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Fitness fads are everywhere, all of them claiming to offer a new way to get in shape. From questionable contraptions like the ThighMaster, Ab Roller, and Shake Weight, to unusual exercise routines like Prancercise and Goat Yoga; expensive equipment like Bowflex and Peloton to personality-driven regimens from Richard Simmons (Sweatin’ to the Oldies), Susan Powter (Stop the Insanity), Tony Horton (P90X), and Bob Harper (The Biggest Loser), there’s always some hot fitness fad that claims to deliver perfect fitness results.

The fact that there’s always some latest exercise trend is a pretty good indication that none of the existing ones are perfect. Jumping on every new fitness bandwagon is more likely to lead to a closet full  of discarded equipment and DVDs than result in a perfect level of fitness.

When you’re trying to get into shape, there’s no need to overcomplicate your training program, especially if you’re just getting started. Be skeptical of self-proclaimed experts who say they have THE answer to getting fit.

Almost any type of exercise can be beneficial to your overall fitness level as well as your general health and mood, but unusual or extreme exercises can put you at risk for injury, and trendy exercise programs can be inconvenient, cost money, and even hurt your fitness level if you grow discouraged by rigid exercise requirements and stop attending classes. 

You don’t need fancy equipment or expensive memberships to get in shape—simple exercises not only require no special machines, classes, or memberships, they are just as effective as any fitness trend, if not more so.

For cardio, try walking, running, hiking, swimming, dancing, and playing sports. For strength training, good exercise include sit-ups, push-ups, planks, squats, lunges, and full-body exercise like burpees and mountain-climbers.

Remember, when it comes to exercise, keep it simple! Basic, no-equipment-needed exercise is easier, cheaper, and likely better for you in the long run.

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