A lot of people struggle each year to get in shape and get healthy due to the cost of going to a gym. Not only do they have to consider the membership fees but also the cost to drive to and from the gym, child care costs, and the time lost away from their family. Here are 10 Free Ways To Exercise At Home that are free and simple enough for virtually any skill level. They can also be adapted to include the kids and your spouse so the whole family can be involved.
I've done the join the gym thing several times. I tried a 24-hour gym because I could go whenever. Only, finding a sitter didn't work out nearly as often as I wanted and all 4 boys were 5 and under then. Next, I tried a gym with a child watch. Sounds easy – load up the kids, drop them off in the kid zone, and go work out. Only, they changed the hours of the kid's watch, so it was either re-do my entire schedule or pick up dinner on the way home from the gym. That didn't work so well either. Now, I'm determined to be more realistic about my fitness!
A couple of times a month, I work out at my mom's. She has a weight machine, an elliptical (aka the DEVIL), and a treadmill. I also took over an exercise ball to break up my workouts there. The majority of the time, I just do my workouts at home. I also gave up on the workout videos that just collected dust. They may have great reviews but if I'm not actually going to USE them, there is no point. There were rehomed to someone that actually likes them! Here are some ways you can work out for free at home!
10 FREE WAYS TO EXERCISE AT HOME
Dance to the Music: Turn up the radio or download your favorite dance album online and dance like crazy. Make a date with your kids for after school each day to dance the sillies out. Spend half an hour jumping, bouncing, and dancing to whatever upbeat music you prefer. No special dance moves are needed, just enthusiasm and the willingness to move. Start slow and build up endurance so as not to burn yourself out quickly. I invested in a pair of bluetooth headphones, so I can dance to my favorite tunes while cooking and the kids can still enjoy their movie/show. My husband prefers this pair because it has a longer reach & he can walk around talking on the phone and have no clue where it is 20 minutes later…He really got them because they are noise-canceling so he can sleep when he's flying most of the time.
Walk to the Bus Stop: If your kids take the bus to school each day, walk with them each morning to the bus stop. Even if it’s only down the block it’s a great way to spend a few extra minutes with them and add a few more steps to your daily routine. Since we homeschool, my children decide to make up for this one by making me run up and down the stairs several times each night for “one last” glass of water/hug/tickle…
Take the Stairs: If you live in a 2-story home or a house with a basement, take the time to run up and down the stairs for 15 minutes a day. This simple quick action can increase your heart rate, build muscle in your legs and build stamina. Start out walking up and down then slowly build your routine up to a jog or run as you build endurance. Even stair steps at the bottom (right foot up, left foot up, right foot down, left foot down) helped tone my legs up quite a bit!
Do Vacuum Lunges: One of the classic and easiest ways to build strength in your legs is by lunging. Add that into your daily cleaning routine doing reps of 8-10 while cleaning your home. It’s a two-for-one deal that can’t be beaten & might motivate you to break out the vacuum a little more often!
Use Workout Videos On YouTube: The home of all things video also includes tons of workout videos, great clips of popular DVD’s and on occasion full routines to download or steam live while you exercise. Hook up your wifi to your TV and work out in your own living room. Unlike all those workout videos I used to buy, there is no guilt if I shut one of these off 2 minutes in because I don't like it!
Play with the Kids: Picking up your kids, wrestling around on the floor, chasing them in the yard, going to the park or simply going for a nature walk are all great ways to get exercise into your daily routine at home for free.
Chop & Haul Firewood: If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace use it as a reason to get some exercise in and provide your home with heat. If you are able to, chop wood for your home yourself. If not, simply hauling wood into the house, stacking in a cool dry area or helping your spouse do so is a great multi-purpose way to get in exercise for free. Plus it saves you money on winter heat costs!
Go for a Walk: Grab your ipod and earbuds, put on the best walking shoes in your closet and walk around your block a few times. Wave at the neighbors, learn a new route home and get fresh air all while you are getting exercise into your routine without spending money. If you have little ones, throw them in the stroller or let them walk alongside you. Fresh air is great for everyone and they will love it if you let them pick which route to take.
Lift Household Items: An easy way to lift weights and build muscle is to grab things around your home. Start off with your average can of vegetables, soup or sauce and build your way up to using 2 Liter Soda bottles or even clean milk cartons you have measured dry beans into to create specific weights. So simple and inexpensive using items you have at home!
Get Down & Dirty: Get on your hands and knees and spend time scrubbing floors, baseboards or stains in the carpet. Climb the ladder to clean the ceiling fans and crown molding. Once a week set a day for deep cleaning and really put some effort into making your house spotless. Active cleaning can burn a lot of calories and is dual purpose.
No matter what you do at home as exercise, the goal is to become more active to help increase your heart rate and end the sedentary lifestyle you have been leading. Incorporate these 10 free ways to exercise at home into your daily routine and soon you’ll see pounds shedding and your energy levels rising. If you are like me and need to SEE proof that you are actually accomplishing something, invest in a Polar F4 and some cheap fabric tape to track your measurements!
What's your favorite way to get active and still save money?