Recession sends gym rats back home to work out

The economy has contributed to sagging memberships at gyms around the country, but thankfully Americans aren't trading in their gym memberships for a spot on the couch. According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), many former gym members are turning to free and cheap home exercise options to stay fit.

While the economy is what's causing more people to work out at home, it's the outstanding selection of workout material available for free or bundled with other services that makes getting in shape in your living room a real possibility.

The Journal profiled one couple who found fitness hidden in their Netflix queue, where a wealth of fitness videos awaited them. Netflix subscribers can also stream more than 50 workout videos directly to their computer or TV. Workouts ranging from Yoga and cardio workouts to fat burning and strength-building programs are all included in the monthly fee that many of us are already paying. Another popular source has been the on-demand fitness channels available from many cable operators, which have seen their viewership rise by 1 million viewers per month.