Habits of Fit People: Keep Fitness Equipment at Home

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Keeping exercise equipment around the house. So why does something like this matter?

Just like you, I have those days. The days that are so busy and filled with to-do's that you blink and they're over. The days so hot and humid that you'd rather not leave the comforts of climate control for a walk, jog or even a bike ride outside. And the days that, for one reason or another, you just don't feel like going to the gym. Although we all need downtime occasionally, the stress, weather or monotony of the gym makes the couch look that much more comfy. These are the days that you need some type of fitness equipment at home—so "not wanting to leave the house" doesn't become an excuse to skip your workout altogether. On these days, you'll be glad to have some at-home exercise options, because it will help you stay on track with your fitness goals.

I don't have a REAL home gym—there's no special room dedicated to fitness in my modest home. But I do have an array of small, portable workout equipment stashed here and there that, in a pinch, becomes my makeshift home gym.

Since I teach classes five days a week at the gym where I also work out, I often associate the gym with work. There are many days that I don't want to spend any more time "at work" (even if I'm just exercising on my own), so I exercise in my own living room instead! The simple change in scenery and the creature comforts of home make it easier to stay on track. And because I have plenty of workout options I can do there, my desire to stay home doesn’t have to mean I miss a workout. Plus, working out at home is how I keep things fresh. Because gym workouts are staples for me—Spinning and Pilates classes are my faves, as are walking, biking and running outside—I add variety to my program by working out at home. That's where I experiment with new exercises, test new products, and follow workout DVDs (which I only do occasionally so that they never become boring or predictable).

You don't need a lot of stuff to work out at home—and you don't have to spend a lot of money, either. I don't have any big, expensive equipment, but I do have several small ticket items that really pack a punch: Resistance bands, dumbbells, a stability ball, my new kettlebell, my favorite fitness DVDs, and a jump rope offer endless workout options. Here are some more ideas for setting up a home gym, and here are 25 different ways you can work out at home for less than $25! Even if all you have is an inexpensive jump rope, that's something. Start with what you like and what you can afford and build from there!

Even if you belong to a gym or live for exercising in the great outdoors, a home gym (whatever shape it takes) can help you stay on track on "those days" that you can't leave the house (or would rather not). Now you can do biceps curls while you curl up on the couch and watch your favorite show—talk about making fitness a part of your everyday life!

What kinds of fitness equipment do you have at home? Do you think the option of working out at home helps you stay on track and make fitness a habit in your life?

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USMAWIFE 10/10/2020
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I have a total gym, 2-weight benches with various attachments and 600 pounds of various weights, a leg lift, a spinner bike, a treadmill, resistance bands and a path cleared down my basement that is a little over a 1/4 mile long. It is easy to get up a 4:30 am and walk down my basement, I have never missed a day in 3 1/2 years and I am the fittest than I have ever been. Report
Currently am decluttering home for a move so packing & lifting boxes; stretching to clean shelves; reaching, bending, shoving - lots of extra walking betwwen rooms, up & down hallways, back & forth thru garage to POD. Getting lots of movement & working up a sweat. More to come too. Report
My husband and I just joined a gym, but prior to that, I worked out at home. I have dumbells, a treadmill, a fitness hoop, a stability ball, a mini tramp and resistance bands. Report
Treadmill, weights, kettlebells, reformer and lot's of videos Report
I only have the free weights at home. Report
I exercise at home most of the time. I mix it up between running and walking on the treadmill and riding my recumbent bike. I also do fitness workouts online and Zumba Report
I have only Pull-Up Bar, Report
I have an InMotion elliptical trainer that I keep and use in our bedroom, resistance bands, exercise ball, yoga mat, dumbbells and assorted exercise, yoga and tai chi DVD's in the family room. I just started Zumba Gold classes and we go to Planet Fitness for weight training. Along with walking the dog regularly we have a wide variety of activities. And there are also the Spark Videos and challenges. I need Spark People because I'm lazy, so the accountability is vital. Having fitness equipment at home is good for me, even if I'm just bouncing on my ball or sitting/laying on it to strength train.
Because I have mobility issues, I set up my own gym in my bedroom. For starters, I liberated my husband's unused brand new exercise bike from the loft. Then I went shopping for fitness equipment with DD-14. She wanted pushup bars, while I went for the exercise ball. We also added a resistance band and a stress ball to our shopping cart. Back at home, I remembered we still had two pairs of dumbbells lying around somewhere too, so I moved those to my gym as well. Next, I had the hubby put up a shelf for my workout books, and now I can enjoy my private gym every day. No need to go anywhere to work out. :) Report
I really don't like going to the gym, although I have a membership to one fairly close by (free, thank goodness, because my MIL works there). I would rather spend the commute time working out more or relaxing. So I run at a neighborhood park, Just Dance on my Wii, and use dumbbells, a foam roller, and body weight for strength training. I also like classes like Zumba and Aikido, which are pretty much the only way you can get me to the gym or otherwise exercising outside my neighborhood. Thinking of trying Pilates, too.

And I live in a small one-bedroom, so don't think that you don't have space to work out at home! Report
Treadmill, mini trampoline, resistance bands & Pilates DVD. I definitely stay on track using what I have at home. :) It's convenient for me. Report
I have a treadmill, dumbbells, a swiss ball, and a total gym. Working out at home is my ONLY option as I can't afford a gym membership of any kind Report
Concept 2 Rower, stability ball, door frame pull up bar, weights, foam roller for my "gymless" days. Report
I own my exercise equipment like ( Tony Little Glazel Glider ) and some Exercise Tubing and some weights and I have two X-box 360 Exercise cds and that is it Report
I love working out at home. I have a 2-year old so I don't like to always have someone watch her for me to get exercise. Report
I cannot afford a gym membership, even if I could though, I would work out at home. It is more convenient for me. I have weights, dvds, I am able to dance around without being embarrassed, I can do pushups, etc. Report
i really believe in this. i have a treadmill + a paddle (like a stationary bike, but without a seat) + weights + a swingball set + a workout mat & i'm gonna buy a mini stepper. this might seem a lot , but they barely take up any space. Only the treadmill takes up space & i fold it up when i'm done with it :) having a mini gym at home makes all the difference in the world for me :) Report
Bands wieghts balll dvd's and step machine. I prefer to b eoutside if possible and use the gym at work. but the step machine I use when watching Jeopardy! Exercise the brain and the body! Report
I make my own gym in the living room Report
I have resistance bands, hand weights, DVDs(mostly Leslie Sansone), and a stationary bicycle. Now I need the motivation to use them regularly! Report
I have a flat to renovate at the moment. Paintstripping etc... uses muscles I never knew existed, let alone that I had lol. All that bending and stretching too, and all in a good cause!! Report
I keep all my gym equipment at the living room, drives my parents nut- mat, dumb bells, skipping rope, resistance band, even a ball that need more air. The only thing not at same place is elliptical machine which less 1 minute walk away. The living room is the only place that I can think of to do all my exercises - spacious, have tv if I want some company and right in the middle of the house so hard to ignore the equipments! Report
My weight loss so far has come from walking outdoors and my Leslie Sansone Walk At Home DVD's. I also have a couple of Coach Nicole's DVD's to add something different and work on strenth training. I really enjoy these DVD's and they will get even more use soon when it's too hot and the snakes are already out there too!

I also started gathering some of the items that I've bought over the past couple of years, but never got interested in like hand weights, Jump Snaps, and even the Wave! Oh, and an ab lounger too. When I started listing all of these items that are just stashed away, along with the newer DVD's, I really do have alot at my disposal and quite a few possibilities for mixing things up. Now that I've lost weight, it is a little easier to use the jump snaps and I used them after the mile walk DVD so I was limbered up some too.

So it's like a mini gym. I love working out at home. Report
Gym is out of the question. I now have a ballroom floor in my living room,. over 100 great DVD's,. a bosu, two steps, bands, stackable dumbbells, a yoga mat, tap boards, a ballet barre, weighted gloves, balls, etc.

The only problem is forcing myself to exercise. But it's all right there, all day long. The floor (I have carpeting) is the very vest part of my home 'gym'. Report
I recently joined the Y and just love the atmosphere. This week all classes are free and I am going to try Pilates. Thank you for the info. Have a great week! Report
I have a stationary bicycle, dumbbells, stability ball, resistance bands, pedometer, ski machine, and exercise tapes. I ride the stationary bicycle almost daily, and alternate the others. Report
I used to just work out at home and ahve added a gym, I am working on balancing the two Report
I have my treadmill that I use in the winter months and I power walk the rest of the year outside. I also use my 10 pound weights. In the summer I do water aerobics in my pool. Report
My home is my gym. I used to belong to a gym but find I exercise more often at home since I do not have to go anywhere. I get up in the morning and exercise before I do anything else.

When it is warm outside I like to go for walks, bike rides, hikes in the hills. Otherwise I have some equipment at home which includes.... a variety of fitness DVD's ( mostly Walk Away the Pounds Series by Leslie Sansone), but I do have some pilates DVD's also. Other equipment include ankle/wrist weights, stretchie/resistant band, dumbbells, yoga mat, weighted balls, heart rate monitor, pilates circle, stability ball, and the Wii with a variety of fitness games ( Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus, My Fitness Coach, Pilates, Gold's Gym).

I find that working out at home I am able to fit exercise in easier. Also I feel more energized doing these type of workouts than working out at the gym. I guess the gym equipment is not for me, lol. I would rather workout with Leslie Sansone's DVD's than walk on a treadmill. I find I am more energized and have more fun! Report
I have a nordik track, a bike, a power rider and ab machine,the red xl and a cheap home gym. I love having equipment at home because chemo sometimes prevents me from going to the gym. I love going to the gym and for me it keeps me more on track then exercising at home. Report
I love working out at home! Sometimes I just get bored going to the gym every day. So now what i've started doing is for 30 days I'll work out at home with weights, resistance bands, stability ball, and a small ball and either Sparkpeople work outs or work out DVDs. This is great when I get really busy because it allows me to get in a great workout while not having to leave home, so working out seems less like a task. Usually during the 30 days I work out at home I do a lot more resistance coupled with cardio. Then after I get bored of working out at home then I go back to the gym where I usually do more cardio, like running on a treadmill. This way I never get too bored and I'm making sure I get both a good amount of cardio and resistance excercises!

It's been working so far! Report
I have a treadmill , which in the next couple months and up grading to a Golds GYM one, I have an ab lounger , a mini trampoline, exercise bands, yoga blocks mat and videos, and several other work out videos. I also use SP strength exercises. Report
My "gym" is also at home or outside on the sidewalks. I have light weights, resistance tubing, hand grips, a skipping rope and more. I gave my exercise bike to my mom and dad so my mom had a way to exercise at home. I can't use it because of my back now and I didn't want it to go to waste so she is using it now...or I'm trying to get her used to using it! lol. I have many workout DVDs and Videos that I can adjust to what my limitations are. So my gym has always been at home. On a disability fixed income, you have to do with what is within your budget. Report
I like having a workout area and some equipment at home as well as my gym membership. I really like the idea of running/walking outside when the weather is nice as well as classes like pilates at the gym, but having equipment at home helps, too. When the weather's bad, I go to the gym and run/walk there and do my strength training there, too. When it's nice out, I'll run/walk outside and use my strength training equipment at home. I go to class to mix life up, too. I love that I can't get away from my workout, because it's everywhere I go (there's even gym equipment and a track at work). Report
Dumbells, ankle weights, resistance band, DVDs and pedometer - and since I had to freeze my gym membership due to finances I have been using all this stuff for the past two months and lost 18 pounds - which is 18 more than I EVER lost going to the gym religiously for six months! Report
Dvd, weights, pedometer are all the equipment in the house we have and use. Report
I gave up paying for memberships at gyms I don't use long ago. I bought myself an Ironman Treadmill that I use in the winter or when the weather is really bad. I jog/walk and mountain bike outside the rest of the year and I love it! Best of all it's free! Report
I used to have a Gazelle (my first piece of equipment that really, really worked for me) and I sold it when I moved. I didn't realize how well it worked until I tried other things, and it was a bit of a bugger to move around the apartment.
I am now prefering going to the gym over working out at home because I think I can do way more at the gym!! Report
I love working out at home! I would never regularly wish to waste the time to drive to a gym and back, which would double the time required to exercise. It is far easier to go down into my basement. I've been steadily putting together a good collection of equipment, and yesterday got my first 'real' weight bench, as a safer substitute for the step I'd been using for two years. With adjustable dumbbells, band, large screen tv for a suite of dvds, kettlebell, stability ball and bosu, barbell, mats, kettlebells, pullup bar, weight vests so as to cut down on the need for a spotter, and now a true weight bench with dip rack, and the great outdoors for my cardio, there's little I can't do safely and efficiently at home. Although it would be great to add a power cage one of these days, and my husband is wishing for a WII :) Report
Dumbbells - 3# and 5# (I use canned vegetables for 1# weights).
Stability Ball
A walking track I've developed around our property.
Within 5 miles there's a State Park and two county parks. If I want to go further there are over 25 hiking trails that go from easy/flat to difficult/steep. All of them are documented by the county both in pamphlet form and on the internet. Report
2 different size weights, two stability balls, and resistance bands. Plus a Wii fit and some fitness DVD's.
I love it because I can sneak in a workout even if I can't leave the house! Report
I have an elliptical machine, a Soloflex machine, free weights, and a few other small pieces of equipment.
I don't think I would be as dedicated to working out if I had to go to a gym. I love the flexibility of being able to work out at home. Report
I have one set of dumbells, but eventually will be buying more.

I miss the gym and being able to use all the strength training machines - but I'm gonna try out a local small gym that's not as costly as a big corporate gym. Report
Several decades ago a neighbor suggested that I join a local gym with her, and I did. Even back then, it cost me over $300. I went a few times, and then decided there was too much mold growing, and their pool was too small for me to get a really good workout. I will never join a gym again. I have dumbbells at home, and I keep them by my pillow so I can use them before I even get out of bed in the morning. I live upstairs in my big old house. I carry everything up the steps, including my drinking water, and I carry water for my potted plants down the steps. I can use my stairs themselves for good exercise as well. I own a bicycle, so I can save gasoline and the environment by riding to nearby events when the weather is decent, and there is a very nice rails-to-trails that begins only a few blocks from my home. I fail to see what any gym can provide that I cannot do for myself with very little expense involved. I think all this gym culture is hooey! People need to get up and walk and bike. Oh, and my resting heartrate is 61, which is excellent for my age. Report
We're moving to MI from CA in 2 days (YIKES!) and I know we'll be getting a rowing machine and an elliptical, since we'll lose the ability to work out outside year round (we'll miss that pool, for sure!) For strength training/flexibility I have my yoga & pilates dvds, SP's videos (LOVE the bootcamps!!!), a balance ball, resistance band, and dumbbells. Absolutely abhor the gym, so my fitness equipment is very important to my life. Report
Well, I'm not "at home" right now (we are living in Oklahoma for a year) but at HOME I've got a stability ball, dumbbells, barbell, and other things I forget right now.
But HERE I've got my resistance bands, not to mention SP Videos!
In a "pinch" a canned food can become a light hand weight, too. You don't HAVE to have special equipment. Report
I love working out at home for all the reasons you have listed.
My equipment consists of:
a stability ball
a medicine ball
resistance bands
yoga mat, block and strap
a variety of dvd's so I don't get bored
a pilates magic circle
and my new favorite, a cable box to watch exercisetv. I get to check out the videos before I buy them.

I also consider these items part of my workout gear.. a playground ball to play handball against my house if I don't feel like leaving, a jump rope and a frisbee. Working out can be a lot of fun in your backyard! Report
I have a treadmill a friend gave me and I have an exercise band. But I also belong to a gym but am thinking of droping my membership. I get better instruction from the Spark videos that at the gym. If I want to do a group session I have to go to another gym anyway. Report
I have a jump rope, resistance band, dumb bells (3lbs) and my kettlenetics kbell (4lbs). I've got a couple DVDS - Tae Bo, Pilates (not a big fan, I like to move move move), 6 kbell DVDS and a aerobics one. I want to get a Zumba or other dance DVD soon, too. :)

I usually run outside but on my cross training days I use the kbell for strength and cardio all at once. Saves me time and the workout is fun. :) I'm really loving the kettlenetics stuff. Report