Staying fit at home without a gym

Whether you love staying fit or you’ve never really gotten into it, the fact is, we’ve been a lot more sedentary than we should be this past year.


Unfortunately, scrolling through Netflix or getting up to open another bag of chips doesn’t actually count as calorie-burning activities. Only real and consistent sweat-inducing exercise can help you improve your health, lose weight and reduce your risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.


But, you say, “I don’t have fancy equipment at home and I certainly can’t afford it right now.” We knew you’d say that J and the good news getting fit doesn’t require a lot of bells and whistles. All you need is 30 minutes a day, a towel and the consistency to perform a few basic exercises four to five times a week.


Here are four simple exercises, according to celebrity fitness coach Gunnar Peterson, that you can do to activate and firm up your muscles, keep your body moving and get healthier:


·       10 body-weight squat repetitions – these work on your legs, abs and posture

·       10 push-ups – these work on your chest, shoulders and triceps

·       10 Supermans – these work on your lower back and core

·       20 crunches – these work on your abdomen and core


Do each of these exercises five to ten times with a short rest (one minute is enough) between them. Your entire workout session should take you about half an hour. If you begin finding it too easy, you can experiment by raising the number of repetitions you do for each exercise – for instance, instead of doing 20 crunches in a row, try 30.


Remember, speak to your family doctor before beginning any exercise regimen. If you feel mild muscle pain in the days following your exercise, that’s a good thing. If you feel any nerve or joint pain, again, speak to a health professional.


How have you kept yourself in shape during the pandemic? Share your exercise tips with the Shop Talk community – we love hearing from you!


Did you know? Home exercise gets a boost


The sale of fitness equipment, like kettlebells, dumbbells and stationary bikes shot up 55% when COVID-19 lockdowns began. (Source)

34 thoughts on “Staying fit at home without a gym

  1. I have a gym membership and have for at least 8 years for only 10 a month with no commitment. I also have some equipment like jump rope, 1 lb. weights to lift , resistance bands and sticks to work out with at home if I don’t feel like going to the gym or it is too full.

  2. It’s very hard to actually exercise straight-forward.. I am 64 and have a lot of physical problems like arthritis, bad back, inflammation, and sciatica.

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  4. Great information. I am 75 and I can do most of the exercises getting down and back up is the hardest part.

  5. I walk at our mall in town. I do try to stay exercise some at home drink water and eat some what healthy.

  6. Thank you for this email. It’s an excellent idea and I’m going to set this goal for myself and hopeful my can convince my husband to try this with me. I know it will make a huge difference.

  7. Thank you for putting those exercises, it only takes 30 minutes but we still find excuses not to exercise. For the exercises you posted, we don’t really need exercise machines.

  8. Walking is great, it helps move your circulation. I don’t have any weights so I use vegetable cans.

    It would be great to have a gym membership to go use all the machines and also get the help from the workers that have experience in muscles.

  9. I have seen this kind of ‘advice’ before, but the ONE GLARING thing that is still wrong with this kind of advice is …

    That this requires a whole, non-disabled body to even attempt the type of ‘exercise’ listed.

    Given that I’ve had Spine Fusion, had Joint Replacement (including Total Knee Replacement), things like above (including the squats) are just not possible at this time. (it is the truth – I am stating things as they are — I spent a number of years in a wheelchair as I recuperated from Injuries, as well as awaiting the latest Joint Replacement (because of Covid delayed it even further and cancelled these necessary surgeries for a time, waited way too long for this latest one).

    LOOK instead to your Medical Provider and Physical Therapy (as well as Occupational Therapy) for SAFE, consistent strength building exercises. I’ve got sports equipment at home (yes, even with as many physical problems as I have, I still do adaptive sports), and also exercise equipment so that I can exercise safely.
    What really helped though, was the Hydro Therapy, where I could take the pressure off the joints and the spine to develop toning and strength DESPITE the injuries/disability. This is a safe, effective way to keep in shape (as much as possible).

    So basically, do NOT post things like this (which can be discouraging to the Disabled Community) and try to provide in the article some inclusion of adaptive exercises (like recumbent steppers/bikes, and simple weights (like even building strength to lift a gallon jug of water is fitness while in a wheelchair!). Even though this doesn’t necessarily fit the ‘standard model’ .. it is TIME to BREAK that model, remove the shame/punishment of the disabled, and just encourage whatever one can do depending on their physical capabilities.
    (yes, even using a manual wheelchair as you roll yourself across the gym or down your driveway or walk IS Exercise!).

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