Feeling sluggish? Get your motivation and your heart going with these at home workout ideas and routines. No gym required, all of these exercises can be done in the house (many for free!). This post offers tips for what you might need as an investment, how to include the kids in the workout, and healthier eating habits.
At Home Workout Ideas
I’ll confess – I haven’t done a single home workout since we’ve been in self-isolation. But I’m ready to start and that’s why I compiled these at-home workout ideas. Not only in an effort to spur my own motivation but to bring some mojo to you as well! I know it’s hard. I know it’s a stressful time. But I also know that regular, daily exercise will help ease some of the anxiety. And I’m all here for that. We also don’t want to leave this isolation period carrying an extra 20 lbs, right?
I’m outlining a few at home workout ideas including online apps, streaming services, virtual races and exercises to do with kids. Some programs are completely free and others have a fee. There are workouts for beginners as well as seasoned gym goers to stay healthy and fit at home.
Are You New to Exercise?
Suddenly you’re all in on committing to good health and fitness. It can be tempting to want to jump in feet first (literally) into a new exercise routine, even if you’re a newbie. But before you kick start on the journey, these are a few things to do first.
- Consult with your doctor to ensure you’re healthy enough to begin a rigorous exercise plan.
- Warm up before and stretch after! Don’t skip these steps, as that can result in injury. If you’re following an online app workout program, there may be a built-in warm up and stretch routine. If not, search online for something appropriate to incorporate into the workouts.
- Take it slow. We all want to get lean and strong but you have to start from the ground up. That means beginning with the home workout that is most appropriate for your fitness level. When you’ve been doing that for a while and it’s easy for you to complete, bump up to the next level. You do want to challenge yourself. But you also don’t want to hurt yourself either by going too hard, too early.
Do You Need to Invest in Gym Equipment?
Depending upon the workouts you’re interested in, investing with gym equipment can be a wise move. BUT, only if you actually use it! And of course, only if you continue to use it and don’t let it gather dust after the self-isolation measures are lifted.
Something to consider if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey. Start small, using an online exercise program and equipment you have at home. If you’re able to stick with the workouts for 30 days consistently, think about investing in pricier items that will assist you.
- Athletic Shoes – kick off the slippers and invest in a decent pair of shoes that are specific to your exercise needs.
- Yoga mat – yes, good for yoga but the non-slip, cushioned surface is also good for ab workouts and any exercise where you’re laying on the floor.
- Free weights – basic dumbells or kettlebells can be an invaluable tool when it comes to an at home workout.
- Fitness bands – these elastic resistance bands come in a variety of styles (long strips or loops) to offer resistance exercise for an at home workout in small spaces.
Fitness Journey Investments
While I wouldn’t recommend beginning exercisers run out and buy these large items, they can be helpful tools for those firmly on their fitness journey. Some of the larger equipment items offer payment plans to make the price manageable over time. If you’ve shown a commitment to your fitness goals, consider one of these as an investment for your health.
- Exercise Bike – compact and easy to use at home, fitness bikes like the Peloton and Nordictrack Studio Cycle can be a fitness upgrade.
- Home Gym – a compact fitness machine that brings gym workouts to your house like the MaxPro or Bowflex Home Gym.
- Treadmill – the classic at-home workout machine (like the NordicTrack) can be used by beginners for walking with increased resistance, incline and speed to plus your exercises.
Using an exercise app is a great way to workout on a budget. No pricey gym fees. You can exercise when and how you want, from the comfort of your home. However when something is free or even low cost, we might find ourselves lacking the motivation to do it. You know the mentality – when you pay a premium price, you might use it more because want to maximize the cost.
Beachbody – this has been my go-to for nearly 2 years, with hundreds of at home workouts at all levels, including the popular 21 Day Fix (my personal favorite). Healthy eating programs accompany many of the exercise programs as well.
Les Mills Body Pump At Home – the on demand barbell workout is high intensity training at home.
Amazon Prime Workouts – if you have Prime, you have access to tons of workouts including Zumba and HIIT. For a little extra, there are upgrades to purchase additional videos. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial.
Gaia Yoga – download the app for guided yoga exercises (with the first 7 days free).
More At Home Workout Ideas
Openfit – formerly called Gixo, this fitness app includes live workouts that you do at home, along with encouragement and corrections from your coach. Reasonably priced, and there’s a code in the link to give you 20% off the price.
Pure Barre GO – on demand balance and strength exercises that are low impact but high intensity.
Orangetheory – the hard-core gym is posting a new workout daily that’s guaranteed to make you sweat!
FitOn – totally free workout app offers a variety of cardio, strength and dance programs.
Ladder – need the one-on-one advice of a personal trainer? This app offers that in the form of live coaching.
If you’re a runner (or even if you’re not), these inspiring virtual races will have you lacing up your running shoes! In most cases, if you can keep up the pace by walking quickly instead of jogging, that’s totally fine as well.
Couch to 5K – get in good physical condition as you prep for your impending race with this app for beginners.
runDisney – I’ve never run a 5K in my life. But I couldn’t resist the draw of an at-home runDisney virtual race. I just had to sign up for all three in the series! Downloadable race bibs, certificate and real medals that will be mailed to me upon race completion. I have the runDisney playlist from The Healthy Mouse ready to go!
The Conqueror – virtual runs through famous routes, including the Inca Trail and Route 66. Tackle them alone or in teams.
Home Workouts with Kids
It can be tough to get in a standard gym-type workout when you have toddlers and preschoolers underfoot. Fortunately there are still kid-friendly exercise routines you can do alongside the kids to get your heart racing. Elementary aged kids missing recess and P.E. will love these workouts too, especially when adults join in alongside them.
- Gyminny Kids – Free virtual gymnastics classes operating through Zoom as well as video content with skills that can be done safely at home. Parents with very young kids will love the parent and tot program.
- GoNoodle – My son’s school has been using this free online exercise program for years as their rainy day recess activity. We stream through an Amazon Fire TV Stick so that the entire family can participate in the workouts.
- Indoor Fitness – For families without a yard, these indoor exercise items will entice kids off the couch. This Toss & Grip Glove and Ball Set is a safe way to get active and build upon large motor skills. Blow up balloons and play a game to keep them from touching the ground. Play music and have a lively dance party! Learn basic rolls and tumbling skills on the carpet or a gymnastics mat.
More Ways to Exercise with Kids
- Driveway Obstacle Course – use sidewalk chalk to create a fun and entertaining obstacle course that anyone in the family can follow. Draw out hopscotch, a route to skip or balance on a line, with places along the way to hula-hoop or do jumping jacks.
- Walking – Outdoor walking with kids is a free and easy way to get in your exercise, but keep to a decent pace. With babies in a stroller, take a brisk walk around the neighborhood. You might even be rewarded with a stroller nap!
- Backyard Skills – Just getting outside to kick a ball around the backyard, throw a Frisbee or jump rope on the patio adds up the movement each day.
Exercise + Healthy Eating Go Hand-in-Hand
All the exercise in the world won’t matter if you undo all the hard work in the kitchen. I’m not saying that an occasional treat isn’t okay. But if it’s splurging all day every day, then it’s not longer a treat – it’s a routine. If you’re exercising regularly you’ll also be less likely to overdo it with snacks and unhealthy food. If you’re incorporating the home workout ideas, staying on point with your eating is equally important.
Placing exercise and healthy eating together can help minimize stress eating during difficult times. I’ve been on the Jenny Craig program for several months and it’s helping me stay on track with my goals. The included Jenny Craig app helps me track food and exercise.
Log your eating using a free app, like SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal. You’ll be able to log in food (or scan the wrapper) and track exercise to see if you’re going over your calories for the day.