10 Simple Ways to Get Fit at Home

By on June 1, 2014

Sure, you can get a great workout at a gym, but the reality is, for most of us, spending an hour at the gym, plus traveling there and back is not a realistic long-term health solution. It is too much of a time commitment.

So, instead, workout at home! Contrary to popular belief, you can get a fabulous workout at home. The best part -– working out at home requires no travel time and no gym fees!

10 ways to workout at home

1. Live by the rule that, when it comes to movement, something is always better then nothing! When life "takes over" don't skip your workout altogether. Don't fall into the trap of believing that to become active you have to be perfect, or what's the point? Can't do your full workout? No problem, play soccer with your kids in the back yard, or do push-ups in your living room.

2. To get your cardio in, run or walk outside. Don't want to go outside, run up and down the stairs in your building, do jumping jacks or simply play music and dance around your living room.

3. Want to really challenge yourself and take your fitness to the next level? Do cardio intervals. If you are using the stairs, run up ten stairs intensely, then walk for five. Or, try alternating one minute of fast running with two minutes of slow jogging.

4. Buy a mini-trampoline. A trampoline is a great way to invest in a piece of cardio equipment without breaking the bank. They are fun, low impact, and a great complement to running or walking outside. Plus, they don't take up a lot of room!

5. Don't forget to strength train. Use your own body as resistance. Try push-ups, lunges, squats and planks!

6. When you get bored with using your own body weight as resistance, invest in a few inexpensive pieces of equipment.

A. The Resistance Band 
This is an extremely versatile piece of equipment. It costs around $10 and has almost limitless possibilities. For example, use it to simulate the exercises you would do with the cable machine at the gym.

B. The Stability Ball
Depending on where you buy it, the ball costs between $20 and $50. Use it to simulate a bench at the gym, or do push-ups and crunches on it.

C. Free weights
Start with light weights and buy heavier as you get stronger.

D. The Sitfit is a slightly less widely know piece that retails for about $25. Use it to train your balance and improve core strength. Put one foot on it to do lunges, or stand on it and do squats. If you stand on it barefoot with the spiky bits up it has the added benefit of helping to improve circulation. If you don't mind looking slightly silly, sit on it while at your desk to help correct posture imbalances. Simply put it on your desk chair and try to keep the air evenly distributed as you sit.

E. The Foam Roller
The roller costs around $35 or $40, but it is so worth the money. It is a fantastic piece of equipment for anyone who sits. To stretch your chest, lie on it lengthwise and spread your arms out to the side. It can also be used as a bench to do exercises like bench press and french press, or use it to massage out sore muscles. It is a must for any athlete!

7. Don't forget to stretch. I am not a huge fan of stretching; so, I have a fifteen minute routine I do in front of the TV. I only allow myself to watch TV, if I also do my stretches.

8. Plan in advance how you will fit exercise into your life. Schedule your workouts. Talk with your friends, family or significant other to figure out when it is realistic for you to exercise. Anticipate and troubleshoot possible scheduling setbacks in advance.

9. Establish a support network. Get a fitness buddy – workout with a friend, your significant other or your family.

10. Change your mental outlook. If you feel like skipping a workout, remember that everyone has moments of low motivation. Remind yourself that you will feel better after the workout. If you don't want to work out, or you don't have time to fit in your entire workout, don't just skip it all together. Something is always better then nothing. Even if all you do is go for a ten minute walk or stretch while you watch TV, make sure you do something!

Kathleen Trotter, MS (Exercise Science), BA (Honours) is an ironman competitor, personal trainer and writer. She is passionate about fitness and health and trains a wide variety of clients ranging from the avid athlete to individuals living with osteoporosis, Parkinson's and scoliosi. For more great articles and fitness tips visit: www.kathleentrotter.com and join Kathleen's newsletter.

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