Wondering if your at home workout routines are as effective as jogging? Find out at Shape!

Q: A friend of mine jogs outdoors, but I prefer doing cardio, strength-training and yoga DVDs at home. My friend says that I'm not really exercising because I'm not building up my endurance. Are at home workouts and workout videos inferior?

A: "Not at all!" says Mindy Mylrea, a trainer in Santa Cruz, Calif., and the star of more than 50 workout videos. "Many instructors have created extremely advanced DVDs and videos that can give you amazing fitness benefits; some are an hour-and-a-half long." Your friend may be confusing home workout videos with some fitness programs on television, which often cater to a more sedentary population.

In reality, exercisers of all fitness levels can find at home workouts on video or DVD that challenge them. Although running burns plenty of calories (626 calories per hour for a 145-pound woman) and is a great way to stay fit, some people are more inspired by exercising with an instructor on a tape or DVD. "You've got a motivator right there talking to you," Mylrea says. "When you find an instructor whose personality meshes with yours, you really work hard." Plus, you can get more well-rounded fitness programs -- video and DVD offerings include step aerobics, cardio dance, strength training, Pilates, yoga workout routines and more.

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