For some of us, the gym is a haven. The gym is the place that some of us can go to that encourages us to put on our headphones, clear our minds, and get to work. For those people, the gym can be a get away from daily responsibilities. A chance to just focus on themselves. For others, getting to the gym is a struggle. While those who have trouble working out are not happy to be at the gym, they’re certainly happy once their work out is done.

And for the rest of us, they gym is just the place we always mean to get to, but rarely do. Maybe we pack our gym bag, maybe we even put on our tennis shoes, but somehow we just don’t make it.

Fortunately, reaching your fitness goals with at-home workouts is entirely possible. Thanks to YouTube, exercise apps, and home equipment, it’s never been easier to ditch your gym membership. So whether you just decided to start exercising, or are simply looking for a new routine, the tips below will help you save time, money, and free you from “Why Didn’t I Go to the Gym Today?” guilt.

Choosing Equipment:

What equipment you need will depend on what type of workout you choose to do, so hold off on buying weights, bands, etc. until you know what your workout routine is going to be. The only two things you need at the onset are a workout mat, which can be found in most department stores, and a good pair of shoes.

Find a Workout Space:

Once you have your mat, the next step is to decide where in your house you want to work out. Having your workout mat (and other equipment) readily available can be a big factor in whether or not you actually work out. If possible, try to find a space in your home where you can leave your equipment out. Having to haul weights out of a closet and put them back every time you work out is a great way to discourage yourself from actually hitting the mat.

If you’re self conscious about working out in front of people (even the ones you live with), use a closed off room as your work out space. Can you clear a space in your bedroom? Do you have a garage that might work? If you don’t have a closed off room with enough space, choose a common room and try to find a time of day to work out when no one else is home (more on that later).

Once you’ve decided on a space, try to put up a few things to encourage yourself when you’re getting your sweat on. Encouraging items can include motivational quotes, pictures of your favorite strong person, or simply a calendar where you mark down how often you work out. It sounds silly, but sometimes a little positive motivation can be the difference between a good workout and a great one.

Choose What Time of Day You’ll Work Out:

What time of day you work out may be dictated by your work. If you work a 9 to 5, it might be easiest to work out when you get home in the evenings, or (if you’re an early riser) before you leave for work in the morning. If you work third shift, the early afternoon when you first wake up might be best.

When you work out might also be dictated by when you have the house to yourself. Or when you’re work out buddy is available.

Whatever your schedule, be practical when choosing when to work out. If you have a long history of snoozing when your alarm goes off in the morning, don’t count on 5 AM workouts every day. If evenings are your busiest time, try to get your workout in during the morning or afternoon.

If you’re having trouble finding a consistent time to work out, don’t be discouraged. Exercise when you can, know that every little bit counts, and keep looking for a good time. If you continuously make exercise a priority, even if only once a week, it will become a part of your routine and sneak into your schedule more and more.

Choose an App or Workout Routine:

There are many options when it comes to choosing a workout routine; you can follow a fitness YouTube channel that regularly uploads new workouts, you can download a workout app, or you can buy workout DVDs.

YouTube is a great resource if money is tight, or if you want to try a variety of workouts before committing to just one type. Here are some free workout channels to check out:

-Yoga With Adriene
-POPSUGAR Fitness
-BeFit
-SELF
-Fitness Blender
-Blogilates

A fitness app is another great way to workout at home.The benefit of fitness apps is that most apps will automatically track your workouts, so you never have to worry about marking your calendar. Some fitness apps will charge a yearly or monthly fee, but quite a few are free as well. What app you download will depend on what type of exercise you want to do.

Another great thing about a fitness app is that it allows you to take your workouts anywhere. So if you travel a lot, or just like to mix up your routine, having an app can be handy.

Here is a list of the most highly recommended fitness apps:

-Jillian Michaels app
-Sworkit
-C25K
-Nike Training App
-ACTIVEx
-Charity Miles
-PEAR Personal Coach
-Pocket Yoga

To choose an app, compare prices and check out user reviews. Also be sure to note what equipment is needed for each app (though many will customize your workout depending on what equipment you have).

DVDs can be a cheap option for at-home workouts, but do limit you to working out only in front of your TV. DVDs also limit you to the handful of workouts on that particular DVD, where an app or YouTube channel might have hundreds of different workouts.

If you feel DVDs are the best option for you, check out the following trainers who have top-rated workouts on DVD:

-Jillian Michaels
-Tracy Anderson
-Ashley Borden
-Tony Horton

Stay Motivated!
In addition to decorating your workout space, consider following some strong people on social media. These don’t have to be fitness gurus – just follow some people who are working hard on their goals, whatever their goals may be.

Also consider taking progress photos. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, firm up, or just get stronger, being able to look at your progress can be a great motivational tool because they show you what all your hard work is achieving.

Starting a new workout routine can be daunting. The most important thing to know is that every tiny bit counts. You worked out once this week? That’s great! You worked out 5 times this week? That’s also great! You haven’t worked out in three weeks, but you’re trying to find the time? Fantastic! Finding your rhythm will take more time than you think, so go easy on yourself, and celebrate every step of the way.

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