How to Get Fit Without a Gym: Home Workouts

How to Get Fit Without a Gym: Home Workouts

Even if you don’t have access to a gym or fancy equipment, learn how you can still stay fit with some simple techniques to exercise at home without equipment.

Being stuck at home, or constantly traveling for work, doesn’t mean you have to stop moving just because you don’t have access to a gym or equipment. Exercise is important not just for the body but the mind as well.

If you don’t feel safe going back to the gym just yet, fret not. There are numerous ways you can exercise at home without equipment and achieve the same benefits as a gym membership. Your body is all the equipment you need – except maybe a couple of select things from the kitchen and around the house.

Exercise at Home: Strength Training Is Paramount

There’s just something about working your muscles until it hurts to move that makes you feel like you can take on the world. First and foremost, strength training helps you feel better. But it can also decrease your risk of injury, protect your muscle mass and bone health, and boost your metabolism.

Start with Bodyweight Exercises

You’d be surprised what you can accomplish with just your body weight and a little gravity, and I don’t just mean push-ups and squats. There are so many exercises you can incorporate into your routine to avoid burnout.

Remember to start small, with the traditional exercises, then work your way up. The basics are basics for a reason – but once you master the technique, you can start to modify the exercises.

How To Exercise at Home With Everyday Items

Thanks to the events of the past year –weights and other common workout equipment have been flying off the shelves and are all on backorder online. If you’re ready to up your workout game and add weights to your regime, it’s time to take a lap around your house.

The laundry detergent above your washer? Kettlebells. Extra soup cans in your pantry? Dumbbells. The beach towel in your linen closet you haven’t touched in months? Now it’s a yoga mat. The backpack tucked away in a random closet? Add a couple of cans of soup, and you’ve got yourself a weighted vest.

The list of items goes on and on. Not only can you use everyday items in your home to get fit, but you can use the stairs and walls in your home as well.

The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is a tried and true favorite of many. There are tons of tutorials online, and it takes little to no investment. Not only will yoga improve your balance and flexibility, but it can increase your strength, improve posture (bad posture can be the cause of back and neck pain), and so much more.

If working with weights or bodyweight exercises haven’t been showing you the results you want, give yoga a try. Yoga is recognized for helping release tension and anger, building toned muscles, stabilizing your balance, and increasing the quality of your sleep. Several studies have also found that yoga can promote better balance throughout the entire body.

There are multiple types of yoga you can do alone or with friends and family – which is a great way to help keep you motivated and on track.

A dark haired man in exercise clothes runs in place in his living room

Exercise at Home: Cardio Isn’t Cancelled

I know. I hate running too.

So you’ll be happy to know there are a plethora of home exercises you can do to increase your heart rate without having to leave the house or get on a treadmill. From jumping jacks to cross mountain climbers, there’s a number of exercises you can mix and match into your workout routine to get your heart pumping.

Is Circuit Training Right for You?

Don’t have enough time to get in that hard-core workout you had planned but still want to raise your heart rate? Time to break out the phone and set a timer for circuit training. Whether you have 15 minutes or half an hour, you can build a personalized circuit training workout to suit your needs.

Chances are, you’ve heard of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and may want to shy away from circuit training. However, HIIT and circuit training have a few key differences. While both methods were designed for cardio and can be done in a short amount of time, HIIT is intended to be performed at maximum effort and exertion at all times. On the other hand, circuit training consists of eight to 12 stations that target different muscle groups while controlling the intensity of the exercise.

Compound Movements Are Key

You didn’t think bodyweight exercises were only for strength training, did you?

Compound movements are exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time. HIIT routines are one such example. But if you’re not ready for that kind of intensity, HIIT moves can be modified to your level of experience – and best of all, can be done from the comfort of your home without equipment.

But above all, remember that your health and the way you feel are the most important things. If you’re feeling short of breath or dizzy, stop and take a break. Drink some water. You can always come back to the exercise once you’ve recovered.

An attractive woman in tight workout clothes does leg lifts at home

Struggling to Find the Motivation To Exercise at Home?

More often than not, your lack of workout equipment isn’t why you’re not exercising at home. In reality, it all comes down to motivation.

Some days I’m so unmotivated, I wonder how anyone who works a 9-5 manages to incorporate a workout into their schedule. I already eat, sleep, work, and relax at home, and now I’m supposed to find the willpower to exercise at home as well?

When I was in the habit of going to the gym, I found that once I was there, I actually enjoyed working my muscles and watching my progress grow. The problem was getting myself motivated enough to get there.

Following that logic, you would think at-home exercises would be a piece of cake, since you don’t have to go anywhere. Sadly, that’s often not the case.

Focus on What Exercising Can Do For You

It seems obvious that working out is a good way to lose weight, but did you know there are so many other benefits that come with regular exercise?

Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, can improve mood, help promote heart health, moderate cholesterol, support mobility, and so much more.

From circuit to interval training and everything in between, the most important thing is to get up and move. If you’ve been sedentary over the past year like so many others, myself included, it probably won’t be the easiest to get started.

Start small and work your way up.

How to Exercise at Home: Top 5 Tips to Stay on Track

  1. Pick whatever time of day works best for you, or whatever rotating schedule you need, and try to stick to it. Consistency is key.
  2. Lay out your workout clothes ahead of time. Trust me. It may seem simple, but having one less thing to think about when it comes time to start your workout means you have one less reason not to do it.
  3. Set a realistic goal with a clear milestone. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  4. Try a variety of exercises. Once you find what you like, or at the very least the workouts you don’t absolutely hate, rotate them through your schedule. The change and variety in your home exercise routine will keep you motivated to keep going.
  5. You don’t have to love it. It might come as a shocker, but not everyone who consistently works out enjoys every minute of it. But you’ll feel better after you do it. So be kind to yourself – everyone’s at a different part in their journey.
A man looks at his computer as he does exercises on the floor

Look to Instagram and YouTube For Inspiration

If you want to work out but you just don’t know where to start, that’s where Instagram and YouTube come in handy. I recommend turning to YouTube if you’re looking for an entire workout set to start you off, and getting on Instagram if you want to incorporate new, specific exercises into your regime.

Whether you’re looking for motivation or specific home exercise regimens, the internet will undoubtedly have what you need to kick your workout into high gear without much delay.

Just don’t let yourself get sucked into the black hole that is the internet.

Set Your Playlist

I don’t know about you, but I find I’m 10 times more motivated to work out if I’ve got a jammin’ playlist. Find the music that gets you motivated and blast it from the speakers.

Not only can music make your workout a hell of a lot more fun, but studies have shown that music can increase your heart rate and actually make your workout seem less challenging.

Put Some of Your Focus on Food

While it’s incredibly important to remember to exercise at home, you shouldn’t forget that the fuel, a.k.a. the food, you put in your body, is just as vital. You could become an exercising machine, but if you’re not paying attention to the food you eat, you won’t make much progress.

Are Workout Supplements Right For You?

Workout supplements aren’t for everyone, and there are varying opinions on the subject. If you think it’s something you might be interested in, the information on the internet might be a little mind- numbing. From pre-workouts to post-workouts, different supplements include a wide array of ingredients and are helpful for different reasons.

From protein supplements to vegan supplements, pills to powders, and oils or topicals, there’s a supplement available for every person, regardless of their dietary or personal needs.

If you don’t feel comfortable experimenting with supplements, remember that sometimes all you need after an intense workout is a long, hot bath to rejuvenate your sore and tired muscles.

Two friends ride exercise bikes in their living room

Friends Who Workout Together, Are More Likely to Work Out

Having a workout buddy means you’re more likely to enjoy exercising, and it means you have someone to hold you accountable. While it’s nice to partner with someone who has the same goals as you, it’s not necessary. You don’t have to be doing the same thing as your workout buddy in order to encourage them to keep going, and vice versa.

Be it a friend, co-worker, neighbor, or significant other, find the person who inspires you and holds each other accountable. Try new at-home exercises together and talk to each other about the foods that energize you or that new song that gets you pumped. Having someone there with you, cheering you on – whether in person or virtually – is one of the best ways to exercise at home without equipment.

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