For optimum health benefits, the average adult needs 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the average cost of a gym membership -- $55 per month in 2013, reports "U.S. News & World Report" -- turns you off, or you simply don't like the idea of exercising at a gym or outside, you have other options. Several aerobics DVDs have garnered rave reviews from critics and allow you to work out from the privacy of your own home.
Amy Dixon's Breathless Body
This three-pack set of DVDs is built around the concept of interval aerobics training and earned the title of "Best New Workout DVD of 2012" from "Fitness" magazine. Trainer Amy Dixon guides you through a routine that makes you exercise at a high intensity for a few seconds, followed by a low-intensity exercise stage. The intensity levels alternate back and forth for a sweaty 55 minutes. In a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, researchers concluded that this type of interval training helps boost your metabolism long after the actual workout is over, with the organization concluding that it's perfect for "exercisers seeking a greater bang for their workout buck."
Seane Corn Detox Flow
When you think of aerobics, you likely think of traditional exercises such as swimming or jogging. However, yoga also counts and offers the same benefits for your cardiovascular system while also helping to reduce stress and other ailments. Philadelphia health coach Maura Manzo, writing for "Philadelphia" magazine, names Seane Corn's Detox Flow DVD as one of her top two picks for at-home yoga DVDs. This DVD kit includes two yoga workouts, one ringing in at 65 minutes and the other running for 35 minutes, so you have options depending on how much time you have in your day.
Denise Austin's Shrink Belly Fat
Muffins are tasty, but if you've had a few too many muffins for dessert and don't want a muffin top showing, "Fitness" magazine suggests Denise Austin's workout DVD. In fact, the magazine ranks it as one of 2013's "10 Hottest Workout DVDs." It features three 15-minute workouts, including a cardio workout and two core and ab workouts. Do just one of the workouts when you're busy, or do all three when you have more time to devote to your exercise routine. This aerobics-plus-abdominal combination may make it ideal if you're specifically trying to work on your midsection.
Weight Loss Cardio Kick with Violet Zaki
If you're bored of the normal aerobics options, get creative with kickboxing, which turns martial arts into a sweaty aerobics workout. It works your entire body, releases stress, burns a higher-than-average number of calories because it engages every major muscle group and also teaches you self-defense. For the best kickboxing-at-home experience, try the DVD from Violet Zaki. Named one of the "10 Best Fitness DVDs" by "Woman's Day" magazine, Zaki takes you through two 20-minute aerobics routines involving kicking, punching and more.
The P90X system is a 12-DVD set designed to take you 90 days to complete. It pairs daily aerobics with strength-conditioning exercise and is ideal if you're not just looking to do aerobics but also to gain overall muscle strength and size. In "GQ" magazine's review, it reports that "this thing whips you into shape faster than you ever would on your own, simply because of its daily intensity." Also, because every day's workout is different, it helps keep things varied so you might be less likely to get bored and quit.