Home Fitness
Made Easy

Fighting for a parking space, waiting for exercise machines and wiping sweat (not yours!) off workout benches is enough to zap the good intentions of any new exerciser. Save yourself time, money and aggravation by working out at home instead. It's easy – and just as effective – if you keep the following home exercise guidelines in mind.

Woman exercising at home

Home fitness: Right for you?

Before you decide to work out at home, you'll need to consider several things. For example, it takes more self-motivation to exercise at home, especially if you park the treadmill next to your bed. This ill-advised arrangement forces you to weigh your options: Hit the snooze button again or exercise — how often will you cave in to the more sedentary option? Aside from parking the treadmill somewhere other than your bedroom, try these quick tips to increase your chances of home-workout success.

6 Quick tips for home workouts

1Rise and sweat

Exercise first thing in the morning, before you have any interruptions, and preferably before the rest of the household awakens.

2Plan your home workout

Make your workouts a priority and schedule them in your planner as you would an important business meeting.

3Try the exercise buddy system

Invite a friend to join you in your workouts – and make sure it's someone who will hold you accountable, not your lazy friend who would prefer you joined him on the couch with a bag of chips.

4Turn up the fitness tunes

Play upbeat music for exercise motivation -- or wear an iPod if others in the house are sleeping.

5Exercise outdoors

When weather permits, bring all or part of your workout outside for variety.

6Prioritize your fitness comfort

Choose a workout space that's well-ventilated, well-lit and a pleasure to be in.

The best and most economical home fitness tools

You can create an efficient exercise space with minimal cash outlay. For less than the price of a restaurant dinner you can adequately outfit yourself with enough equipment for a complete workout.

Here's all you need:

  • A stability ball (be sure to get the proper size ball – refer to the chart on the side of the box), preferably burst-proof or slow-deflate
  • Resistance tubing with handles and a door anchor, for attaching to door hinges (get heavy, medium and light resistance tubing to work the different muscle groups)
  • Exercise mat
  • Exercise bench with incline option (optional but nice to have)
  • Dumbbells (optional if you have tubing, but they add exercise variety)
  • Instructional fitness DVDs if you're going it alone, or a session or two with a personal trainer to set up a personalized program
  • Safe neighborhood for walking and other cardiovascular exercise

Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes five days a week for health benefits, be consistent, eat healthy and you'll soon see results from your home fitness efforts.

Home workout ideas

The 5-minute sexy legs workout at home for women

Check out this 5-minute workout for women that can be performed at home.

More on home workouts

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