I'm one of the first to say that I love the gym atmosphere. I enjoy working out around others and like having the choice to do a number of different activities on a whim.
However, in the last year or so, I ditched my gym membership (mainly because I wasn't using it enough) and have gotten along just fine without one! My gym consists of a corner of the dining room where I store the following: 3 yoga mats, 1 ab ball, 5lb, 8lb and 15lb dumbbells, a 10lb kettlebell, resistance bands, a jump rope and two foam rollers.
With a few solid routines, DVDs or creativity, you can get your strength and cardio on in the comfort of your home.
Actually getting my stretch on!
I typically do strength training M/W/F mornings, ranging anywhere from 15-40 min long. On those days, I also like to do some steady state cardio (usually running) for 30-45 min.
Some of my favorite strength workouts include:
- Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones (Bought it for $10 at Tar-get)
- Any of the Fitnessista's Summer or Winter Shape Up or ab burner workouts (Free) I can't say enough good things about Gina. I feel like she is my friend, part time trainer and fashion inspiration all in one.
- Tina's Best Body Bootcamp (Small fee, but great value for all that you get and the workouts change every two weeks of bootcamp)
- Throwing my own workout together to include some of my favorite or most challenging exercises (burpees, lots of push ups, jumping lunges)
- Lifeforce Fitness (yoga + strength training w/ cardio bursts)
I try to go to Lifeforce Fitness about once a week because I love the energy and the opportunity to do pull ups and other fun things in a group setting. I've found that this kind of class is more satisfying to me than pumping iron in a room full of gym goers or spinning away on the elliptical.
Another major advantage to bringing the gym home, is being able to crank out your workouts in less time. Instead of wandering from one machine to the next, I simply grab another set of dumbbells and start going. Or, I drop the weights and start going to town on human X's or burpees.
By throwing in some cardio bursts to my strength routine, I don't feel bad if I'm not able to get out for a run or bike ride later. While YES, at home workouts take some personal motivation, you'll be surprised what you can crank out in 20 min and how soon you'll have sweat dripping off your forehead.
In my opinion, there's no better way to start your day than a little sweat.
Do you have a little gym space in your home? Are you working toward any fitness goals, strength wise? I dream of having a room dedicated to it someday. But for now, our dining room does the trick!
*As always, check with a doc before trying out a new workout. Honor your body and any injuries you may have.