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How to Motivate Workouts at Home

The Key to Burning Extra Calories at Home

Every calorie counts in your journey of losing weight and getting fit, and since there are many reasons your house can make you fat, here's one way to prevent packing on the pounds at home.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Purchase some fitness gear you can keep at your house — a couple sets of dumbbells, a resistance band, an exercise ball, and a yoga mat. These items must stay at home, so if you like to go to yoga classes or bring a resistance band to the gym, have a second set that never walks out the door. Once you have your gear, put it all over your house and leave it there, out in the open, so when you walk by, you're guilted into inspired to use them. Here are some ideas.

  • Leave dumbbells under your coffee table to encourage a few sets while watching TV. For a double whammy, print out this dumbbell workout so you're not wasting time wondering what moves to do.
  • Bookmark a few quick workout videos like this one you can do using living room furniture, and keep your iPad out on your end table to burn a few during commercial breaks. Or place a resistance band on top of your iPad so you're all set to follow along to this cardio and strengthening workout.
  • Keep an unrolled yoga mat on the floor next to your bed to do a few Sun Salutations in the morning or this 12-pose full-body yoga flow.
  • Leave your phone on the second level of your house so every time it rings, you have to run up the chairs to answer it. Keep running or walking up and down the stairs during the call instead of just plopping yourself on the couch.
  • Print out this Squat Challenge poster, and hang it on your bathroom wall to do some reps while brushing your teeth or blow-drying your hair.
  • Use an exercise ball at your computer desk instead of a regular chair to work your core either just by sitting or by doing these effective crunches.

Remember — do not put your gear away! The key here is that seeing it reminds you to use it. Once you do a few quick workouts here and there, it'll become a habit so the next time you reach for that remote, you'll reach for a dumbbell as well.

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Join The Conversation
Bridgitt14936523 Bridgitt14936523 3 years

I like the idea of keeping a jump rope, and resistance bands nearby and jumping rope or doing cardio or strength bursts during commercials, or putting a cardio machine like a rower, elliptical, bike, or treadmill, etc, in front if you don't want to do a gym, etc. But my favorite exercise is swimming and water jogging, followed by the elliptical, bike, jump rope, rowing, jump rope, kickboxing, hiking, running outdoors, zumba/jazzercise, kettle bells, soccer, etc. Even gardening.

GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
I absolutely agree with this - I broke out my resistance bands for the first time in a long time the other day after they spent way too long being buried in the corner of my bedroom under my hiking gear. The hubby and I are designating Thursday to cleaning house, so I'll have to make sure I find a more visible place for this stuff so I can keep it up! :)
rpenner rpenner 9 years
I do this!
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Yeah, I have to leave my pilates mat out to remind myself to use it!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Yeah I'd rather just get my workout in all at once so I'm not constantly worrying about it. I will admit that having dumb-bells by the tv is not a bad idea, but I rarely sit down to watch tv, I mostly just watch it at the gym.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I do this sometimes when I'm watching tv.
dd-sugar dd-sugar 9 years
I recently bought Reebok Speedpac 25 dumbells at Target. It's easy to switch from 2.5 to 12 lb each. They're sold online as well and have their own tray to sit in when not in use. Love these! I put a folding, padded chair in my kitchen and do tricep dips and pushups while my dinner is microwaving, coffee is reheating, etc. My upper body is so skinny so every little bit helps. It's fun too!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Once my house is clean I'll have to do this. I put them away religiously now because I don't want to stub my toe. If I put them somewhere out in the open where I know they'll be maybe I'll be better about picking them up.
snaphappy snaphappy 9 years
I do this too! They are in my family room, so that if I have a few extra minutes, then I can just pick them up and do some extra training. And with 2 young kids, somedays a few minutes here and there throughout the day might be all that I get. :-P
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
I was also going to say Target. That or Big 5.
kath1 kath1 9 years
It's a good idea. But...I have tripped over mine more than once!
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
Hm, i'd much rather get my work out done in one go, instead of doing a few sets here and there during the day. Oh and NiceDriveway...Target has some good dumbbells.
NiceDriveway NiceDriveway 9 years
does anyone know where i can a good set of dumbbells (not too pricey?) Amazon had some great ones...but shipping for 2 5lbs and 2 8lbs was more than the dumbbells cost!!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
this is a great idea. I've been doing sit ups, push ups and squats every day, just randomly throughout the day and it feels awesome. Maybe adding dumbells sometimes would help too! Yay for being Strong!
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 9 years
I do this! I leave them by my TV so I'll remember to lift weights while I watch TV, which ends up leading to more exercise.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I keep a set of dumbbells up in my room and do various exercises with them in between folding laundry. It's a nice, easy way to work more strength training into my day.
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