your in-game workout buddy -- the fit and vivacious Jenny McCarthy -- to correct your form, if necessary, as well as keep you motivated to move, groove and sweat. Best yet, this exergame allows you to exercise without a board -- you can perform over 400 exercises right on your living room floor -- and you can sweat it out controller-free.

Time-efficient fitness

Another top trend for the New Year is shorter, higher intensity workouts that deliver efficient full-body fitness. Circuit and interval training that combines cardio and strength exercises as well as hardcore boot camp workouts focused on peak fitness are ideal for busy exercisers who want results fast and thrive on the physical challenges these workouts provide. Boot camp training may not be for you if you are just starting an exercise program; the workouts usually consist of high intensity exercises such as jumping jacks, sprints, plyometrics and other heart rate raising moves that may be more appropriate once you develop a good foundation of fitness. Check into a boot camp class or work with a personal trainer to design your own time-efficient fitness program.

Full-body fitness tools

Functional training has never been easier with the emergence of new fitness tools that work every muscle in the body. Voted "The Best Total-Body Tool" by Men's Health, the TRX Suspension Trainer -- a set of two nylon straps that can be anchored on any solid structure to create resistance from your body weight and gravity -- is not only a kick butt way for both men and women to strengthen and tone, this challenging fitness tool can be taken anywhere, leaving you no excuse to skip a sweat. The next time your kids want to head to the park, pack your TRX and get a workout while they run around the playground. The Boom Board, another portable body sculpting system, is a fitness tool that boosts endurance, muscle tone and flexibility with a variety of cardio and resistance exercises that can be done at home or when on-the-go. Full-body fitness tools help you build core strength, an essential component of overall fitness that let's you juggle your daily activities injury-free and full of energy.

Downloadable fitness

From ExerciseTV.tv to iTrain.com, workouts are as easy as a download. Whether you need workout videos to stream from your computer or a portable workout for your iPod or iPhone, the Internet Age has made it ever more convenient -- and economical -- to fit fitness into your lifestyle. Even better, with workouts ranging from yoga and flexibility training to sports-specific exercise and dance fitness available on the Web, you will always have a new workout ready and waiting.

Trackable fitness

Tracking your fitness progress and having tangible knowledge of your results will keep you motivated to move. The use of tracking and online training tools, such as Body Media's GoWear fit, FitBit and TrainingPeaks software, will let you gauge your progress, create workout plans and even provide meal plans that are at your fingertips 24/7. Mobile applications are even bringing fitness on-the-go through iPhone applications and other downloadable programming. Gone are the days of penciling your workout on a filing cabinet workout card.

Staying fit is no longer a matter of spending hours in the gym. Today's innovative fitness technology and tools let you get and stay in shape on your terms, whether it's in the gym, at home or on-the-go.

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