Summer is right around the corner, which means millions of us will be increasing our efforts tone up before we hit the beach. Unfortunately, many people wrongly assume that you need to go to the gym or spend hundreds of dollars on fancy equipment to get in shape. But the truth is you can still get fabulous results right from your own living room. Do you want to get in shape at home without equipment? We’ve got you covered.
The Bad News About the Gym
We all know exercise is essential. Yet lots of us still just don’t do it. For many folks, working out is synonymous with going to the gym, which can present all sorts of obstacles. Going to the gym can be stressful, especially if you’re a beginner. Feeling self-conscious next to people who are in great shape is just one issue. Others include:
- Not understanding how to use the equipment
- Traffic, transportation, and parking
- Avoiding COVID exposure
- Adhering to a specific schedule
- Feeling like you need special workout clothes
- Child care
And let’s not forget the cost. Fitness club memberships can be pricey. And for many people, that money goes down the drain when they inevitably give up within a month. Come on, you know you’ve done it!
Working Out at Home Without Equipment
You might be surprised to learn that among the many do-it-yourself activities for saving money, getting in shape is one of them. The good news is you really can work out at home without spending any cash at all. Working out at home has so many advantages over going to the gym. There’s no need to find childcare or adhere to a specific schedule. You can exercise in the privacy of your own home without feeling self-conscious. You don’t need any special clothes either. In fact, you can work out in your pajamas if you want!
Of course, the two most significant benefits (besides getting in shape) of working out at home are:
- It’s free.
- You can no longer use the “I don’t have time” excuse.
What Kind of Exercises Can I Do at Home Without Equipment?
Another myth about working out at home is that you need special equipment. But you don’t need a treadmill, exercise bike, weight machine, or any other trendy product out there. While these things can be helpful, more often than not, they end up in the corner of the basement or garage.
You can do just about any kind of exercise at home without this fancy stuff. You just need to pinpoint your goals.
Goal # 1: To Lose Weight
Losing weight is about burning more calories than you consume, so the first thing to do is take stock of your eating habits. However, you don’t need to go on a diet to start a fat-burning exercise routine at home. Here are some activities you can do right now to start melting fat:
Aerobic exercises are considered the best when it comes to weight loss. Most people think of running when they consider aerobic exercise, but walking comes in at a close second. Some studies say you can burn over 100 calories during a 30-minute walk.
Of course, these numbers vary depending on your weight and walking speed. You can try a free walking/calorie calculator to get a better picture of how many calories you can burn by walking. If you add some weights, you can burn even more. See below for more on homemade weights.
Walking isn’t the only type of fat-burning exercise you can do at home, either. If walking bores you, find something else you enjoy. For example, put some music on and dance, get some yard work done, or do the household chores at a fast clip. Anything that gets your heart rate up and gets you sweating will do.
If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, start slow. For example, you can begin walking for just 10 minutes a day at an average pace. After a few days, increase the time you spend walking by another five minutes. Then, gradually increase the intensity by walking faster.
Goal # 2: To Get Stronger
If lugging the groceries in or opening that jar of pickles is getting harder each year, it might be time to work on getting stronger. And you can start with things you have in your own closets and cupboards.
Strength training (also called weight training) involves using your own body weight or specific weight training equipment to build strength, muscle mass, and endurance.
Do you need dumbbells and weight machines to do this? No. In fact, you can get stronger at home using common household items such as:
- Canned vegetables
- Heavy books
- A basket full of laundry
- Milk jugs full of water
- Full containers of laundry detergent
- Bags of cat litter
If you already know some basic strength exercises, great! But if you’re clueless about where to begin, don’t worry. There are plenty of free online videos with easy instructions on starting strength training at home.
As you build more muscle, you might need to move on to heavier, more professional weights. However, since many people give up on exercising and decide to ditch their expensive equipment, you can often find dumbells and other strength training equipment for dirt cheap. Check out garage sales and second-hand stores for these items.
Is Money Tight?
It’s not unusual for newcomers to develop an obsession with strength training. It can be really addictive, in a good way! What if you’re really getting into strength training but can’t afford heavier weights to progress further? This is the perfect scenario for picking up a quick side gig to earn extra cash. For example, mow some lawns (also great exercise), sell your unwanted items, or even make money with online surveys. These are all excellent ideas for making a few bucks to support your new fitness hobby.
Goal #3: To Get Healthier
Sometimes, the goal of working out surpasses the desire to look good in a bathing suit. Maybe you just want to feel healthier. Perhaps your doctor told you it’s time to get in shape, or you’re just not feeling as great as you could these days.
Exercise is not just for getting a beach-ready body. Working out has numerous health benefits, including:
- Helping you manage insulin and blood sugar levels
- Reducing your risk of heart disease
- Helping you quit bad habits like smoking, drinking, or overeating
- Improving your memory, learning, and thinking skills
- Improving your mood and helping you control your emotions
- Strengthening your bones
- Helping you sleep better
- Reducing the risk of certain cancers
- Improving your sex life
Suppose your goal for exercising is simply to get healthier. In that case, you can try a combination of aerobic and strength training exercises to keep you fit.
Exercise is essential to a happy, satisfying lifestyle. Yet, sometimes we feel that fitness is only for those who can afford it. That’s just not true. Getting in shape, losing weight, becoming stronger, and feeling healthier is all within your reach. So no more excuses! You don’t need to spend a dime to get a great workout right at home.