10 Easy Ways to Work Out from Home!

Although our day-to-day lives look different in many ways, one thing we both agree on is the necessity of regular exercise.  Check out 10 ways that we get our workouts in at home—from sisters Finch and Wren!

From Finch:

When you have a busy lifestyle, work, family, life…getting to the gym can be a bit of an obstacle. In 2012 I decided that in addition to my twice-weekly home workouts, I was going to join a gym. Reason? I thought I could go twice a week during lunch, get 30 minutes of pure cardio in and voila! I would be able to lose those last 10 pesky pounds. I faithfully raced from work to the gym, got dressed, threw myself on the elliptical for 30 minutes, raced to the showers and drove back to work.

 

Reality: my workouts weren’t as effective as the ones I did at home because I was always looking at the clock, knowing I had a small window to get back to work. The gym wasn’t that clean, people didn’t wipe down the machines, and don’t get me started on the bathrooms (yes, I always made sure to wear my shower shoes)!! I realized that for me, the best place to work out hard, effectively and efficiently was at my house. My yoga mat, my weights, my shower!

 

I have a list of the 5 exercise videos that I rotate; they are effective, short (30-40 minutes) and they have given me results!

  1. Jillian Michaels 30 day shred
  2. Jillian Michaels Killer Abs
  3. Jillian Michaels Shred it with weights
  4. Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs
  5. The Firm: Super Body Sculpt

Videos

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy—Finch

From Wren:

Like Finch, I love working out at home.  We homeschool, and if I work out at home I can still be finished by the time I need to get breakfast started, and school right afterward.  Here are my 5 favorite tools for getting my exercise in every day!

Feb 2014 0111.  Leslie Sansone’s JUST WALK Ultimate 5 Day Walk Plan:  If you’re not familiar with Leslie Sansone, she is famous for developing an at-home exercise system that is both gentle yet highly effective.  This DVD has 5 different walks which cover from 1 mile to 5 miles, plus extra sections which focus on abs, arms, legs, chest/back and stretches.  You can also combine walks to increase distance.  She is cheerful and fun, and you can start just where you are.

Feb 2014 016 2.  Stationary Bike:  This is my current favorite.  We have a Schwinn stationary bike in our master bedroom, and every morning I get up and ride for a bit.  I had some serious surgeries a year and a half ago that I’m still not quite over, so when I started the biking in January I could only ride for 10 minutes at a time.  But I’ve progressed to 18 minutes…and the difference I feel in my joints and posture are amazing.  Not to mention the clarity of mind I feel after riding!

Feb 2014 0133.  Walking:  This is something you can do on your own (with your iPod) or with your family.  Of course if you have kiddos, you can probably walk faster if you’re by yourself, but if you want to do it as a group there are so many benefits!  You can hang out with your precious family, check out nature together as well as teaching your children that exercise is something enjoyable, all while improving your family’s fitness!

Feb 2014 0124.  the bar method (beginner’s workout) This is an at-home workout for people who love ballet.  It incorporates interval training and isometrics with dance conditioning.  It is designed to be low-impact and strengthens muscles.  I have to say that I don’t have any personal experience with this….YET!  I think I have a couple of more months of biking before I am ready to take this on.  But I am a huge ballet fan so it’s on the list!

2013_0908_202619AA5.  My Fitbit:  Last but not least, my Fitbit.  Finch and I both use these wonderful little fitness trackers.  They record your steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, miles walked and the time.  Fitbits also give you encouraging little messages, like “You rock!” or “Let’s go!”  You can connect to the Fitbit website to record meals eaten and hours slept.  Studies have found that fitness trackers and pedometers actually encourage more exercise.  I guess when you see how much you’re doing, you’re motivated to do more!  That has certainly worked for me.

The bottom line is, it is easy and even fun to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule.  Although you should always see your physician before beginning any exercise program, it is a wonderful way to build stamina, increase fitness AND enjoy those around you.

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

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81 thoughts on “10 Easy Ways to Work Out from Home!

  1. Working out at home has been key for me during pregnancy…who wants to see a sweaty, bulging, vein-y body anyway? Not me, or at least I don’t want to be seen! I bought 1 pregnancy workout DVD and rented another from the library, and I’m happy!

  2. I am currently struggling with a workout plan. I like running outdoors but I also live in Alaska so during the winters, it is a challenge to run outside if not impossible. I have very little motivation in going to the gym for the same reasons you guys have stated.. I might try some of those videos, thanks!

    • Sabrina, they’re pretty cool—Leslie Sansone’s offer knee lifts, lunges, side steps, kicks and other dance steps, along with arm work—which really makes walking more interesting. Plus, inclement weather has no effect on them! 🙂

  3. I have tried to work out at home but it never works out. Although some of the kids join in, the others are just too demanding lol. I rather like the time away, at the gym with my ipod I get much more intense workouts this way.

  4. There’s no going wrong with Jillian’s workouts. I like to run because no matter what I have the equipment and there is somewhere to do it. There’s technically no excuse. I try to sign up for a charity race so it gives me a goal to shoot for.

    Friends and I also set challenges some months. This month I’m just getting back in shape after having a hysterectomy in December. My challenge is to hit some basics 3 times a week and then short runs 3 times a week. Next month we are going to do 1000 pushups in the month. Start working on some summer arms 🙂

    • Thanks Val! I actually started my Jillian journey after a surgery that left me pretty sedentary for months and with that came the pounds! She saved me. I need to keep working on my summer arms too!

  5. This is GREAT! I just started Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred about two weeks ago and I corroborate with you – GREAT workouts. I’ve been doing DVDs from home for years and love it. Some others I’ve really enjoyed are The Firm Ultimate Calorie Burn, Brazil Butt Lift (yes, for reals), and Crunch Belly, Butt and Thighs boot camp. I definitely think that walking is the most healthful exercise when the weather is nice, but since it is not always possible, DVDs are the next best thing!

    • Thanks Amy! I actually tried the Tracy Anderson Method DVD for Beginners last weekend; If you like a bit of modern dance thrown in with killer sculpting moves I recommend it!

  6. In theory, I love working out at home. And when I do I really get my xbox 360 (where I can use dvds like JM stuff OR do games that track my progress). I LOVE that. But in reality, I tend to really make time to work out when I have to go somewhere. Probably because I live in the burbs so if I DO go somewhere, I want to make it worth my while (and my mile). Usually, this is for class type stuff (ie, yoga classes). I almost got a fit bit or nike fuel but most of the exercise I do is non-walking (ie, yoga) so I don’t know if the electronic tracker gadgets make the most sense. All said, I need to get up and move a lot more. Thanks for the suggestions!

    • I’ve never exercised with an xbox—that sounds amazing! the Fitbit won’t probably record what you do in yoga; unless I strap mine around my ankle it never records my biking, although I can always enter the time/mileage on my Fitbit dashboard. What it will do is record all the steps you do in a day, though, which is an encouragement!

  7. Great list of resources!
    Right now I’m trying to carve out time, but I’m still postpartum so I’m too sleep-deprived to find the energy. I’ll get there eventually!!
    Thanks!

    • Oh, I remember those days, Jasmine! This can be a goal for later on. First you have to just adjust to your new schedule. Congratulations though! 🙂

  8. Great suggestions! I live in Iowa and winters terribly cold so I look for ways to workout at home, too. I’m a big fan of The Firm, Zumba, and yoga videos by Shiva Rea. I have The 30 Day Shred but haven’t tried it yet—I think you’ve convinced me to give it a try this week!

  9. I love this! I struggle with finding time to exercise, mostly because I don’t make time to do so. I wear a fitbit and work to make sure I reach my step goal – even if that means pacing around my house to get there.

    • I actually wear my fitbit everywhere except the shower! We went on a dinner date last night and to an art show and it was right there with me (i feel incomplete without mine) and I know my sister Wren does too!

  10. I agree that working out at home is the easiest for me too. I work out the hardest and feel the most relaxed. Thanks for all the great tools; I haven’t used a one of them yet. I need to get back on my feet after this surgery but I will look into them!

  11. I was thinking of getting some new videos, so I appreciate the list! And I got a fitbit for Christmas, and it has been very motivating for me too! I notice on the days I don’t get at least 5,000 steps in I am edgy and sluggish. Keeping moving helps tremendously!

  12. I love the Jillian Michaels workout videos! I just added in Brazilian Butt Lift from Beachbody which has really done wonders….

  13. Love Leslie Sandsone; I have a The Firm abs one I really like too! I think it’s time to dig the DVDs out again, I got so tired of them a couple years ago I quit. We do have a treadmill now, but maybe I’ll start with the familiar – I’ve not used a treadmill in 10+ years! Thanks for the push and making it seem simple.

    • You’re so welcome! Thanks for visiting, April. I really wished we’d had a treadmill last year but finally our son’s legs are long enough to ride the stationary bike!

    • I do too! I sometimes regret stopping ballet as a child. Not that I would have been a prima ballerina, but it’s so beautiful!

  14. I really need to work on this! I keep telling myself that I can’t work out because my little one won’t let me leave him at the child care at the gym and it’s too hard to leave at night because things are too hectic when all the kids are home… My favorite way to work out is to go to a spin class… wish I could get a spin bike for my home!

  15. I feel the same way about going to the gym. I don’t like routine exercises which is why I stick to walking and stretching. The Jillian Michaels videos look interesting though. What would you recommend for a beginner? I haven’t lifted weights in a while, and I sure feel like I’m back to square one.

    • I would recommend Jillian’s “No more trouble zones” you can do the whole video or break it into segments. Start out without weights and progress from there. It’s what I started with and is a go-to for a total body workout!

  16. I’ve always found it better to work out at the gym personally. I find other things that need to get done at home to come first and then I always find an excuse not to work out. The gym is atleast alotted/reserved time for that purpose for me. However; some of those videos do look enticing! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for sharing! I find that on the weekends especially, if I work out first, I am so much more likely to be energized and tackle those dreaded chores at home.

  17. So I am thin, but I am not fit. I am currently pregnant and this pregnancy is probably the most active I have been compared to the other two. I babysit a few kids in the mornings before school. The school isn’t far from our house. Maybe an 1/8th of a mile. While I hate getting up early each morning, I have been enjoying the walks, well when it isn’t freezing those days aren’t fun!

    • I know, Leslie! This has been the craziest winter for weather! Just when we were taking walks as a family, it dropped to freezing temps. I’m thankful for the stationary bike and the videos!

  18. Finding balance for working out is so hard! I just go with what my schedule permits…if I’m running to meetings…I will work out at the gym at the end of the day, if I’m mainly working from the office, I will choose to either work out at home or at the gym.

  19. I will definitely be looking into some of these videos. As a homeschool mother, blogger and business starter-upper… I have a difficult time MAKING the time to do what needs to be done for my body. What steps have you taken Wren to make this easier for you? Any tips are welcome! 🙂

    • Hi Amanda! Yes, it’s sometimes a challenge to manage everything as a homeschool mom. B/c I am a morning person and my energy level tends to wane over the day, I can’t depend on getting exercise in “later.” So first, I get up and grab a cup of coffee and have my quiet time. After that (and generally I’m still in the 6A hour and my son hasn’t woken up yet), I get a huge container of water and get on the bike. I am up to about 23 minutes now on that. By the time I finish, the house is still quiet so I have a little time for blogging duties before everyone is up and about.

      I wish I had more tips for you, on how to get this in! I can tell you that what did it for me was pure desperation. I still wasn’t recovering as much as I had hoped from my surgeries; my stamina was down and I was gaining weight. I thought in January, I HAVE to do this! So I just started. Doing it in the morning just sets me up well for the day and I am getting stronger, losing weight AND building my stamina, little by little.

      The videos are also awesome and can be used the same way…in the morning before anyone else is up. I hope this is helpful, Amanda–bless you!

      Wren

      • Thank you Wren 🙂 You are still encouraging. Two years ago, I had started walking super early in the morning after my quiet time and coffee. After hubby went to Afghanistan, it stopped and never started back up faithfully again. He is home now. Now excuses! Thank you for your motivation. I just need to DO IT 🙂

      • Wow Amanda—I can see how having a husband deployed would put a crimp in your walking routine! Blessings to you and him, and your family, for being willing to serve America. We appreciate your sacrifice for sure; I know it’s hard on the whole family. And bless you in whatever fitness routine you settle into now! Hugs!

  20. Love these ideas! I work out at home three or four times a week too. It would take too long to get up, get to the gym, and get back home to start school with my kids (we homeschool too). So I just get up and get it in here at home before the day starts. I usually like to get outside and run or walk, but this has been a cold winter and I’ve been inside on the tread mill for awhile now. The other benefit is that my kids see me working out and see it’s important to take care of yourself too. That’s a definite plus.

    • I so agree, Marie! As a matter of fact (we’ve been experiencing those cold temps as well) this year my son’s legs are long enough for our stationary bike, so we do our history read-aloud while he bikes! Totally a win-win. 🙂

  21. I never go to a gym anymore. I like to fit in small 5 minute workout breaks, and I’m always finding ways to lunge instead of walk, or take stairs, etc and the Jillian videos are far better than any class I’ve ever been too!

    • I wish I were as dedicated as you are (lunges instead of walking) amazing! I work in a one-story building and live in a one-story house so stairs aren’t an option 😉 During great weather, I convince my co-workers to do laps around the building. A great way to get yourself motivated to finish the day strong!
      Finch

    • Fitbits are the greatest! And you can buy them just about everywhere….Amazon, Fitbit.com, even Walmart.com! Finch and I have the One but they have a new fuschia bracelet one that I am really wanting!

    • I wish I were a lover of running! I’d love to have that sticker on my car for the marathon finishing. Isn’t it sad that that’s the only reason I’d want to run???

  22. I am also a big Jillian Michaels fan and have a couple of the DVD’s mentioned. My parents and sister have FitBits and I want one so badly! I’ll have to save up for one.

    I saved this to my Pocket for future reference and I’m now following your blog.

    Thank you!

    • Aishah,

      Thanks so much for following us! I’ll keep sharing new fitness videos as I try them (new one on the way). Definitely get a Fitbit, I even take mine on vacations! Finch

  23. I think you hit the key: do what you ENJOY and what works for YOU! Personally, I run around a lake near my home as often as possible, using the treadmill on days that are my ‘mile days’. I also do an ab work out, burpees, stretching and rotate a collection of DVDs. Works for me! Thanks for a great post and congrats on doing what works for you!

    • Thank you so much! I am a little envious of runners; it looks so freeing and peaceful! But I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Brazilian Butt Lift DVD!
      Finch

  24. Good ideas. I do workouts at home sometimes too. Gym memberships are so expensive!! I have workout dvds that I use on occasion. Lots of people do the P90X from home.

  25. I love Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, however I had knee surgery a couple weeks ago, so I haven’t been doing much other than my physical therapy exercises. The weight is coming back on quickly.

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