10 Realistic Tips from People Who *Actually* Work Out in Their Living Room

published Jan 5, 2020
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We all know exercise is a huge part of physical and mental well-being. So why is it so hard to implement a workout routine that sticks? Mustering up the energy to get dressed, go to the gym, complete a workout, and clean yourself up can feel like a chore of its own, especially in the colder winter months. To make it easier on yourself, why not get active in your own living room

If you’ve got a new year’s resolution to move your body more, look no further than these tips for making it happen in the comfort of your very own home. 

Create a motivating playlist 

Nothing like a perfectly-curated playlist of high-energy songs to get you motivated and moving! Vinay Amin says he always turns on a playlist of inspiring music while getting ready for a workout, which he recommends for other at-home exercisers. “The adrenaline will be flowing and you’ll embrace the physical challenge when it’s time to get down to business,” he says.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Focus on body weight exercises in a small space

Personal trainer Jamie Hickey lives in an apartment and says he fights with his space on a daily basis. To make up for the lack of space, he concentrates on bodyweight exercises, which only require the space big enough for a yoga mat. If you want versatile weight equipment that doesn’t take too much space, he suggests a good set of adjustable dumbbells. “This will allow you to have a whole gym at your fingertips while saving on the storage space,” he says.

Declutter your space

Professional organizer Nonnahs Driskill says she always does a general sweep of the living room area before jumping into a workout. “It’s easier for your brain and body to work out in a less cluttered space,” she says. “Having your space ready to rock will keep you motivated to actually start sweating.”

Give yourself a view

Don’t force yourself to stare at a boring, blank ceiling!  Driskill says she keeps things interesting during workouts by creating a view for herself. “My favorite pretty feature in a workout space, especially yoga and weights, is a unique ceiling. Use paint texture, a mural, interesting wallpaper, or even just a print up there.”

Snag a storage bench for odds and ends

This West Elm storage bench solved Sara Berliner’s main home-workout issue: storing foam rollers, yoga mats and other exercise equipments in ungainly bins and baskets. Not only will it look elegant in your living room; Berliner loves that it’s also generously sized and easy to open when you want to grab your gear.

Pair your workout with your favorite show

Professional organizer Jamie Novak, author of Keep This Toss That: The Practical Guide to Tidying Up, says she tried just about everything to get herself off the couch to workout, from setting a reminder alarm to buying a cute pair of sneakers. “I found for me the only way to make myself do it is recording my favorite show and only allowing myself to watch it when I work out.”

Keep your yoga mat visible

Whether you’re hoping to practice yoga or lift some weights, do yourself a favor and keep your equipment visible throughout the day instead of storing it away, suggests Parinaz Farzin.  “I have my yoga mat sitting right there so I always see it, and it’s a constant reminder to work out when I get home,” she says. “If you have your home set up with intentions of working out, it’s easier to do it!”

Set up a full-length mirror

Another clever piece of equipment to keep on hand: a full-length mirror to ensure correct form! Krissy Selda, commerce marketing coordinator at VerticalScope, says on top of her yoga blocks, yoga strap, mat and weighted balls, she invested in an inexpensive mirror so she could see herself as she works out. 

Take advantage of YouTube workouts 

If you don’t have video classes through a service like ClassPass, Selda suggests simply turning on YouTube instead! There’s no shortage of videos for just about any exercise you can think of. As a bonus, since they’re for a general audience, YouTube workout videos usually don’t require much extra equipment.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Use your furniture (and the space between it)

No space for exercise equipment in your living room? Make your furniture work double time! Yoga teacher and writer Leslie Kiel uses her coffee table for dips and her console for inclined pushups and side leg raises. In the space between her coffee table and TV, she says she has room for jump squats, jumping lunges, burpees, and mountain climbers. “A living room workout might not have been your first choice, but look at the positives: You get to play your own music and have the ‘gym’ all to yourself!”