Beginner’s Guide to Effective At Home Fitness

At home fitness can be a fun, easy, effective and cheap way to work out. You can exercise in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Squeeze a quick routine in anytime; in the morning before work or in the evening while watching TV. It makes fitness easier, more convenient and eliminates excuses. In time, your amazing body will respond to the work. Anyone can become toned, strong and fit from simple workouts at home. In this article I will tell you how to make working out at home fit into your daily life.

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What is At Home Fitness?

At home fitness is just that: fitness that you develop by working out at home.  It is a fantastic way to workout.  You don’t need any equipment.  It can be a cost-effective and time-saving way to workout.

Are Home Workouts effective?

Yes, workouts at home are very effective for both strength and cardiovascular fitness.  In fact, one study found that low-cost home-based exercise was successful in improving fitness.  Participants in the study lost weight and were satisfied with their results.

Most professional athletes work out at home as part of their training. During the lock down, many Olympians shared some of their home work outs. They know that you can stay fit with home exercises.

Many studies have shown that working out at home improves fitness. These exercises also can help rehabilitate persons with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.  For overall health, it can be just as effective as going to a gym.  

Effective At Home Workouts

What are the Benefits of an At Home Workout Program?

The main advantage of working out at home is that you don’t have to leave your house to exercise.  You can exercise anywhere.  All you need is your own body weight for great workouts.  But let’s look at 10 other benefits of exercising at home.

  1. Exercising at home saves you money, since you don’t have gym fees.
  2. Since you don’t have to go anywhere, it saves you time.
  3. You can be flexible with your workouts, easily rescheduling if needed.
  4. There is privacy at home for your workouts, especially if you feel self-conscious.
  5. You have access to 24-hour fitness.  You can workout anytime that suits you.
  6. It eliminates so many excuses, such as “I don’t have time” and “I feel embarrassed”
  7. You can workout with family members.  Inspire everyone to get fit.
  8. Exercises done at home eliminates competition.  There is no one to compare yourself to.  You can work at your own level without pressures to workout like the Joneses.
  9. No gym smells.  Ewww… sometimes gyms can smell like old sweat or like disinfectant.
  10. Working out at home can be more fun.  Turn up the tunes, dance, and have a blast.  No one is watching, so let loose. 

How Do You Stay Motivated to Work Out At Home?

One of the hardest factors in working out at home is to stay motivated.  There are so many distractions, like television, children, phones and hobbies, that pull you away from your workouts.  But to see results, you need to stick to your plan.  Don’t let these deterrents derail you from reaching your goals.  Find some creative ways to work around these distractions.

So, how do you stay motivated to workout at home?  You need to establish a goal-oriented mindset.  Determine what your overall goal is.  What makes you want to work hard? Perhaps that is to lose 30 pounds, to lower your blood pressure or to bench press your body weight. Expand on these. Dig deep. Why do you want to get fit? What ever your goal is, break it down into smaller, bite sized chunks that you can measure as you progress.  Write these down as your workout plan steps. 

If you need more help with developing SMART goals, read my article Turn Dreams into Reality with Goals Not Resolutions.

Now write down how you will reach each of these smaller steps. Schedule workouts in your calendar.  Pick dates and times when you will do this.  Make it work for your average day and be reasonable about when you can get it done.  For example, scheduling early morning workouts if you are not a morning person is not reasonable.  Be honest with yourself and make it work for your typical day.

Write all this in a workout journal, calendar or post it on your fridge.  Keep it visible, where you can see it.  If you look at it every day, you will know that you can’t allow these distractions to prevent you from doing the work you need to do. 

Reward yourself for each smaller and bigger step you reach.  Give yourself lots of rewards to help keep you motivated.  Assign smaller rewards for smaller steps, and bigger rewards for bigger goals reached.  If you are struggling with finding appropriate rewards, check out my list of 63 Non-Food Rewards.  I am sure this list will spark your imagination and help you find the perfect rewards.

Should you Exercise with Free Weights At Home?

Free weights are weights that are not attached to a machine.  But this simple definition is only for a broad category.  There are many different types of free weights you can choose. 

Whether or not you use free weights in your workouts at home is a personal choice.  They do have their advantages.  But you can get a great full body workout without them.  Your own body weight is enough to build fitness, especially if you are just starting out. 

There was a time when men trained to become inhumanly strong using nothing but their own bodyweight. No weights. No machines. Nothing”  – Paul Wade –

Pros and Cons of Using Free Weights at Home

Free weights are relatively inexpensive compared to home gym machines. And they don’t take up a lot of space.  But keep in mind that body weight exercises are essentially free.  And when just starting out, you don’t need free weights. 

Free weights can provide better overall strengthening. This is because your whole body gets involved.  Not only do you work the targeted muscle group, but you also use other stabilizer muscles to maintain your posture and good form. 

It is important to use good form when working with free weights because they pose a higher risk for injury.  So, if you are just starting out and want to add in free weights, learn how to use them properly.  Hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to learn technique. Or get a day pass at a local gym and ask them to show you how to use them. 

Effective At Home Workouts

Types of Free Weights for At Home Exercising

There are several different types of free weights you can choose, each having their purpose.  Let’s look at 4 common ones.


Dumbbells are by far the most popular of the free weights.  They are versatile, as you can use them as a single weight or in pairs.  They let you target specific muscle groups, usually your arms, shoulders, and upper torso.  You can also use them to tone your abdominal muscles.


Barbells are weights that use a bar with added weights, called plates, on the ends.  Weight is adjusted by adding or removing various sized plates. Some popular power exercises using a barbell are the bench-press, deadlift, weighted squats, and overhead press.  Beginners can start with just the bar, without plates added, until they build strength.  A spotter, or having someone else at home, is always recommended when using barbells. 


Kettlebells consist of a ball with a handle on the top and are usually made from cast iron.  These are a type of specialized dumbbell that puts the center of mass beyond the handle.  That means they can be swung, thrown, held, or moved in many different ways.  They are popular in fitness classes because the movements can incorporate all 4 main types of exercises: aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance. 

Medicine Balls

Medicine balls are small, weighted balls, measuring from 2 to 25 pounds. They are usually used for rehabilitation after injury, hence the term “medicine” ball.  Medicine balls can be tossed, carried, and used to add resistance to movements.  They are usually used to strengthen core muscles, but they are also good for building overall power and speed.

If you add free weights into your fitness program, start with lighter weights first.  Then when it feels too easy, go up to the next size. 

What is the Best Workout Equipment to Buy for Working Out At Home?  

While you don’t need any equipment for a great workout.  Having some at home can make workouts more fun.  Here are my top 5 picks.

1.Treadmills are Perfect for Home Cardio Workouts

Of course a treadmill is number one on my list. A treadmill is a great way to improve fitness and overall health. You can walk and run on a home treadmill all year long, even during bad weather.  Although you might not want to use it during bad storms when a power outage can suddenly stop the belt, sending you tumbling. Trust me, I know this from personal experience.

Most treadmills have different paces for all abilities.  There are some fun ways to workout on a treadmill.  If you are new to working out, using a treadmill can help to increase your physical endurance.  You will begin to breathe better, strengthening your heart and lungs.  Some new treadmills on the market have specialized fitness programs for all levels

2. A Stationary Bike for a Fun Way to Work Out at Home

A stationary bike provides all the great fitness benefits of riding a bicycle in your own home. Cycling is a fabulous low impact workout.  If you use a stationary bike on a regular basis, it will help to firm your hips, buttocks, and thighs.  This is one type of exercise equipment that will make working out fun. A stationary bike can be used to warm up before your regular workout, or it can be an exciting main cardio exercise.

3. Rowing Machines are a Fun Way to Workout At Home

A good rowing machine will tone your abdominal muscles, arms, shoulders, and legs. In fact, you will work over 80% of the muscles in your body on a rowing machine. These machines provide a full-body strength workout, as well as improve cardiovascular fitness. It is a low impact workout that burns a lot of calories.  They are perfect for beginners. 

4. Resistance Bands are Good for Strength Training

Another great alternative to lifting weights is resistance bands.  They are a versatile tool to train different body parts.  You can store them easily.  And they can be used anywhere you do your body weight workouts. 

5. Jump Rope is Effective for Overall Fitness

And don’t rule out a good old jump rope as fitness equipment.  Jumping rope can be a fun exercise and is great cardio.  They are an inexpensive tool that can be stored almost anywhere. Just make sure you have plenty of room when you use it. 

Effective At Home Workouts

What are Body Weight Exercises?

Of course, you don’t need any equipment at all to get a great full-body workout at home.  Your own body is the perfect fitness tool.  Exercises that simply use the weight of your body to build strength and endurance are a great way to get fit.  And as we saw above, body weight exercises are very effective for improving fitness and health. 

What are the Benefits of Body Weight Training

Body weight training can be an effective full body workout.  There are so many benefits to doing these exercises.  Here are my top 5 picks for benefits of bodyweight exercises done at home.

  1. Body weight exercises like the “bird dog”, “superman lifts” and “inchworm” are fun to do.
  2. You can build strength without the bulk.
  3. Flexibility is improved with all the bending and stretching of these exercises
  4. Your balance will get better as you strengthen your core muscles.
  5. There is less risk for injury than using equipment, especially free weights

How do I Start a Fitness Program At Home?

1. Start with a visit to your doctor. 

Discuss any health issues to determine if there are limitations to exercising.  However, keep in mind that almost all body weight exercises can be modified to do them safely for most conditions.  Your physiotherapist or personal trainer can help you adjust exercises for a safe and effective workout at home. 

2. Next set up some goals and develop a plan to exercise at home.  

Start off with easier exercises and, over weeks and months, start to increase the difficulty level.  Exercises should start to feel easy before you increase.  A good rule of thumb is to only increase by 10% effort each week.  Fitness should be for life, so start thinking long term rather than short term gains. 

3. Incorporate all the different fitness elements into your program

Be sure to include warm-ups, cardio work, strength exercises, stretching, and cool downs into your program.  Many of the popular body weight exercises will include cardio, strength and stretching all into one.  Examples of all-in-one exercises include the inchworm, burpees, mountain climbers and jumping jacks. But you can certainly target all these separately.  Walking and running are great at home cardio workouts.  And push-ups, crunches and planks are great strength exercises you can do anywhere.

Hiring a personal trainer or coach is a easy way for beginners to start. You can ask your coach to develop a home workout plan specific to your needs. And they can teach you how to do the exercises properly. You may only need a few sessions with them to set you up for working out at home.

4. Finally, grab your mat and get moving that amazing body of yours. 

You must do the work to see any results.  But your body will respond to your efforts.  And in time, you will be happy with the results.  Keep track of your progress so you can look back and see just how far you have come.

Good things come to those who sweat!” 


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  1. This was great to read as I have just in the last week been putting a home fitness plan into place. Some very good points raised to consider.

  2. This is a great beginner’s guide for working out at home. I started doing this last year when the pandemic started and I agree with what you’ve mentioned. In fact, I just bought an elliptical so that I can finally close my gym membership. I also love the convenience of not having to leave the comfort of my home to go to the gym. Can’t beat rolling out of bed and straight to the gym!

  3. This guide was really amazing. I think the fantastic guide to effective at home fitness is going to help me a lot. Thanks for sharing

  4. What a great beginner’s guide! As a stay-at-home mom of 3, I wouldn’t get to workout if I didn’t workout at home. We’ve built up a mini gym in the basement including kettlebells, resistance bands, medicine balls, a pullup bar, and my favorite: battle ropes. I’d love a treadmill, but I am able to get a pretty good cardio workout without one.

    1. That sounds like an amazing place to workout! My home gym is much smaller, as I rely more on body weight exercises and running outdoors. I have resistance bands and free weights too, which, I admit, I should use more often. With three runners in our house, a treadmill is a must-have. That is the great thing about home gyms… you can make them fit your lifestyle, very easily.

    1. I think that is one of the best things about working out at home. It saves time and can be done when you have a spare moment, like between Netflix episodes or just before dinner. This is what drew me to at home fitness. I can squeeze it in when I get a chance… limits the “no time” excuse. 😉 LOL

  5. These are such great ideas. I lack motivation in general, but it is even worse when I have to get up early and leave the house in the winter.

  6. I give birth to my three-week baby, and I am trying to get rid of my big belly. So I am hoping to start that next month. Thanks for sharing

  7. I really love this post. It has so much great information especially for beginners. I so agree, we can do well with working out at home. I have free weights, a mat and have used my own body weight to work out too. In the past I had a treadmill. But I also have run outside if I don’t go to the gym (especially when everything was shut down for a time). Thank you so much for sharing this post.

  8. I prefer working out at home because gyms are always full, I invested in some equipments and I agree with the benefits you mentioned.

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