You don’t need to join a gym to stay fit. In fact, with a little dedication and coordination, you can manage to do it all—work, take care of the kids, and exercise, all without leaving your home. Gain all of the benefits of working out, like a mood boost, better sleep, and better appetite control without leaving your living room.
Working out from home doesn’t have to be complicated either. Take a long walk, ride a bike, or choose some bodyweight exercises to build strength. Just choose activities that you enjoy, carve out some time, and create a routine to encourage progress. Track your goals and have friends keep you accountable if you need some extra motivation. Here are a few top tips on how to get fit and healthy while you save on pricey gym membership dues and work out in the comfort of your home.
Pick a workout
The internet is a vast resource, and there are tons of online videos and routines that you can draw inspiration from. If you’re drawn to a particular sport, start there and see how that evolves. If you like dancing, queue up a playlist. If yoga is what you gravitate towards, pick an online sequence that you’d like to follow.
Develop a Fitness Plan
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it’s well-rounded to get the most out of each session. A comprehensive fitness plan usually has a few simple components:
- Warmup: Spend a few minutes stretching to prime your muscles for a workout. Don’t skip this step—no one has time for preventable injuries! Go for a quick walk or a slow bike ride to loosen things up before you push yourself.
- Aerobic activity: Ideally, you should aim to get your blood pumping and heart rate up for 150 minutes every week. If you’re into walking, accelerate your pace after you’ve warmed up for a few minutes. Sprints can help you build endurance. If you’re taking a bike ride, consider a route that has some hilly terrain.
- Strength-building exercises: As long as you have a body (thankfully, you do!), you have everything that you need for building strength. Squats, planks, push-ups, and core exercises are all popular for a reason—when executed properly, they’re some of the best exercises to stay fit. Look up a YouTube video for some of the best conditioning exercises to ensure that your form is good, and work to increase your number of reps. As you get stronger, change it up to spice up your routine.
- Flexibility training: Incorporate some joint-friendly movements to stay young. Yoga poses can be a great idea here. Especially if you find yourself sitting quite a bit, consider a few that counter-act a seated posture.
- Cooldown: Take a few moments to stretch and release the muscles that you’ve worked out and enjoy the rest of your day!
It may take a little while to find what routine works best for you, but you have so many options to choose from that you shouldn’t find yourself getting bored. You may need to tweak your routine a few times, but make sure that you settle on activities that you enjoy; otherwise, you’ll find it difficult to take the time to squeeze in a workout at home.
Once you’ve figured out what you’re doing, make it a family activity. Have your kids or spouse join in with you—the more, the merrier. Having that extra support makes it more fun and sustainable for everyone.
Set a time to Work Out
You’ll see the most benefits from working at home if you do so consistently. Set a time, write it in your planner, or pencil it in your to-do list to make sure that you get a workout every day. Maybe it’s before everyone wakes up in the morning, or you catch a workout while the kids take a nap.
Designate a Workout space
Pick a place to work out. Maybe it’s on the patio, in the backyard, or in the middle of the living room when you move the coffee table to the side. Give yourself enough space to move safely and freely. Change it up with local parks or trails for a change of scenery, and some Vitamin D on occasion is you can.
Focus on Nutrition
Both of the sayings ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’ and ‘beach bodies are made in the kitchen’ are common for a good reason. If you’re putting in the effort to work out, make sure that the food you eat supports a healthy outcome. Watch portions and be mindful of what you eat so that you can optimize your training results.
Keep Yourself Accountable
Results come from consistency. Prioritizing your workouts at first is critical to building the habit of working out at home. Clearly define your goals and choose some simple metrics to gauge your progress. Snap a couple of progress photos to document your journey of health and wellness.
Keep track of your workouts so that you can see your progress, too. It’s always encouraging to look back and know that you can hold a plank for more time or incorporate a few more squats as you gain strength. This will also help you make adjustments to your routine to keep challenging yourself so that you don’t get tired of doing the same thing.
The best advice on how to stay fit at home without equipment is to be creative. Outside of that, treat it like building any habit, and know that it’s essential to create an environment that supports your objectives and sets you up for success.
Find a routine that you find enjoyable, ideally one that gives you a complete workout, and commit to it. Then, revel in all of the time and money that you’ll save by figuring out how to workout at home, without joining a gym.