We all know that exercise is important. It’s good for your health. It’s good for your mind. It sets a great example for your kids. But I know as well as anyone how hard it can be to actually find the time, or in some cases the money (gyms can be pricey) to commit to a workout routine. I’ve been back and forth over the years from having a gym membership to working out at home. For me the main factor has been time and location. When I happened to have a gym close to my office I loved working out on my lunch hour. But now, since my gym recently closed, I have gone back to working out at home. I’ve found some great work outs that resources that I thought I would share with you if you are thinking about working out at home, or you already work out at home and just want to add something new to your routine.
Equipment for home work outs
Let’s start with equipment. Because you really don’t need much to get in a good work out. You don’t need to invest in a bunch of fancy equipment. I should tell you that I tend to focus on strength training so all of my recommendations will have that focus. Here are my personal must haves for working out at home:
There are lots of exercises, especially core work where you will find yourself on the floor so a mat comes in handy. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just a basic “yoga” type mat.
What size you need really depends on your fitness level but you don’t need a huge selection of dumbbells. I find, for myself, I use 8, 10 and 12 pound weights the most.
I’ve actually just recently got into doing kettlebell workouts and I LOVE them! There are just so many things you can do with them. When my gym closed I went out and bought myself a set of three kettlebells. This particular set cost me $49.99 at Canadian Tire and has a 5, 10 and 15 pound weight. I have yet to use the 5 pound one but often use the 10 and 15.
It’s been a while since I’ve actually used my bands but lots of people like them and they are really great to throw in your suitcase or carry on if you want to keep up your workouts while travelling.
Having a step of some sort is a great way to work in a bit of cardio and resistance (gravity is your friend) into your strength training routines.
For a bust of fat burning cardio you just can’t beat a skipping rope to get the old heart rate up!
TV or computer
When I worked out at the gym I had my routines written down. But one of the benefits of working out at home is that it’s easier to find new workouts either online or on DVD that you can turn on and jump right into. And if you prefer working out to music you can usually follow along just fine with the TV volume turned down and your music cranked.
This may not be a “must have” for everyone. I often go weeks without using my ball, but if you like variety I’d definitely suggest picking up a ball to add to your workouts. They are awesome for working your core!
Work out resources
Ok so you’ve picked up a few pieces of equipment (and don’t forget good shoes) and are ready to get to work. Now what? If you don’t know where to start here are a few of my favorite resources for finding great work outs.
Besides being one of my favorite people in the world, Tamara, aka the Fitknit Chick, is an awesome trainer. You can start by checking out her library that contains over a dozen free workouts. All of the workouts are relatively short and use most of the basic equipment I’ve talked about above. Tamara’s specialty is working with women over 40 which is perfect for someone like me. While you’re their check out the other valuable resources on her page. And if you need an extra push or some more professional guidance to get going she does that too!
BodyFit By Amy
As I mentioned earlier, I just recently got into using kettlebells in my workouts. That’s how I discovered Amy. She has a whole library of workouts of all kinds. I’m sure I will check out some of her other stuff but so far I’ve just been playing the kettllebell channel. One of the things I love about these work outs is they very in length from super quick 8 minute routines to more intense 25 or 30 minutes ones.
Nike Training App
It was actually the Kitknitchick who got me hooked on this awesome little app. It’s available to download on most devices and is loaded with over 100 workouts. There is a lot of variety and you can search workouts by your level, the time you have, the equipment you have or the part(s) of your body you want to focus on. It’s also really handy for travel since you can just load it on your phone and pick a workout that doesn’t even need equipment if you don’t have any handy.
The Fitness Blender is a series of You Tube Videos done by a husband and wife team. These are some really good, high quality videos that you can follow along with at home. Their library is HUGE with well over 200 workouts so you get a lot of variety. From total cardio, strength and some fun yoga blends there is something for everyone here.
I’ll be honest, PopSugar is not on my regular playlist. But LOTS of people like it. And I can see why. It’s just not my style. But if you are looking for upbeat, high energy workouts then this might be right for you. There is a lot of variety here to help you not get bored with your workouts and the videos are well done and led by some qualified trainers.
If working out to DVDs is easier for you (maybe you don’t have a computer in your workout space) then you can’t go wrong with any of the Jillian Michaels work out DVDs. Jillian knows her stuff and has some really good, and intense, workout DVDs you can buy – and they are quite affordable.
This might be the hardest of all – finding the time to squeeze in a work out. I don’t have a magic solution to that. All I can say is do your best and fit it in when and where you can. Even if today all you can mange the time for is a 10 minute workout then do a 10 minute work out! Can you get up half an hour earlier in the morning? If you work outside the home is there a gym near by so you can squeeze in a quick lunch time workout a few times a week? Can you fit in some time while the kids are around? I know my almost 8 year old daughter can generally amuse herself for half an hour or, even better, she sometimes works out with me! I have some very small ( 2 & 3 pound) dumbbells for her and she LOVES using the stability ball. All you can do is your best. There is the odd week that I don’t manage to get in a single work out. And that’s ok. I’ll try and do better next week!