13+ Budget-Friendly Ways to Work Out at Home

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I remember the days when I had time to drive to the gym for a workout multiple times a week.  Now as a busy mother of four, those days long gone! However, that doesn't mean my fitness level has to suffer.  I'm still able to squeeze in a good workout in the morning before the rest of my family wakes up.  By investing in a few key pieces of equipment, I've been able to create quality, low-cost workouts without ever leaving the house—and you can, too! 
Although a gym membership gives access to a wide variety of exercise options, it's not a necessity to getting fit.  You can use the privacy, convenience and budget-friendly benefit of home to create a workout routine that works for you.  SparkPeople has lots of ideas to get you started.
The first thing to consider is what kind of equipment (if any) you'll need for your home workouts.  A set of resistance bands, a stability ball, and a set of hand weights (or even your own body weight) can give you a well-rounded and challenging strength training routine.  Check out SparkPeople's workout demos for instruction on how to properly perform a variety of lower body, upper body, core and stretching exercises.   The Workout Generator will give you a strength-training routine to follow based on your fitness level and equipment available. 
Videos are another great way to get a workout done in the comfort of your own home.  SparkPeople has a variety of free full-length workout videos to choose from, including cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates and more.  Most of the workouts are easy to squeeze into a busy day, ranging from just 5-30 minutes each. Other free resources for exercise videos include your local library and YouTube.  (Here's a great list of fitness channels to check out that are totally free!)   
There are lots of ways to get fit without ever leaving the house (or spending a lot of money). These additional resources will give you even more ideas!
What's your favorite way to get fit at home without spending a lot of money?

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JWINKSLLC 4/20/2020
Thank you! Report
CECELW 4/18/2020
I hated going to the gym. I workout at home. I have multiple, multiple dvd's, but I very seldom use them anymore. I use youtube Report
PATRICIAANN46 1/24/2020
Thank You...……... Report
CATNAP629 9/9/2019
good article Report
MRPEABODY 9/4/2019
Thanks Report
AJB121299 6/17/2019
Nice Report
YouTube has been helpful! Report
This is so important nowadays when new health info states 30-40 minute workouts can be broken down to 10-12 min increments and still benefit from these short bursts-Who wants to drive to a gym 3-4 times a day?? Report
Thanks for the useful info! Report
Very helpful Report
great article Report
Good morning! thanks for sharing great article Report
Great idea useful for me Report
Good to know. Report
Great, Thanks! Report
Thank you for these great ideas! Report
Thank you very much Report
A HUGE thank you!! Report
Thank you. Report
Great! Thank you. Report
Working out at home allows us the convenience of sneaking a workout in whenever ! Report
You're ON IT !!! Thanks so much for putting this out there! We should start a Spark team to assist others. We could provide answers on equipment they'll need. The DVD's are a great idea. You Tube also has videos to exercise with.
Great write up!! Report
Great ideas Report
Great ideas Report
Great suggestions! Working out doesn't have to be expensive! Report
Good to know since most gyms are so expensive to be a member to. Report
What a great article. The gym isn't in a lot of people's budget, but these ideas are. Report
getting healthy in front of the laptop following Coach Nicole videos thanks Report
I have dumbbells, a stability ball and a bosu at home. I use them only when I have to be at home. By having those at home, along with my gym membership, there's no reason to not workout. Report
I had fantastic results with home workouts. Check my Sparkpage. I did it ALL with Sparkpeople's workouts and the Nutrition Tracker. Started on May 1, 2011 with a Sparkpeople Bootcamp. By February 2012 I was literally turning heads and dropping jaws. And I am NOT KIDDING. People who hadn't seen me were completely in awe of what I had accomplished. It was awesome! Report
I actually think I get a better work out at home in front of my TV. Having belonged to a few gyms over the years I find that I start out strong but after getting to know other members I socialize more then working out. At home I can choose a work out, be it strength, cardio, yoga (flexibility) or just walking in the sunshine and do it when I want to do it, no waiting for machines or other equipment. Report
Lots of good ideas and lucky for me I'm retired so can get to the gym on a regular basis. My preferred workout out home is to walk....if the weather is bad I will do a video. Report
These are good ideas, but I personally feel like I need to get to the gym at least 2x/week to make use of the rowing machine (which I hope to have one one day). While there, I'd use the elliptical or treadmill and really get my heart rate up. Depending on the time I have, I'd also use some heavier dumbbells.

When I workout at home, my cardio is to get outside and ride my bike, go for a walk, and/or do some run/walk intervals. For the most part, I do my strength at home and incorporate body weight and dumbbells. Sometimes, I'll do a workout dvd or youtube video but it isn't my go to thing to do unless it is too icky for me to get outside or get to the gym. Report
I work out at home every day. I have two mats and three sets of weights. I have had other DVDs in the past, but a few years ago, when Discovery Fit & Health channel still existed, I put around 60 episodes of two Gilad shows, Bodies in Motion and Total Body Sculpt on my DVR. They are the only routines that I don't get bored with! If I ever want something new, he now has a streaming channel containing more. Sometimes I do yoga with You Tube. And I walk, outside in my neighborhood, every day. To me, there is nothing more boring than a treadmill! Report
I'm fortunate to have both a treadmill and stationary bike in my basement - both older and certainly low-tech but but they work! I have also accumulated over the years (or from things left behind by children!) a stability ball, weights from 2 - 10 lbs, a yoga mat and resistance band. Between spark videos and articles on exercise i can put together a good workout and have done so consistently since January. It's certainly been the key to my successful weight loss and during the winter months a great way to get workouts done in spite of the elements outside. It's easy to get up in the morning and hit my "basement gym" to get in cardio and/or strength training before breakfast. Love pulling up some "golden oldies" music on my phone to and just dancing around. It can be a very good workout and fun too! I've had gym memberships in the past but after a short time they often didn't get used much and I know that I didn't ever go to the gym 6 days a week but I now exercise that often at home! Report
Well said! If I ever won the lottery I would give the people who own the YouTube channels I work out to a good chunk of change. Their videos have allowed my wallet to be more flexible for healthier food choices as well. Especially during the winter months in Canada when the veggie prices cost more than filling up my gas tank. For anyone who likes variety, YouTube is the way to go. If any one is interested in my suggestions, I swear by Fighmaster Yoga and any of the Jillian Michaels videos. The 30 Day Shred, when done to your ability and adding some extra stretching before and after, are my fav. Searching for quick 10 minute ab workouts are awesome too. I have minimally invested in a mat, yoga strap and block and two 3-pound weights. You can also use soup cans or water bottles, a belt (instead of strap) and some pillows/blankets (instead of block). Home sweats FOR THE WIN! Report
I agree, great blog. DH is against the gym, so I Sparkpeople videos and youtube are my home gyms. I've even dusted off my aerobic step for quick and effective workouts. A small amount of weights and resistances are my go-to equipment for strength training. I have a small library of dvds that range from Leslie Sansone, Donna Richardson, Coach Nicole, Turbo Jam, Tae Bo, Jilian Michaels, a few beachbody dvds (over rated/priced).
Keep your goals in front you! Report
Great blog! I use the SparkPeople videos every day. They are quick and very effective. I also do my own workouts such as cardio dancing. Sometimes I just do it while I'm watching a television program. Also around the house I move quickly from one room to another making every burst of energy count. I use YouTube videos as well. No excuses at all. I even have my own library of various workouts including Walk Away the Pounds and Jillian Michaels. Just do it! Thank you! :) Report