Obesity rates in North America have reached an unsettling high over the years with more than half the population classified as overweight. While efforts to propagate a healthy active lifestyle have helped in deterring this epidemic, finding the time to engage in physical activity isn't always as easy as one would expect. With gyms and trainers steadily increasing their fees, exercising has become more of a chore as opposed to something enjoyable. For those looking to get fit, the most practical alternative is exercising at home. This article will outline five effective exercises to perform at home. These exercises are simple enough so that anyone, with any level of fitness, can perform them in the comfort of their home. These exercises will generate similar results to those attained in a gym, under the supervision of a personal trainer, and are completely free.

1. The Push-Up

o The Push-Up is an essential exercise for developing upper body strength. When performed correctly, this exercise targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Those starting out should come down as far as they feel comfortable. When you're able to perform 20 repetitions, you should make a conscious effort to move as low to the floor as possible. By increasing the range of motion, the level of difficulty increases, causing a higher level of adaptation.

2. The Wall Squat

o The Wall Squat is excellent for developing lower body strength and gaining definition in the quadriceps. In order to perform the wall squat, press your back against the wall, adjusting your hips so that they are parallel to the floor. One tip is to imagine sitting on a chair, while using the wall as a back rest. Increase the amount of time spent in this position as you improve.

3. The Plank

o The Plank has recently gained in popularity as the position of choice when targeting the abdominal muscles. Begin by entering a push up position. Lower your arms by resting your forearms on the floor. Remain in this position for 30 seconds in order to effectively stimulate the abdominals. A good variation of this exercise is to switch between the plank position, and push up position. Repeating this motion will stimulate the upper body in addition to the core.

4. The Triceps Dip

o Dips develop the chest, triceps and shoulder muscles. Once you feel comfortable, challenge yourself by suspending your legs on a surface such as a chair. Should you wish to remain on the ground, lift one leg up and perform the dip. By raising your leg you are inadvertently stimulating your core. Be sure to switch legs after a given number of repetitions.

5. In-and-outs

o In-and-outs are an excellent exercise for targeting the hip flexor, in addition to the lower abdomen. Begin in a seated position with your legs together and extended outwards (beginners may place their hands behind their hips). Lift your legs up approximately 6 inches from the ground and bring them in, towards your abdomen. Once in, extend them back out while keeping them approximately 6 inches off the ground. Continue this motion for a set number of repetitions.  

The exercises above are highly effective and with variation, can generate terrific results. These workouts will not only bring about a more satisfying aesthetic appearance, but promote important health benefits such as the prevention of obesity, and type II diabetes.