When most people decide to lose weight and become healthier, the first step they think about taking is signing up for a gym. In some ways, it makes sense. Having access to a place where you can completely dedicate yourself to fitness can be useful, and chances are, most gyms contain more equipment than your own at home. This can make working out seem more exciting and effective.
However, there’s a problem with the whole paying-for-a-gym thing: it doesn’t really work. Research has shown that roughly 67 percent of people who pay for a monthly gym membership never use the gym’s equipment and space. Although there are millions of people who sign up for gym memberships, most end up losing more money than weight.
If you’re about to embark on a fitness journey, don’t convince yourself that you need a gym membership that costs as much as your car insurance. There are plenty of ways to get in shape without buying into the gym membership trend, and as long as you stay dedicated to your fitness goals, you’ll still reap the rewards of exercise.
Ready to implement an at-home fitness routine that doesn’t require a gym at all? Here are the first nine steps to take.
The more you welcoming you make your at-home gym, the more likely you will be to use it frequently. Purchase a handful of helpful equipment pieces, including some dumbbells so that you can focus on weight training when you need to. Set up a designated area in your home that’s perfect for your daily fitness routine and consider making it very visible so you’re reminded to exercise. Whatever you do, don’t just shove your weights or yoga mat to the back of the closet where you’ll forget about them.
» Need to stock your new home gym? Check out 30 Home Gym Must-Haves so you can get moving asap!
No one wants to come up with a fitness routine on the spot, and if you leave yours until the last minute, you’ll probably end up skipping it and vegging out on the couch with Netflix playing. Buy a calendar specifically for keeping track of your workouts and deciding when you’ll do different kinds of workouts, like cardio and strength training. It also helps to research online and write down the different workout moves and routines that sound best.
» Have a little fun when you workout and do our Spell Your Name & Do The Workout Challenge! The directions are simple: Spell your name and perform the exercise that corresponds with each letter.
When you have a gym membership, you try to tell yourself you’ll go a certain number of times each week. Just because you’re working out at home doesn’t mean you should change that ambition. Hold yourself accountable and keep track of how many days you achieve your fitness goals. A good starting place is aiming to work out at least three times per week.
When you’re surrounded by the familiar environment of your home and working out alone, it can be easy to let your workouts turn into a burst of a few half-hearted pushups and some painless crunches. Don’t forget to keep pushing yourself just like you would if you were surrounded by athletes at the gym. Slowly increase the amounts of weights you use and the difficulty of your different exercises.
» For a workout that will challenge you, try our Ladder 10 video below:
Stop wearing your cotton t-shirt and pajama pants to your workouts. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you need to dress like it. Put on the same clothes you would wear to the gym. Science has indicated that this can seriously impact your athletic performance and state of mind. Plus, you’ll find that your exercise clothes are much more conducive to sweating and performing certain activities than your regular clothes are.
This can be a partner or roommate who lives with you or someone who doesn’t but who will ask about your exercise routine. Just telling someone else about your workout goals will encourage you to stick to your fitness schedule and stay on track.
There are hundreds of resources available on your devices that can help you get in shape, from Zumba class videos to personal trainers that instruct you from the screen of your phone. Do some research to see what resources fit your personality and workout style the most, then don’t forget about them as you establish your workout routine.
» If you’re looking to reach your fitness goals and stay healthy year-round, we’ve rounded up some of the best apps to help you stay motivated. Check out Fitness Apps to Keep You Motivated here.
This will help it become more of a habit than a chore. If you have plenty of energy in the mornings, set aside an hour after you eat breakfast every day. If you would rather get active after you get home from work, make your exercise routine the first thing you do once you reach your place. The important thing is to make it feel like a natural, enjoyable part of your regular daily schedule.
» Try our Morning Workout That'll Help You Have The Best Day Ever workout—perfect for days when you're short on time.
Establishing a fitness routine is difficult regardless of whether or not you purchase a gym membership. Working out is a lifestyle change, and it won’t happen overnight. Push yourself to do your best but don’t beat yourself up if you slip a few times, especially at the beginning.