This Byte has been authored by

Marina Halter

Does the thought of driving to the gym, sharing sweaty equipment, and then having to shower in public make you not want to exercise?

Man sitting on couch lifting a weight in one hand. The dumbells have been replaced with toilet paper rolls.

Exercise at home! With minimal prep, you can easily squeeze a workout into your day without ever leaving your home.

1. Figure out your workout goals

A dog dressed in clothes and a sweatband lifting a dumbbell

Before starting the workout, it's important to have a goal for why you are working out in the first place.

Do you want to:

  • lose weight?

  • build muscle?

  • stay in shape?

  • get in shape?

  • maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Back of woman in sports bra. Can see back and some arm muscles.

Figuring out your goal will help inform the type of workouts that will be most effective for you. The overall goal will also help you set smaller goals that will keep you motivated.

2. Set up your space

Most at-home workouts will require at least a yoga mat's worth of space.

  • Find a space in your home where you can stretch out your arms and not hit anything.

  • Be sure to gather all your materials in one area to have easy access to them and to create a space designated for your workout.

Girl on a yoga mat with her arms and a leg up in a pose Photo by Katerina Jerabkova on Unsplash

⚡Check your knowledge!

Flaticon Icon Cary has a large open area in the basement. There is a rack with dumbbells nearby.

Flaticon Icon Pat lives in a dormitory where space is limited. However, there's some space next to the bed that's wide enough for walking.

Flaticon Icon Jen has a space for a yoga mat in the living room of her apartment.

Flaticon Icon Daisa has an at-home gym, equipped with a treadmill and weights.

Quiz

Who is set up for success to workout at home? Select all who apply.

3. Get your materials

Based on your exercise goals, determine what kind of gear you will need to workout. You'll definitely want a towel, yoga mat, and water bottle. You may want to keep a mirror nearby to ensure your form is correct.

Many weights on a shelf in a gym

If you want to invest in large pieces of equipment, some options are:

  • treadmill

  • stationary bike

  • rowing machine

  • elliptical machines

  • aerobic steppers

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You could exercise with no equipment, but here are some low-cost options:

  • weights

  • exercise bands

  • yoga mat

  • jump rope

  • exercise ball

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Quiz

David is used to going to the gym and using the treadmill. He won't be able to replicate the same level of exercise at home without a treadmill.

4. Pick a workout

Girls on yoga mats on hands and knee, with one leg up at right angle. Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Where to start?! There are so many options for workouts.

Determine what kind of exercises align with your goals. Choose to stream a workout for free, design your own workout, or invest in an exercise program that you can follow at home. Think about how much time you can commit to your workout.

Some types of effective workouts include:

  • HIIT (high-intensity interval training)

  • cardio

  • strength

  • yoga

  • Tabata

  • flexibility/mobility training

Man running in place at home

5. Motivate yourself

Help yourself stay motivated by joining a community, connecting with others on social media, or finding an accountability buddy.

People doing the bird dog exercise with text that says

Some other ideas to help you stay motivated include:

  • picking workouts that are fun

  • keeping distractions to a minimum

  • blocking out time in your day

  • finding exercises that are appropriate and feel good to you

  • doing mini-workouts

  • setting small goals for yourself

Take Action

Man in a pushup with dumbbells in hands. Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

You can do a few simple things to get started on your at-home fitness journey:

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