Homemade Weight Program

Q.  I have given up my gym membership and now walk in  nearby park 3-4 hours weekly. With the onset of winter coming, I would like to have alternative forms of exercise. I know the importance of weight training, and have heard that there is a video that shows how to use "weights" we have right at home- such as canned fruit, etc. Does anyone know of a book or video of this type? Thanks! Laura

A.  Weights are very important and they really change the way you look. I would suggest buying a set of light weights. It’s worth the investment and not that expensive. Their are also resistance bands which also tone like weights. I would also call Collage videos and ask for a free catalog 1-800-433-6769. They have a catalog full of videos by different categories. (toning, aerobics and toning..) Some of their videos are their exclusives and some are available in stores. Their catalog gives you a great description.

A.  I have never had a video for soup can weights.  But I have used soup cans and heavier items as weights.  A few years ago I had a knee injury so my therapist recommended I use weights to strengthen my leg since I didn’t own weights she suggested I use soup cans.  What I did was get some rags and tied the cans in them then I hung 2 cans either side of my leg. Next I would lift my leg up and down straight into the air.  I did this in the living room while watching tv.  I used my coffee table to rest my leg between lifts. 

A.  You could borrow a weight lifting book from the library and adapt it to your "can" weights.  I use cans to strengthen my arms and legs.  I do the leg lifts I described earlier and do arm lifts as well.   You could do the training on the floor or in your bed as well.  Roll over and lift the cans with the back of your legs.  If you are really weak start with nothing then use a paperback book  tied on with a scarf or piece of yarn.  Then go to something heavier until you get to the can of soup or vegetables.

A.  For the arms pull the can up and into your body straight in front. Then stretch out and pull in from the side.    Next put your arms straight out then pull them up to your head and down to arm level.  Then from arm level to your side.  Reverse the direction to strengthen both sides of the arms and legs.  To strengthen the hands use a small ball or other item that can be squeezed or just open and close your hands.  For the ankles tie on something that has a bit of weight and walk. A video isn’t really necessary.  But if you really want one borrow one from the library and use it.  If you like it buy that one.  Or just borrow a new one when you return the first one and rotate through them. This is cheaper and if you get tired of the video a new one awaits your next library visit.  I have bought cheap videos at places such as Rite Aid and Savon Drugs from the discount table that might do the trick for you as well.

A.  I know of a video set called Jack Attack that showed you how to use can goods and furniture and things around the house for exercise. That series is pretty old, and I don’t know if you can still find them or not. I am sure now there are newer things…. good luck! Kristen

A.  A great way to get some aerobic exercise in the winter is to use your indoor stairs. Put on those tennis shoes and run up and down your stairs, whether you have a 2 story home or one with a basement. Get that heart rate up!

A.  First, head to the library and check out "Strong Women Stay Young" by Miriam Nelson.  Great simple exercises and motivation to do them! Second, scout out yard sales or consignment shops for used dumbbells and ankle weights.  Soup cans/milk jugs really aren’t safe to use as weights.  Good luck on your program.

A.  There is a book called    HEAVY HANDS. You can get it at eBay Half for a good price. It may answer your questions.

A.  The best aerobic weight training tapes are from "The Firm"  Check your library or used book store or www.firmdirect.com.  I recommend starting with the beginner tapes, the others are REALLY tough.  They do NOT recommend using cans or household item, not heavy enough.  You can start with just 3, 5 & 8 lb dumbells, and you can probably find those used too!

A.  I am a physical therapist and have written an exercise book in which you can use free weights or resistance band.  The program has three levels from beginning (no weights) to advanced (10-15# weights or heavy resistance band).  There are over 75 exercises with complete written instructions, and 50 photographs.  This book is called "Exercise for Real Life".  It is self-published, and is available on Amazon.com.  You can buy resistance band at sporting goods stores or directly from my company (address and order forms are in the book).  Sincerely, Jennifer Munson, MPT

A.  When I started weight training interest, the same thing came to my mind.  The problem I have found is that there are so many different types of equipment you might get, that there is no way a tape could cover just your stuff. My solution was to get a good book, like Arnold Schwar…?? Bodybuilding Encylopedia.  Then to photo copy the exercises I wanted to do for that month, and tape them in sequence on the wall. Hope this helps. Tonia