Working out at home using exercise videos is certainly convenient. Using the same exercise videos over and over tends to get boring, though. Most avid exercise-video users have accumulated different videos that they use in rotation, and they are always looking for new videos to add to their collections to keep the experience fresh. The cost of buying new videos could start to add up, unless you look for bargains. Fortunately, bargains in exercise videos are plentiful, and it’s very easy to find videos that are very cheap or, even better, free.
* Buy exercise videos used
Amazon, eBay and half.com are all good online sources of used exercise videos. Offline, check out garage sales and thrift stores for great bargains.
The videofitness.com forums have an active video exchange program, where people can post lists of videos they don’t want any more and trade them for ones that they do. You need to be registered to participate, but registration is free. While you’re there, check out the rest of the forums, which contain a wealth of encouragement and information, and the main area of the site, which has in-depth exercise-video reviews.
* Do you still have a VCR?
If you still have a VCR, you can find incredible bargains in used VHS exercise tapes. They should be selling for almost nothing at garage sales and thrift stores.
* Check your library
Some library systems have good selections of exercise videos. See if your library lets you reserve videos from other branches and have them delivered for pick-up to yours. If this service is available, it’s a very convenient way to get access to the entire system’s collection.
Also convenient is downloading exercise videos directly from your library’s website. Check your library’s site — many now offer digital media (ebooks, music, and movies) that library cardholders can download for free at home. If your library offers this, they will probably have exercise videos in the movie section.
* Are you a Netflix member?
Netflix is not only for feature movies. They have a nice selection of exercise videos as well, mostly on DVD, but some available for instant streaming as well.
* Online videos
There are online exercise videos available for free on sites such as YouTube. While many are just short clips, meant to be promos for DVD sales or websites, you can find complete free routines if you hunt for them.
Tip: Search YouTube using a keyword such as “exercise” or “aerobics” or “yoga” (or whatever you are looking for), then go into “Search Options” and select “Long (20+ minutes)” under “Duration.” That will give you a good selection of full-length routines.
* On TV
PBS broadcasts exercise programs. If you have a DVR, you can tape and save them and use them at your convenience.
Some cable systems have an entire channel devoted to exercise. Some also have free exercise videos in their video-on-demand section. The video-on-demand selection is separate from the regular TV selection, and may be included in your system even if you don’t have an exercise channel.
The exercise videos-on-demand may be buried far down in the menus (on my system, I have to first find and select “Free Extras,” then scroll down several screens for “Exercise TV.” They’re worth looking for, though. I’ve made some great discoveries this way.
By using any or all of the methods above, you can always keep your exercise video collection refreshed without having to spend much — or any — money.