Upgrade your health and fitness at home this year

Screenshot from Yoga With Adriene
I’m a firm believer in making incremental changes and doing what you love. I love dancing so I do Zumba and it doesn’t feel like a workout. I tried running and even did a couple of 5ks (the Zombies Run app really helped) but it’s not my thing. So if your goal this year is to run a 5k, you can reach that, but will you enjoy it? If you find running punishing maybe you’d prefer kickboxing or dance fitness. You don’t have to go to the gym for every workout and can get the same results at home. If you’re looking to make fitness updates in the new year, here’s an Amazon affiliate post with some options that work for me. (The photo above is a screenshot from the YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene! One of my goals this year is to do more yoga. I had to go to physical therapy for my neck and the recommended exercises were yoga.)

Lose weight without giving up your favorite foods
I lost 60 pounds from 2014-2015 using the MyFitnessPal app and website (it’s free!) and a food scale. I’ve kept most of it off, but I have about five pounds to go after the holidays. The scale I own is from Tchibo in Germany. I bought my parents this exact food scale and it works great even a few years later. It has a little button that toggles the different measurements and you can tare it to zero easily so you can weigh separate ingredients without using a different bowl. If you’re calorie counting or using portion control, a kitchen scale is a game changer. I lost weight without giving up ice cream, candy or chips.

Get fit at home using free on demand workouts
I enjoy group fitness classes at the gym, but it takes time to drive there, they can be crowded, and I wear earplugs for the noise. Doing workouts at home is a great alternative and there are so many free options on YouTube! All you need is some space around your TV. For lighter workouts I do Jessica Smith or Denise Austin. For harder workouts there are countless options from PopSugar fitness. The Fitness Marshall is awesome too. Remember that workouts are cumulative, so if you can only do 20 minutes in the morning and a half hour a night, that’s still 50 minutes! If you don’t have a smart TV with YouTube, you can get a Chromecast to plug in to it and then just cast from your laptop or phone to the TV. (Amazon fire TV no longer has YouTube available, but Roku devices do and people love them.)

Stay hydrated with reusable water bottles that collapse
One of my tricks for air travel is to bring an empty water bottle with me. I also keep water in the trunk of my car in case I get thirsty when I’m out or decide to go to the movies. (Paying more than $2 for a bottle of water or soda seems outrageous to me.) With a collapsible water bottle in my purse I could stop wasting so much plastic and wouldn’t have to remember to grab water. This would also be a great go-to solution for the gym.

Exercise while watching TV with equipment in your living room
If you keep exercise equipment in your living room you can use it while you’re watching TV. I really enjoy spinning. Some of you swear by the Peloton bikes, however that’s out of my price range. I got a used Schwinn spin bike for $200 from Play It Again sports and have used it for years. It still works great, especially with the clip in shoes. I work out at home using free classes from Global Cycling Network and Studio Sweat on Demand (I don’t subscribe, but I’ve heard their service is very good). This well reviewed Sunny bike is available on Amazon prime for less than $300! Some users say they use it with the Peloton app, which is just $12 a month. There is an issue where the bike may have a banging noise, but it’s fixable according to the top review. When it’s time to replace my bike, I’m going to buy one of these. You’ll also want a heavy duty equipment mat to place under it.

You can also consider a treadmill, an elliptical machine or stationary bike. Just get something you like and will stick to. (Look at your local Play it Again sports and on Craigslist for used equipment!)

Get some cute leggings that you won’t mind running errands in
I own some RBX leggings and while I am small or even extra small in some cases, mine are medium. So you may want to order up a size for comfort. These are awesome leggings for the price. They have cute side panels that will fit a phone and some cards (I have a Samsung S8 plus that fits in these) and there are mesh panels built in around the calf area. Reviewers warn that these run small and that some colors are see through. I also own a pair of these Champion 3/4 length leggings which are very comfortable too. I also have these in medium. For some reason a lot of athletic wear runs small. (Except Zumba wear, that’s usually larger.)

Use an exercise ball to sit on while you work
I was having back and neck pain from sitting at my desk too long so I started using an exercise ball as a chair and it fixed it! I swear it makes my core stronger and helps me sit up straighter. Plus my back and neck pain went away. This ball looks like a great option for using as a desk chair. It has a base plus resistance bands so you can tone too. I’m just using a plain exercise ball without a base or bands and now I want an upgrade.

Change your position frequently while you’re working
Standing desks, which raise and lower so you can sit or stand while you’re working, can run upwards of $1,000! As an alternative you can get a standing desk convertor for your monitor for less than $200. This one comes fully assembled and has over 800 positive reviews! People say it fits up to three monitors and works so well their coworkers are jealous.

Thanks for reading our affiliate post!

Photos are screenshots from Yoga by Adriene, Amazon and Amazon reviews.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

36 Responses to “Upgrade your health and fitness at home this year”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Emily says:

    Squealed when I saw Adriene in this photo because she is a little yoga angel. Love her and her videos – enough “yoga” stuff without teetering into goofy, and I really don’t get tired of hearing her every day. My goal this year is 365 days of yoga, and with her I know it’ll be possible (I’m on day 33!)

    • MaryContrary says:

      I love her too. Honestly-I have gone to yoga classes over the years and never enjoyed them-but she’s wonderful. Last summer I did her class almost every day. I definitely am getting back into it. There’s something so kind and soothing about her without being saccharine or fake.

    • Croatian says:

      I found Adriene 4 years ago while in severe insomnia period, and 15 minutes with her yoga made me sleep like a baby. Never had problems since, because I do videos every day. It’s wonderful how her channel became so successful, 4.3 millions subs! She was at around 300 000 when I found her 🙂 and it’s not yoga in general that helped so much, it’s her “no pressure, you got this” attitude.
      Highly recommend!

    • Castle Toz says:

      I agree. I have a very low tolerance for annoying personalities, but she’s interesting without being too much. Her video’s are my go-to as I get back into shape. Really enjoy her stuff and have other friends that do as well

    • Steff says:

      Same girl. She’s a godsend for people who don’t want to go to classes and her routines are fairly easy for beginners. She also has mastered the art of pacing and knows to go slower in instructional videos, and believe me, I’ve cycled through some yoga instructor videos on YouTube and gave up because the instructor went way too fast.

      I could go on and on about how great her channel is.

    • Alice says:

      Hooray for Adriene!! She is fantastic and has so many great videos!!! Great choice Celebitchy!! Happy New Year everyone!

    • BeanieBean says:

      Me, too! I’ve been doing yoga with Adriene (& Benji) for three years now. I moved, couldn’t afford attending a class regularly, and found Adriene by chance online. Her classes are great & she has plenty of content online, so you’ll never get bored.
      And on another note, two of my co-workers have those desk extender things & love them.

    • Polly says:

      I did too! She seems like such a sweetheart and her yoga classes are very easy to follow. I particularly like that she has videos for different things like helping digestion, insomnia, neck pain etc, and they range in length so if you don’t have time for a full class you can fit in a 7 or 15 minute one.

    • Jennifer says:

      Did you start her “Dedicate” program today, too??? This is my third year of doing Adrienne’s 30 days of yoga program. It’s a great start to the year.

    • titi says:

      Adriene changed my life. Amazing teacher!

  2. Lila says:

    I have been taking exercise classes and biking/walking for years. For me the key to exercise longevity is to do things you enjoy and not what is the fad or what people tell you to do. Years ago I took a yoga class, because everyone told me it was important for cross training. I hated it . I don’t like all those inverted positions. I would spend my time on the way there analyzing why I shouldn’t go. So I stopped. I take a 45 minute stretch class for athletes now and there is no analysis going on in my head. I just go.

    • Catherine says:

      100% agree, on all points, and the stretching classes saved my IT band! Perfect compromise if you’re not into yoga

  3. Case says:

    Adriene is literally life-changing. So easy and accessible to all skill levels. And she kicks my but pretty hard sometimes, too!

  4. dogmom says:

    CB there is a new yoga podcast if you’re into those. It’s called Yoga & Chill and so far they’re all classes that are around 10-15 minutes. She’s not doing anything crazy like handstands or anything.

  5. isabelle says:

    Denise Austin!!! I would watch her in the nineties as a teen and exercise with her. Will check out her newer stuff. My favorite right now is HASfit and bodybuilding.com. Into weight more than aerobic. There are so many options now for at home work it is harder to choose which is best.

  6. april says:

    I love yoga with Adriene! I am doing the 30 day challenge she has for January 🙂

  7. Person3514 says:

    Does the app in this post tell you how much to eat when it comes to chips or ice cream? How do you know the limits??

    • Myrtle says:

      My Fitness Pal (MFP) is a tracker with an extensive database. You put in what you eat for meals and snacks, and it adds up the calories, fat grams, etc for you. You also can log your daily activities and exercise, and it lets you know how many calories that burned, earning you “extra”. When you first sign up you can put in your stats and goals. By tracking calories in and out, MFP helps you to see what choices are either leading you towards or away from your goals. But it doesn’t tell you what or when to eat. It just tracks.

  8. Myrtle says:

    Great post! Here’s my tip: I am middle aged and losing muscle, so I need to build strength. Because I’m at my computer 8 hours a day, I decided last week to set the clock on my computer to announce the time every hour. When the time is announced, I get up out of my chair and “Take 10” which means I do 10 reps of any weight-bearing exercise. Just 10 reps of one thing, for now, anyway. It could be ten squats, or ten crunches, or ten pushups, ten biceps curls, whatever. It takes literally less than a minute and I feel the difference right away! At first it was hard to do 10 squats, but after a week it’s getting easier. xx

    • Erinn says:

      That’s a great idea. I’m also stuck at a desk all day… and I have a fitbit (mainly for sleep tracking to give me a slight predictor of migraines) and I actually turned the hourly step reminder off haha. But putting it back on and doing a few curls or something wouldn’t be a bad idea. I’m tucked away at the very back of a big office, so I can get away with doing pretty much whatever.

      • Myrtle says:

        Yay! Maybe even others in the office will want to try, too. With all the research and info that keeps coming out about how unhealthy it is for our bodies to sit all day, it would be awesome if companies started promoting small steps like this. Like CB said at the beginning of this post, incremental change can make a huge diff.

      • Erinn says:

        It definitely would be a good thing. We have a gym that I can use in the building … but I also don’t want to take the time to change and go get super sweaty and then shower and change again… and it’s also usually busy at the times I’d be most able to go. But doing something at my desk would definitely be better than nothing – and on the more mild non-icy winter days I really need to start going for short walks. Our jobs are killing us. So any extra activity would be worth it.

    • Esmom says:

      That is such a great idea. More and more I’ve been reading that even if you work out hard every day, if you then sit for 8, 10, 12 hours for work you could actually be undoing the benefits of your workout. I need to get better at doing this. I tend to not want to think about any exercise at all once I’m done working out, which is not a healthy mindset.

      • Myrtle says:

        Thanks! Hope it works out for you, Esmom. 😉

      • BeanieBean says:

        Yep. For my two 15-minute breaks I go outside for walks. That really helps my mind & body. Plus, I walk to & from work & go home for lunch (I’m lucky to live a short distance away).

  9. Hoopjumper says:

    I have the Sunny bike and subscribe to Peloton! It’s great. You can also get an iPad mount for the front of the bike and watch Netflix/Hulu on days you feel like working out but don’t want to do a class. It’s really been great.

    • Celebitchy says:

      I actually watch Netflix on my laptop on the bike and then do a class on YouTube on the TV at the same time. As long as it’s one I’m familiar with I don’t miss any of the jumps or intervals. That’s cool you like the sunny bike! I may just get a new bike after I move instead of hauling my old one to a new place.

    • Viv says:

      I have the Sunny bike too! I’m impressed with it for $300. It’s really sturdy, easy to adjust, and easy to move around. Setting the resistance isn’t very precise if that’s something you care about, but I don’t so it’s perfect.

  10. Esmom says:

    Great suggestions, thanks. I enjoy indoor cycling and have been coveting a Peloton bike but the price tag has ruled it out. We have a treadmill that no one uses anymore, I’m thinking I can sell that and get a cheap spin bike, which I believe will get much more use at my house.

    • Emma says:

      Pelotons are super expensive but they do have a payment plan if you really want one (and can swing the payment, of course). It sounds corny but it has really changed my outlook on life – the instructors are so positive, and I love having a high quality workout that is so accessible. Having said that, another brand of bike totally works, too!

  11. Steph says:

    Amazon fire tv has both a silk and Firefox browsers that you type YouTube into and as long as you don’t sign out, it opens to YouTube when the browser app is selected.

  12. suharik26 says:

    I do tons of yoga on AloMoves or YogaGlo at home. It’s gotten me into shape brilliantly. Fitness Blender does fabulous pilates, HIIT and cardio workouts on YouTube, all free. Lots of band workouts for weights, and running/hiking outside. All you need is to move and do what you like to keep doing it. AloMoves is 20 bucks a month for thousands of fabulous classes.

  13. Anners says:

    *love* yoga with Adrienne. She is the perfect combo of quirky and real for me. To me the best workout is the one I look forward too!

    I also really like Rebecca-Louise – she has 10-20 minute videos on YouTube that target different parts of the body in varying degrees of difficulty. Even when I’m feeling lazy, I know I can do 10 minutes of anything.

    And the Fitness Marshall is crazy fun. I love these kinds of posts!!! Looking for any other online (free) fitness suggestions