I used to have a gym membership. I never really was one to just go to the gym and workout alone, but I did go to group exercises classes, like spinning and zumba. It was a great way to stay in shape.
When my babies came along, though, I didn’t have the time to go to the gym and I could no longer justify the cost. In fact, I now feel like I wasted money paying for a membership back when I could afford it. I also feel like I wasted a lot of time between driving to and from the gym, waiting for group exercise classes to start, and having to schedule my day around when classes were offered.
I have also had periods of being really good about exercising at home. The 6 months before my wedding, I worked out at home and lost 20 pounds on my own. I was in the best shape of my life and never once stepped foot in a gym. I also only dedicated about 40 minutes a day to working out instead of 1+ hour.
Working out at home saves time and money. It is also more environmentally friendly, by the way. No big open buildings to light, heat, cool, dehumidify, clean, and maintain and no driving. But that alone isn’t enough to motivate many people. It is so easy to skip a workout when you didn’t pay for it or when no one is counting on you to show up. Believe me, I know. One year postpartum and I am still trying to lose baby weight from my last pregnancy.
I am working hard to get back in the swing of things and include exercise as part of my routine. Here some tools and resources I’ve used in the past to help me save time and money working out at home and a few new ones I am thinking about trying out.
Resources for Working Out at Home
A Fitness Planner
If you have trouble getting your workout in, try using a fitness planner. You can find super cute printables on Pinterest, but a cheapo planner from Dollar Tree works well too.
Use this planner to plan what workout you are going to do each day. Write the time the workout will take and write the source (web address, magazine, DVD, etc.) so that you can easily find it when you are ready to work out. That way you won’t have to spend time trying to pick a workout, thinking back to what you did yesterday so you don’t repeat, finding the website or DVD, and ultimately deciding you don’t have time because you’ve wasted 10 of your 30 minutes just finding a workout to do.
Be sure to schedule the time in your regular planner or electronic calendar as well. If you are more technologically advanced than I am (I just can’t give up my paper planner), just schedule your workouts in your e-calendar and include all the info there and you don’t need a separate fitness planner.
You can buy a GYMBOSS timer for only $20, or you can download the app for free. I think setting the app is a little more cumbersome than the actual timer looks, but it’s free and it works! I use it for when I am doing an interval workout from a piece of paper rather than watching a video. Bonus: you can also use it for managing your time on other tasks. Hilary at Pulling Curls shared a great piece of advice: use an interval timer while doing housework (check out her full post here).
YouTube has many fitness focused channels. My favorite is Fitness Blender because they have such a huge library of workouts and such a wide variety of workout types. Their instructions are easy to follow too and they have lots of workouts that are around 30 minutes.
Another great YouTube channel is BeFiT. They have workouts from well-known fitness trainers. Have you been thinking about trying out the incredibly popular 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels but not sure about splurging on the DVD? You can try it out on BeFiT!
Blogs are another great resource. Many have workouts, but on top of that they offer tips and advice and even meal and recipes.
Bikini Body Mommy is a great one. Briana shares tons of workouts that she designs, meal plans including a shopping list, and she even has a couple of books published. She is such an inspiration to moms who want to get in shape and stay there because she has been there – she has three children and has successfully lost the baby weight multiple times. Read her bio here.
Another wonderful blog for getting fit is Pumps & Iron. Nicole posts workouts that can be done at home and she organizes them really well so you can easily find the type of workout you are looking for. That’s not all Pumps & Iron is about though. You can also find recipes, fashion and beauty advice, and even health tidbits.
Ok, one more. This is more of an online magazine than it is a blog, but hey, I’m still learning about this whole blogging thing so I’m no expert. Either way, Fitness on Popsugar (www.fitsugar.com) offers great workouts along with tons of healthy living tips and recipes.
While Amazon certainly has lots of videos you can purchase, what I love is the Prime Instant Video option for those who have an Amazon Prime account. Amazon Prime Instant Video’s Exercise/Fitness category has TONS of videos to choose from. Pretty much any type of workout can be found. Workouts from well known trainers are included as well.
And of course, there is the ever-popular Pinterest! I have a board called Think Outside the Gym where I like to collect workouts and other fitness tips.
Follow Laura @ Little Bits of Granola’s board Think Outside the Gym on Pinterest.
What are your secrets to making staying fit without a gym membership work for you? Share by commenting!