5 Ways to Ease Yourself Into Working Out at Home (for Free)

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Liz Calka)

When it comes to the gym, I’m a little bit like Chandler Bing. In fact, I just cancelled my gym membership this month… and by “cancelled” I actually mean that my credit card expired and instead of rolling my membership over to my new one, I let it expire too. But now I have a whole new set of problems: First, tracking down a workout regimen that is free, and second, easing myself into exercise without wrecking my currently very un-fit self. Finding yourself in the same boat? Here are some of my new favorite ways to work a workout back into daily life.

Set Up a Schedule

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Commitment is key. When you sit down and pencil in your workouts on a real life calendar (or, you know, your phone) you’re more likely to follow through with them. Basically, if you can’t find time to exercise, acknowledge that it’s important enough to have a place in your daily agenda and add it to your calendar.

Dress the Part

I don’t know about you, but if I’m not wearing my workout clothes I’m probably not going to make fitness a priority. Plus, if you start your day (or your post-work routine) by pulling on your running shorts, you’re giving yourself a quick mental reminder that a workout is coming. Might as well be enthused about it, right?

Utilize Youtube

Sometimes a DIY workout routine just isn’t going to cut it. And in those cases, I give thanks for Youtube. There are hundreds—okay, probably thousands—of workout options there and the best part is that there’s absolutely no need to leave your home for them. (If you’re into yoga, this channel is one of my favorites and I’ve heard great things about this one, too.)

Stretch for Success

Okay, yeah, that sounds super cheesy. But one thing I’ve been told again and again (by my chiropractor, who I consider a pretty good source) is that a good stretching session definitely counts as a workout. Especially when you’re just starting out. Plus, quality stretching helps loosen your muscles in preparation for additional workouts.

Stay Active All Day

Let’s ignore the fact that I’m writing this from my couch for just a minute. Sedentary living comes with a whole list of increased health risks—and a quick workout isn’t necessarily going to change that. Instead of rushing off to a high intensity exercise class or stressing yourself out by trying to run dozens of miles a week, incorporate more action into your normal daily life. Even making an effort to do small things, like standing at work or doing squats while you cook dinner, can make a huge difference in the long run.

Any pro tips out there? How are you planning your at-home workouts?