If you’re tired of paying for an exorbitant gym membership or just have trouble finding the time to work out, here are 10 tips to help you exercise at home and achieve your fitness goals.
- Work out in the morning
If you prioritize your fitness at the end of a long work day, you might not have the motivation to actually work out because of how drained you are. By exercising in the morning, your body will mimic a fasting state and kickstart weight loss, you’ll be less stressed before you start the day, and you’ll slowly develop a habit that becomes automatic.
- Give yourself an award
While exercise can help increase your energy and make you stronger, having tangible benefits can encourage you to work out more. An extrinsic reward is powerful because your brain believes that the behavior you’re doing to get that reward is worthwhile. Once you hit an exercise goal, reward yourself with a pair of running shoes you’ve been eyeing or a new yoga mat.
- Have a family member encourage you
Enlist a family member to be your source of workout motivation and hold you accountable throughout the week. Whether it’s having them remind you to lift weights, setting a time to go on a run in your neighborhood, or doing pilates in your living room, having a buddy system can give you that push to exercise.
- Switch up your workout routine
If you’re just using an at-home elliptical or treadmill every day, it can be hard to stay motivated throughout the week. Go for a nature walk or find an exercise you actually enjoy, like HIIT workouts, buti yoga, cycling, or resistance training.
- Use your exercise to destress
Exercising can release endorphins, known as feel-good hormones, which reduce stress and anxiety levels. Use this time as a way to destress after work. Listen to your favorite podcast, download a new Spotify playlist, or buy an audiobook to distract yourself as you exercise.
- Invest in fitness essentials
Stock up on fitness essentials, so you feel more prepared while working out. Elastic resistance bands are great at training muscles and toning parts of your body, dumbbell weights are essential for building strength, and a jump rope is an excellent choice for a solid cardiovascular workout. You can also invest in a gym ball to improve flexibility and maintain body balance and a gym mat for yoga and pilates exercises. In addition to buying gym equipment, you’ll also want to invest in gym clothes that you feel comfortable working out in—there’s nothing more annoying than wearing scratchy, tight-fitting clothes during an intense, sweaty workout.
- Create a designated fitness space
Having your own “mini gym” in your home is a great way to feel like you’re in control of your workouts. Set aside a spare room (or if you don’t have a spare room, make some space in your living room or garage), and keep a basket of all your workout tools. If you can, put floor-length mirrors in the spare room to help you monitor your form.
- Stream online workouts
If you hate working out alone, consider streaming online workouts on YouTube or Vidergize. This exercise option will provide a more personalized workout experience and allows you to workout wherever you are. Not to mention, you’ll have access to limitless fitness opportunities and trainers.
- Stop making excuses
You may feel like you don’t have the time (or money) to exercise because you’re so consumed with work and financial stress. To combat these feelings, carve out at least 30 minutes in your daily schedule where you step away from other priorities and take the time to focus on your health. Thankfully, since you’re working out at home, you won’t need to spend too much money unless you’re buying fitness equipment for your home gym. If you really want a nice piece of equipment, like a rowing machine or treadmill, see where you could be saving money: cut your cable bill if you don’t watch a lot of TV, combine product insurance plans into one comprehensive warranty, and set aside a portion of your income each month for this purpose.
- Pace yourself
Have at least one recovery day every week to rest—resting is just as important as working out because it allows your muscles, nerves, and connective tissue to rebuild. If you start experiencing pain during your weekly workouts, rest until the pain is completely gone.