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If going to the gym or fitness center isn’t for you, there are many inspiring strategies for getting your workout in or around your home.

Once you have a home fitness plan in place, you’ll feel much more motivated to act on it.

1. Own a Good Pair of Exercise Shoes

Support and comfort start from the ground up. If your feet are uncomfortable, you’ll be less motivated for exercise. If you choose to run or hike around your area, it’s important to wear shoes that are specifically made for outdoor exercise. Certain kinds of sneakers have improved tread for road or trail running in order to stabilize and protect your feet and ankles. Most people will find their outdoor exercise shoes wear more quickly than their indoor shoes, so try to change them regularly. Signs you need to invest in a new pair of shoes should include pain or discomfort from your hips to your feet and moderate to heavily worn tread or worn shoe insoles. Also watch for overly stretched, torn fabric and shoelace eyelets. All of these can compromise the effectiveness of shoes and potentially lead to pain or injury.

2. Try Some Yoga

The yoga that we recommend in the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine focuses on helping to calm our mind and body in order to manage stress. There are other more vigorous forms of yoga that are also wonderful ways to stretch and strengthen your muscles.

3. Find a Go-To Video Workout

There are many good video workouts that you can do from the comfort of your living room. It may take some trial and error to find one that you enjoy, but once you do, you’ll always have a way to fit in a quick workout or have a great substitute for a rainy or cold day. Here are some workouts that we recommend on the Ornish Program.

4. Grab a Jump Rope

A jump rope can be a wonderful cardio tool. Done in tandem with other heart-pumping exercises like stair-climbing or abdominal crunches, you can elevate your heart rate and work multiple muscle groups in a short period of time. For a good 15-minute workout, you could do a minute or two of jump rope, followed by a set of abdominal crunches, then move to a set of squats finishing with push-ups. Repeat this circuit for a super-charged home workout.

5. Use Your Own Body Weight

Our own body is one of the most readily available exercise tools we have. There are literally dozens of exercises that can be done at home, a rest stop, or a hotel that don’t require equipment, or can be enhanced with some weights. These include squats, push-ups, planks, tricep dips, crunches and lunges. Putting a series of these exercises together with little break in between will not only give you a heart-pumping cardio workout, but it will help to improve your muscular strength.

6. Get Your Nature Fix with a Friend

Grab a friend and enjoy the great outdoors by going on a hike. Taking your walk off road can challenge your muscles as well as give you a good cardio workout. Enjoying other outdoor activities like kayaking, canoeing, swimming or even playing catch with a frisbee can be both fun and rewarding to your fitness.

7. Dumbbells and Resistance Bands

A good set of dumbbells or resistance bands are very useful for home strength training. The main problem with dumbbells is that they can take up a lot of space, especially if you want a wide variety of weights. One solution to this is a set of adjustable dumbbells that allow you to turn a dial and select your weight. These weights are expensive, but well worth it.

8. Do Some Chores

Are your home chores building up? Make a list of what needs to get done and take several of these chores on back to back. You may be surprised how challenging this can be if you keep moving and how much you can get done in 30-60 minutes!

Once you have a home fitness plan in place, you’ll feel much more motivated to act on it. You have fewer excuses because you now know that you can exercise almost anywhere, whether it’s a cardio or strength training workout. It’s now up to you to ensure you are active every day and from there is where you’ll get the results you want. Challenge yourself every day to do something new or to exercise a little more. As Dr. Ornish likes to say, “The more you move, the more you will improve.”

As with any exercise program, make sure to check in with your physician to make sure you are healthy and ready to exercise.

How have you made home exercise successful for you?



Contributed by

Phil Hardesty
Exercise Physiologist

Have a healthy, happy and fit week!!

Better Health Begins With You...

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