Getting Fit at Home
Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or simply be a fitter person, you might currently be deciding which workouts will be best for you. There is a wide range of options, so sometimes it simply comes down to your lifestyle preferences.
If you live a busy lifestyle, have young kids at home, or live too far from a gym, you might want to try working out at home.
With this article, you will find that there are many ways to get fit right in the comfort of your own home.
Why You Should Consider Working Out at Home
For some people, the option to work out at home feels like a dream come true. They don’t have the motivation (or the time) to make it to the gym every day and live somewhere with a lot of bad weather, so exercising outside is often not available.
For others, they enjoy getting out of the house to workout.
Either way, you can really benefit from incorporating home workouts into your regular fitness routine. Some reasons to consider working out at home include:
You can save money – First of all, you save money by not paying for a gym membership! That $50 that comes out of your bank account every month might seem small, but it adds up. Before too long, you have spent $600 in a year on a membership you might not use very often.
Convenient – Home workouts are extremely convenient. No more do you need to worry about finding the time to drive to the gym or try to get outside before it gets dark after you return home from work.
You can work out in your pajamas or your favorite yoga pants, in inclement weather, or in the middle of the night if you really want to. The fact that your kids can stay home with you while you get in your daily exercise is another part of how convenient it can really be.
It becomes a family activity – Also consider the fact that when you start working out at home, it can actually turn into an activity your entire family becomes involved in.
Basic Exercise Equipment and Accessories
When you decide to get fit at home, what you use, how much you spend, and where your workout is completely up to you. This is one of the beauties of it! Here are some different options as far as workout accessories and equipment go.
First of all, if you have the space and budget for it, spending money on some exercise equipment is highly recommended. This allows you to have close to the gym experience without ever having to leave your house.
If you get stuck inside during a snowstorm, you will be glad there is a treadmill in your home gym! Some exercise equipment that tends to be easy to fit into your home includes:
- Stationary bike
- Weight bench
- Ab trainer
- Rowing machine
Workout Tools and Accessories
Next up is the various tools and accessories used in your regular fitness routine. This will depend largely on the type of workouts you intend to incorporate into your new at-home fit lifestyle.
If you intend to do yoga, this might include getting a yoga mat and possibly some DVDs or books if you are new to doing yoga. Other accessories to have on hand include:
- Free weights
- Resistance bands
- Heart rate monitor
- Jump ropes
- Medicine balls
Also don’t forget about some additional exercise equipment you may want, such as a small trampoline or a ballet bar if you intend to do barre fitness workouts. It is okay to start small and get just one or two items at a time, then gradually add more as your budget allows. Remember that large exercise equipment can be placed in your bedroom or living room; you don’t need an entire room dedicated to your home workouts.
Consider Using Household Items to Get Fit
One of the benefits to working out at home is that you don’t need to purchase any additional items if you don’t want to. What you decide to get for your home workouts is entirely up to you! In fact, many workouts require absolutely no items whatsoever, while others use household items you already have.
Look at all the ways you can use regular, everyday items to get in a good workout. Get creative!
Dining Room Chairs
Just about everyone has a kitchen or dining room table, which means you have chairs to use for your home workouts. There are actually quite a few workouts you can do with the chairs. The first thing you can do is work on your triceps.
Put your back to where it faces the seat of the chair, reach behind you and put your palms down on the seat.
Now start lowering your body down to the ground. You will feel the workout in your biceps and glutes! Some other workouts you can do with dining room chairs include standing side crunches and incline pushups.
Cans and Bottles
This is likely something you remember seeing your parents or grandparents doing when you were a kid. Soup cans are the perfect size to wrap your hands around and often a good weight to start with. A can of vegetables or soup is typically about a pound, so it is good for beginners.
You can use the can just like you would a free weight. With larger water jugs filled with sand or rock salt, they add a little extra weight to your workouts.
Bags of Fruit
To lift about 3-4 pounds of weight when you get too advanced for the cans of soup, you can lift bags of fruit. Standard bags of apples or oranges are usually between 3 and 4 pounds.
You will need to use both hands to carry them, but you can simply carry the bags when walking around the house, up and down the stairs, or doing your squats.
Why not use a laundry basket to your advantage? Fill up a laundry basket with clothes or towels, then put a large container of detergent on top.
You can now use the laundry basket to carry up and down stairs, walk in place, or use it for deadlifts.
Your kitchen and bathroom countertops are probably a good height for doing some push-ups. Just make sure they are made of sturdy materials so you don’t cause any damage to them. All you need to do is place both hands on the countertop and lean down at an angle, then push back up.
Keep going for a few reps, take a break, and repeat.
Exercises You Can Do With Your Baby
If you have a baby at home, don’t worry! You can actually have some fun with your baby, have bonding time, and get in a good workout at the same time. First of all, let’s make it simple: you can take advantage of tummy time by doing some quick high-intensity interval (HIIT) workouts.
All you really need is about 5-10 minutes to get this done. Here are some other workouts you can do with your baby:
Who doesn’t love to dance?
This is something that requires no additional workout equipment, can be done at any time, and in any room of your home. Put your baby in either a front or back carrier, making sure he is secure.
Turn on your favorite music, and just start dancing. More than likely, your baby will have a great time! He might coo, laugh, or clap his hands. He may even start moving along with you.
Dancing is great for cardiovascular benefits and can be a slow or fast dance; anything to get you moving and your blood pumping.
There are a few different moves you can do that require holding your body and will tone your body at the same time. One move involves lying down on your back, tucking in your legs to your chest, and placing your baby safely on top of your legs.
Gently lift your legs while holding your baby in place. This works out your leg muscles due to the extra weight, but also the extra control it takes to keep your baby in a safe position.
Keep in mind that you can bring your baby along with just about any at-home workout. If you want to run up and down the stairs a few times, put your baby in a carrier and bring her along.
You can place her in her high chair and do lunges against the chair while she drinks her bottle, or you can put her in front of you by your feet when you are doing sit-ups.
How to Stay Motivated For Home Workouts
Now comes the inevitable part where we discuss the potential challenges you might face when working out at home. While it is cost-effective and convenient, you might also find that it is difficult to get up from the couch and workout, especially when being at home makes you relaxed.
It is one thing to go to the gym and workout, since you are in a motivating environment. At home, your kids might be watching cartoons and your husband enjoying some reading time, so it makes it hard to focus on your physical fitness.
Keep reading to find out how you can motivate yourself to get fit at home.
Involve Your Family
If you prefer working out alone, that is totally fine, but some people don’t. You might find that the reason you don’t often exercise while at home is because you are distracted by others in the household.
A good way to remedy this is by involving them! If you have dogs at home, take them for a walk. If you have young children, either let them walk alongside you or bring your baby with you with your different workouts.
Older kids and teens can join you when doing a workout DVD or you can challenge each other on the treadmill.
Create a Realistic Workout Schedule
Just because you are getting fit at home doesn’t mean you should be lax about it. This is often what leads to motivation problems. Treat your workouts just like every other appointment and write them down.
Come up with a realistic schedule for when to fit in exercise each day, and write it down on the calendar along with your other important events and meetings.
Find Others Working Out at Home
It is also good to join a community of other people that prefer at-home workouts. You can use social media to your advantage by searching for groups of people that are coming together to talk about the workouts they are doing. This is a great way to get tips and suggestions, compare results, and share before and after pictures of your results. It keeps you motivated and gives you a place to talk to others who have similar goals.
Get Equipment You Want to Use
Sometimes it comes down to what equipment is available. If you spend a good amount of money on an elliptical machine, that right there will motivate you to use it. If at the gym, you can’t stand the treadmill, don’t get one!
Get items that you know you will like using.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
To finish up, let’s take a few minutes discussing some common mistakes people tend to make when they begin exercising at home. These are not big mistakes, but it is good to be aware of them so you can have successful workouts without injuries and other problems.
Not Warming Up First
Warming up is an important part of any workout routine, no matter what type of exercises you will be doing or where you are. If you are walking around your block, swimming laps in your pool, or doing an aerobics DVD, you need to do warm-ups and stretches beforehand.
This helps to get your body warmed up and your muscles ready for the workout it is about to face. If you fail to do this, you might eventually have some pretty bad soreness and injuries that keep you from ever wanting to workout again.
Assuming You Need Expensive Equipment
While it is great to have a stationary bike or rowing machine at home, you don’t need them to burn calories and become physically fit at home. Don’t forego home workouts and remain sedentary just because you can’t afford fancy equipment or a gym membership.
There is no much you can do simply by walking upstairs, going for jogs around your block, or using household items!
Also, remember that you don’t need a lot of space to workout. Some people are under the misconception that without a room to dedicate to a home gym or a garage or basement to convert into a workout area, you can’t workout from home. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
A very small area is really all you need.
Not Taking Your Workouts Seriously
Be just as serious with your home workouts as you would any other form of exercise. By taking them seriously, you will exercise vigorously and have much better results on your heart rate monitor.
You want to burn as many calories as you can and strengthen your muscles to lose weight, get toned, and become a physically healthy and fit person. Make sure you really give it your all every time you exercise, whether doing yoga or Pilates in your living room, or lifting bags of apples.
A good way to start workouts at home is by considering the type of exercises you enjoy the most and what is currently available to you.
Then you can gradually add in new workout routines and buy equipment or workout accessories.
Start slow and make sure you contact your doctor before starting any new fitness routine.