Ten free (or inexpensive) exercise options you can be doing from home right now.
Whether you are a person who lives for workouts in the gym or someone who doesn’t usually have a regular exercise routine, staying active while staying at home will help your body stay strong and your mind happy.
While we have a bit more time at home these days, it’s a good time to get a new fitness routine started that you will be able to continue when life gets back to normal. You don’t need a gym, or a bunch of fancy equipment to keep your body moving. For me, working out helps clear the cobwebs out of my brain each day and puts me in a more positive mindset. The chemicals your body naturally produces while working out can help boost your mood and even give you more energy.
Below I’m sharing my favorite ways to stay fit without going to the gym…
GOING ON A WALK
I love this one because it is a great overall body workout, clears your mind, and everyone can take part regardless of where you are starting from. Even a 5 minute walk around the block is a great start. I love it because it affords me an opportunity to get outside each day, and with a stroller it is something that I can do as an activity with my kids. Maxwell often joins me in the joggings stroller and does a scavenger hunt along the way to have some extra fun! (Always practice social distancing for all outdoor activities for the moment, and wear masks if appropriate and/or required where you live.)
Yoga is a great way of getting in tune with your body, and you don’t need any special equipment. I’m so excited that my absolute favorite yoga studio in Orlando, College Park Yoga, is offering an online digital library of yoga classes as well as live streaming classes throughout the week. The owners and teachers, Theresa and Calvin, so a great job showing beginner and more advanced poses and its a practice that anyone can jump into. Classes are available for $14.99 a month or just $120 a year of unlimited classes online, which is what I did, linked HERE. (This isn’t a sponsored post, I just love this yoga studio so much and want to share with everyone!) Cosmic Kids Yoga fun story based classes for younger children and is available for free on YouTube as well as the Cosmic Kids App.
All you need is a pair of sneakers and you’re off. Running has been my number one fitness routine since I was 15, so I’m a little biased here. It’s a really efficient way to get a whole body workout in if you have kiddos waiting for you at home, or you can bring them with you in a jogging stroller. While running I use my watch to log my time and distance, but the Nike Run Club has a great app that you can download on your smart phone or watch. I’ve included that link HERE. Your Nike Run Club app will even let you compete with your friends who have also downloaded the app so you can stay motivated each day. (If you’ve tried running in the past and don’t think it’s for you, please read this post where I share my tips and tricks so that you can learn to love running too!)
SITUPS / PLANKING / PUSHUPS
These are little things you can do throughout the day to get your heart going and add a little extra boost to your routine. Basic sit ups and stomach crunches are kind of self explanatory, but you can find lots of different ab workouts on YouTube. Pushups are a good option to help strengthen your shoulders, arms and back, and if you need a little extra help you can drop to your knees while doing them. (I only usually do 10 at a time.) Planking is an exercise where you assume a pushup position with your arms extended under you, but you place your forearms on the ground keeping your elbows at a 90 degree angle and hold the position for as long as possible. This is way harder than it sounds, so you’ll likely find this one to be challenging. Try starting with 20 seconds if you can and try to add a little more each day. I’ve included a link to a 30 day plank challenge HERE.
Most of us did this when we were kids, but somewhere along the way we stopped. Jumping Rope is a great cardio challenge is can get your heart pumping in no time. This will be one that the kids will probably really like doing too! If you don’t have a jump rope at home, you can find them on Amazon.
This one is for the whole family, and you just need your favorite tunes and a space to move. We like to do dance party time most Friday nights in our house with the kids after dinner. Pandora and Spotify have some great playlists that I like to take advantage of, and build ourselves. Max loves to dance to “We Will Rock You”, and I’ll break out my “Oops I Did it Again” dance now and then.
I’m going to totally date myself, but I still remember popping Cindy Crawford’s first workout video with instruction by her fitness guru Radu into my parents VHS player, shortly after followed by my Tae Bo video.
Things have come a long way since then, and you can find just about any type of workout routine or class online. Just go to Google or YouTube type in your favorite type of workout classes. Brands like Peloton and Beach Body have free trials right now, but don’t forget to cancel before the trial expires or you may be charged going forward. Looking for a little extra motivation to log on each day? Chis Hemsworth has his own workout site called Centr that is also offering a free trial.. just sayin…
RIDE A BIKE
If you live in a location that isn’t particularly crowded right now, going for a bike ride is a great way to get outdoors. I love feeling the wind in my face – it makes me feel alive and free, which I appreciate now more than ever before. You can jump on your bike for a heart pumping solo ride while minding social distancing precautions, and elevate your heart rate while keeping your joints healthy with this low impact workout. Kids can join in on their own bikes, or in a pull along hitch if you have one at home. This is one everyone in the house can enjoy together.
So admittedly this doesn’t apply to everyone who reads my blog, but those who live in warm climates are about to jump right into warmer weather and right into their pools. I know this one won’t apply to everyone, but if you are a fellow Floridian this might be an option for you. Swimming laps will certainly get the job done, but even just playing with the kids in the pool will get your blood pumping (as will cleaning your pool for that matter). There are water aerobics classes online that you can stream on your mobile device at well. Water is good for the soul, and just seeing it instantly puts me in a better mood.
Lifting weights is a great solo workout activity you can do at home with little to no equipment. Lifting my daughter Mila throughout is a daily workout, and we have some small hand weights at home as well that I can use. Using tools like resistance bands and Dumbells, you can keep your arms, back, chest and shoulders toned. If you have hand weights at home, begin with the smaller sizes first and do reps of 10 to get started. Try bicep curls, shoulder presses, tricep lifts, and chest presses. I’ve linked a helpful article from Women’s Health that demonstrates how to do ten different free weight exercises.
I know people have different levels of comfort with going outside these days to work out even when practicing proper social distancing and wearing face masks as recommended and/or required, but even if it’s just getting out in your own backyard, fresh air will is wonderful for the soul.
In addition to daily exercise, as a general rule I try to eat more foods that are higher in protein and lower in processed sugars. I’m definitely guilty of sneaking in some candy from time to time for sure, but I have more energy and maintain a better mood consistently throughout the day when I stick to natural sugars like fruits and grains. With every sugar high, comes a sugar low, so if you are feeling sluggish after a binge you’ll at least know why (booo, I know, I love peanut butter eggs and jelly bellies too).
I hope you guys are inspired by this post and try one of these today, even just going for a small walk. It will do your mind and body good!