Are you looking to get in shape for the new year?  Why not get a head start and get working on the body of your dreams.  Getting into shape means something different for everybody, but if you are looking for a fun, short workout that will get you burning fat, you need to try a kettle bell workout. 

What is a kettle bell? It's a large weight that you hold with both hands, meaning you only need one.  A kettle bell is a ball shaped piece of iron with a little handle on top.  It looks a little like one of your grandma's old handbags, and it might be just as heavy!  Kettle bells come in a wide variety of weights, from five pounds to more than fifty pounds.  Here are five reasons why I love my kettle bell workouts and have stuck with them for over a year now.  

1. Full Body Workout in 30 Minutes- With a good kettle bell workout you can get in a full body workout in just half an hour.  Who wouldn't love that?  A good kettle bell workout will combine both upper and lower body exercises in addition to exercises that get your heart rate up. It's similar to interval training and since you are using a weight, you should workout just three times a week and let your muscles rest a day in between workouts.

2. Burn 600 Calories An Hour-  Kettle bell workouts may help you burn up to 20 calories per minute--if you did the math, that's a whopping 1200 calories per hour.  However you will have differing results based on factors such as your weight, the heaviness of your kettle bell and the intensity of the workout.  It's safe to assume, though, that you will burn about ten calories per minute quite easily, which ends up being 600 calories per hour.  If you are pressed for time and can only fit in a thirty minute workout, you will still burn just as many calories as if you went jogging without going outside and all the impact that running puts on your joints.

3. Get A Great Butt and Toned Abs- Kettle bell workouts are known for giving great results in your bottom and abdominals.  They require doing a lot of squats and lifting the weight out to chest height which will workout your abdominal muscles.  After I started using this kettle bell workout, I saw results within two weeks. My jeans were fitting better and my butt was firmer, even though the number on the scale didn't change at all.  But I'd rather fit into smaller jeans and look thinner than care about the number on the scale. 

4. Workout At Home-  Life is busy.  It's just not practical for most people to get to the gym and workout.  Kettle bell workouts can be done in the comfort and privacy of your own home.  You don't need a lot of room either, a nice four foot area will work well.  Just be careful if you have children or pets, as the movements require you to swing the bell up quite quickly and if you accidentally  hit someone, they will likely get hurt.  Put the pets in another room or outdoors and make sure the kids are occupied or napping before starting your workout.

5. Only One Piece of Equipment- Since you only need one kettle bell to get a full body workout, you'll save space. From my experience, you can use it for a long time since it's very heavy.  Since I started exercising seriously a few years ago, I've bought three sets of free weights, but they take up a good amount of space.  After a year, I've not yet outgrown my kettle bell. 

Kettle bells aren't for everyone, but for those who are interested, give it a try. It's so much fun and you'll forget that you're even working out.