Affordable At-Home Gym Solutions You’ll Actually Use

Affordable At-Home Gym Solutions You’ll Actually Use

Save on the membership: Skip the gym and get a good workout at home.


There are three main reasons why you don't exercise regularly at home: time, room and cost. So here are a few ways to address all three to help you get a gym-quality workout without the gym.

Find Time You Didn't Know You Had

The hardest part of any gym routine isn't actually exercising — it's finding the time to do it. If you know where to look, however, you can find a few windows of opportunity to fit a workout into your day without wasting time. Give one of these techniques a try, after you consult with your physician about your new exercise routine:

  • Arm curl the laundry detergent 10 times with each arm while the washer is going through the last spin cycle. Repeat until the washing machine stops running.
  • Do a wall squat (leaning against the wall with your knees at a 90-degree angle) while you're waiting to use the bathroom or while the microwave is counting down.
  • Try doing 20 sit-ups or jumping jacks during each commercial break of your favorite TV show.

Use the Layout of a Room As Your Gym

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If you're like most families, finding room in your home to exercise is no easy task. Instead of trying to move furniture out of the way, make it a part of the exercise:

  • Prop up your legs on your bed or couch (or brace them underneath) to do isolated sit-ups or crunches. If you're feeling more adventurous, turn over and do push-ups with your legs propped up. (It sounds hard, but you can do it!)
  • If you have high ceilings and a sturdy wood chair or flattop chest, use the latter as a stair stepper. Alternate between quick and slow steps, and be sure to keep a controlled motion going up and down.

Add Gym Equipment That Won't Break the Bank

If you're looking for exercise equipment that will give you a great workout, is easy to store and costs less than one month of a typical gym membership, consider these:

  • An inflatable Swiss ball (also known as an exercise ball) will enable you to do several different exercises that target every muscle in your body. A Swiss ball looks like an oversized rubber beach ball. Most come with an instructional DVD or printed guide on how to do basic exercises. You can find more advanced routines online.
  • Resistance (also known as "tension") bands are a great way to tone your arm and leg muscles without cluttering up your home. You can tie them around bedposts or even around your feet to create your own personal resistance machine.

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