woman in yoga pantsContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

Whether they’re promoting a pre-holiday shape up, or the annual “summer is coming” bikini-ready frenzy, ads for gyms and fitness centers are always in sight on television, billboards and the pages of magazines. But so many of us just don’t have time for a daily visit to the gym. Between work, family and everything else, heading out to exercise is just not realistic.

But you know exercise is important. And you want to stay in shape. Fortunately, there are many ways to get in shape at home and skip all that driving too and from an expensive, noisy gym. Here are ten ways to stay in your own neighborhood…or even your own living room and still see the results you want.


10. Walking

woman walking with kids

According to many fitness experts, walking is one of the best things you can do for your health. This low impact activity can fit into almost every life, so it eliminates the time issues. And the necessary equipment is limited to just a good pair of walking shoes or cross trainers. Grab the kids or the dog, or just head out on your own for a few minutes before work, during lunch or after dinner.

9. Home gym

Bowflex home gym

The idea of bringing the gym home has been around for awhile. But now home exercise gym equipment is more popular than ever. Newer designs take up less floor space and are much easier to set up than those of even a decade ago. And many now offer more workout choices, too. You can even position it in sight of the television to turn viewing time into work out time.

8. Yoga

woman doing yoga

Yes, yoga is a wonderful stress reliever. And for some, it’s a part of their spiritual practice, too. But a regular yoga practice can also be one of the best ways to get in shape at home. Beginners who expect a few stretches and headstand are surprised by the intensity of the workout a good yoga session provides. And like walking, equipment needs are very limited. A good non-slip yoga mat and some comfortable clothes are all you need.

7. Running

Running shoes

For many people, going for a run is one of the best ways to get into or stay in shape without heading to the gym. Get fitted for a good pair of running shoes, and head out for a run around your neighborhood or a nearby park. A run in the morning before the day gets going, or right after work could be all you need to go from couch potato to healthy and fit.

6. Workout DVDs

woman exercising in front of television

If you’re not sure how to move or what to do for an aerobic or strength workout, grab a few of the popular fitness DVDs and pop them into your player. Some programs require workout equipment like weights, steps or resistance bands. Others only require some open space and ordinary things you have around the house like towels, cushions or chairs.

5. Online workout videos

woman exercising in living room

If you want to try out a variety of exercise routines without spending a fortune on DVDs, turn on your computer and head to YouTube. A quick search will turn up hundreds of videos for all fitness levels, most of them set to popular music. Pick your favorites and start moving.

4. Move differently

woman dusting wall

And speaking about moving, did you know that just doing your ordinary household and garden chores differently could really raise the fitness-potential for all of them? Need to dust cobwebs off the wall? Raise your arm as far above your head as you can and go up on your toes. Dust, then reach down to the floor. Repeat every few feet along the wall, and you have turned a simple chore into a chance to stretch and exercise. Find more ways to add movement, resistance and strength training to ordinary housework and yard duties, and watch the difference it makes.

3. Eat healthier

healthy food

Yes, most of these suggestions are about ways to exercise. But without the right fuel, you’ll never see the health benefit of what you’re doing.

While you’re adding new ways to stay fit to your life, be sure to add lots of ways to stay healthy to your table. Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, and limit high sugar and refined foods. If your schedule means more drive-through than home cooked, consider having healthy, balanced ready-to-heat meals delivered to your home.

2. Dance

woman dancing on couch

Go ahead. Have your Risky Business moment (a great excuse to wax that floor!) Or indulge your inner belly dancer. Or rock out to your favorite songs from high school. Whatever it takes to get you shaking it is good. Dance is a fun, no-stress way to burn calories right there at home.

1. Personal trainer

woman doing sit ups

Sometimes it’s hard to know what kind of exercise will work for you. That’s when it makes sense to hire a personal trainer to come to your home. You can use a trainer just to get started, or arrange for regular visits to help you stay on target.

There’s no need to spend time driving to and from the gym, or waiting in line for machines when you want to get in shape. Really, you have everything you need right there at home.