You can turn any space in your home into a gym with a little creativity and if you use the right type of exercises. Some exercises are more conducive for use in small places. Working with kettlebells, for instance, could be disastrous if you’re doing it in a small living room. Even with careful planning for space, the potential for damage is great. One simple way to get cardio exercise works well if you have steps in the house. Simply run up and down the steps to speed up your heart rate and work your muscles. It’s one reason coaches have their team do stadium laps. Don’t wait until you have a whole basket of items to carry to a room. Run up or down the steps to put away just one item. When you’re using steps for a workout, being efficient isn’t important.
Create your own weights.
If you have a scale, you can create your own weights from items you already have in the house. Plastic milk bottles, large vinegar containers and even distilled water containers can be filled to create weights for your gym. If you’re feeling particularly strong, use 35 lb plastic kitty litter buckets filled with as much sand as you need to achieve the weight you desire. You can adjust the weight by adding or subtracting sand. If you know anyone with cats, they’ll often jump at the chance to get rid of them. (Most people save them because they like way too useful and end up with dozens of extras,) Large cans, like bean cans, can also be used.
Straight back chairs and the kitchen counter are a useful part of the gym.
There are a number of exercises you can do with a chair as your equipment, from chair dips to seat taps—basically marching and swinging the arms but lifting your leg high enough to tap the seat of the chair. A kitchen counter can provide a surface for a vertical push up. If you’re busy, you can get extra exercise by putting more pizzazz in each task. Raise and lower your body by going up and down on the balls of your feet while you’re doing dishes or cooking. For those with a dishwasher, load it one dish at a time, squatting each time you do.
Buy or create your own exercise mat.
You don’t have to have a special yoga mat or exercise mat to workout. You can make do with a long runner or even a large throw rug. Yoga mats, however, aren’t that expensive and can be used for other workouts besides yoga. Just name it your exercise mat and make sure you keep it clean. You can also create your own mat from smaller inexpensive mats you Velcro together. You can stitch fabric and cotton batting to create a yoga mat, if you like to do home projects.
Exercise bands are inexpensive and a good addition to any home gym. They don’t require a lot of space for storage either.
Go free form for exercise and turn on your favorite music. Dance away in the privacy of your home doing interesting movements that add variety, while building your cardio endurance.
A stability ball doesn’t take much space, but can provide a good workout when used properly.
Core sliders or exercise sliders are extremely inexpensive and great for building core strength.