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This Home Exercise Program Will Keep You Happy, Healthy & Fit

Can’t get to the gym? No Worries! I’ll show you how to put together everything you need for the ultimate home exercise program, including lots of low or no-cost options, so you can stay happy, healthy, and fit!

home exercise program with dumbbells and a yoga mat
Photo credit: Derick McKinney at Unsplash

With the recent stay at home restrictions in place, I decided to ask my dietitian and fitness trainer colleagues to share their favorite equipment, videos, and other resources for setting up your own home exercise program. The response I received was incredible. I promise you, with all these tips and resources, you’ll be staying fit, keeping your sanity, and, most importantly, having fun while working out from home.

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Workout Videos & Streaming Workouts

Get started with your home exercise program with this curated list of workout videos and (live) streaming classes.

Side Note: If you have a spin bike at home, my friend Lena, at Verve Studios in Del Mar, is doing live Instagram spinning workouts~be sure to check it out!

Home Exercise Program Workout Apps

  • Got a yoga mat and running shoes? Take Megan Byrd’s suggestion to download the Aaptiv app (a favorite of mine too) and get moving! “Aaptiv gives you thousands of yoga, pilates, body weights, outdoor running, mediation/relaxation and even maternity work outs to stream directly from your phone, and I love that it tells you exactly what moves to do in each work out. It pretty much takes the guesswork out of working out, and they have workouts for every fitness level. I’ve been using it for a few years and can’t see myself working out without it every again!”
  • Jefit is an award winning workout tracking platform ad app recommended by Registered Dietitian & Certified Nutrition Coach, Leonila Campos. In addition to fitness tracking, you can take advantage of pre-built routines, including those shared by community members.
  • Even if you don’t have a Peloton bike (on Mr. Spicy’s wishlist!) you can still take advantage of their full library of classes from the comfort of your own home. RD Peloton fans include Jeanne Petrucci at Living Plate, Katie Morford, Jamie Lee McIntyre, MS, RDN at Jamie Lee RDN, and Jennifer Lefton, MS, RD, FAND. I’m definitely planning on taking advantage of the Peloton App 90 day free trial that’s happening right now (as of 3/36/20). Classes include strength training, yoga, meditation, bootcamp, power walks outside, and more.
  • Another app to check out, is Tone It Up, recommended by Brynn McDowell, RDN at The Domestic Dietitian. “Their workouts range from 15-30 minutes and are fun and uplifting. Many don’t require anything other than your own bodyweight.”

De-Stress with a Yoga Sesh

  • Mary Purdy, RD & host of one of my favorite podcasts, Mary’s Nutrition Show, likes the yoga classes at DoYogaWithMe. She also made a great suggestion to check with your favorite local yoga studios and fitness classes to see if they offer live streaming classes.
  • You can also check out the Groupons for The Yoga Collective online-a favorite of Joanna Foley at Joanna Foley Nutrition.  “I am in love with the Yoga collective online yoga! It’s SO cheap as they always have Groupons for $15/year membership and it’s really high quality videos! You can also filter videos by how much time you have and what level of yoga you want to do. I do it multiple times a week from the comfort of my living room.”
  • Another great online resource for yoga, is Yoga with Adrienne, recommended by Leah Swanson, MHSc, RDN, CD. On my 20 for 2020 Goals & Habits list is to do more stretching and yoga to improve my flexibility. If anyone wants to join me, check out Adriene’s popular free 30 Days of Yoga series on YouTube!
woman doing child pose on a pink yoga mat

Home Exercise Program with Equipment

  • Caryn Nistico, at Food & Nutrition Network, keeps her home exercise program varied with a combo of free weights, kettle bells, and an inversion machine, stating “it’s never a dull workout!”
  • Julie Kay Andrews, MS, RND, CD at The Gourmet RD, is another kettle ball fan, which she uses along with 20-40 KB minute workouts on You Tube.
  • You can also add a medicine ball to your home exercise program like Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD of Sound Bites Nutrition does. (I can attest that medicine ball slams are a great way to relieve some pent up frustrations!)
  • Find your zen like Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in the New York City area does. She keeps a set of yoga essentials on hand for at-home yoga sessions when she can’t get outside for a walk.
  • No weights at home? No problem! Sports and fitness dietitian, Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD at Kelly Jones Nutrition urges her clients to get creative with their home exercise programs. “People may also be surprised with how many alternatives to dumbbells and other weights that they may have in their home. I am doing virtual team training with my personal trainer now, and she has us filling old laundry detergent jugs with water, using paint cans, and pairing the light weights we have with resistance bands for the effect of extra weight.” Love this idea!
  • Another great idea! Do a deep cleaning session & get some exercise at the same time like Brianne Bell of Frugal Minimalist Kitchen does. “Not only do I work up a sweat, but I can check things off my to to list at the same time!” Need a little motivation to clean your own house? Check out her inspirational post: How to Get Motivated to Clean When You’re Overwhelmed by Mess!

You can also put together a great home exercise program, sans equipment, according to Jaymar Saniatan, RD, ACE-CPT at @nutritionphitness.

My best advice for a home workout equipment is your body. There’s no need to buy special equipment to get a good workout. Run/walk intervals are great for maximum fat loss and cardio. You can also incorporate great core workouts with just your body. My favorite website to use to as a resource is Google. You can find every type of workout on google

Jaymar Saniatan

Opt Outside (If you can!)

Even with social distancing, getting outside is still important these days, says Chrissy Carroll of Snacking in Sneakers. (I wholeheartedly agree!) She states, “going for a run is an easy and cheap way to get in your workout and get fresh air (provided you have a safe, non-crowded street or trail to run on of course)! You can find tons of free running training plans from beginner to advanced on her website, all put together by an USAT triathlon coach and ACSM personal trainer. 

woman walking outside on dirt path with trees

Workouts for Kids & Pregnant Mamas

  • Got young kiddos at home? Jessica Spiro, RD, mom to an active 3 year old, is a fan of Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube. “It’s a yoga practice with kid-friendly themes like Disney stories and trips to the zoo.”
  • Arielle “Dani” Lebovitz, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE at Happy Healthy Eating for Children-Experience Delicious, loves “the Fitness Marshall for dance party fitness on youtube. And, she also likes the Every Mother app for postpartum fitness focusing on core strength.
  • Get your workout on the old fashioned way and have a dance party! Moushumi Mukherjee “does what we call crazy dancing. We put on some music and dance and laugh at each other with our crazy moves. It’s really helped de-stress along with working out too.”
  • Lauren Manaker, RDN at Nutrition Now Counseling, is a fan of Juna, “an amazing app that has home workouts specifically focused for pregnant and postpartum moms. It is easy to follow and gives guidance created by experts.”

My Home Exercise Program Favorites

  • Bowflex Adjustable Weights. We’ve had Bowflex adjustable dumbbells for several years, and I love their versatility. With a range of weights from 5 pounds to 52 pounds, Big Tex can get in a good workout, and so can I. Can’t find the Bowflex version online? You may want to invest in several weights of dumbbells, like these ones from SPRI.
  • T25 Workout Videos. Confession: I’ve only done the T25 workouts a few times, but after watching Mr. Spicy & SiSi working out together this week (LOVE!), I’m inspired to start doing them again. Shaun T is a great motivator, and you get a great workout in 25 minutes. Important: These are pretty intense workouts, so if you have a health condition, or are new to working out, please consult with your physician and follow the safety instructions before starting the program.
  • Five in 45 Workouts. If you’ve been following my #Fivein45 stories on Instagram, you know that I’m a big fan of mini workouts throughout the day, as part of my home exercise program. This is a great way to reenergize and destress all day long, especially when you’re working from home. Yesterday I got a full strength training workout. And, so far today, I’ve done a 5 minute stair workout and run 1 mile INSIDE MY HOUSE 🙂 Join me. It’s fun!!!
  • My neighborhood! If you can get outside for some fresh air and exercise while social distancing, do it! I’m still taking my pups on a daily walk (sometimes Mr. Spicy even joins along!), and I love being able to say a friendly, albeit distant, HELLO to my neighbors. Remember, we’re all in this together!!!
How to Create the Ultimate Home Exercise Program to Stay Healthy, Happy, & Fit! #fitspo #rdchatClick to Tweet
bike, street, neighborhood

And, last but not least, be sure to find the joy in working out!

As someone whose main motive for working out is the mood boosting benefits I get, I LOVE this advice from Krissy Lines, MS, RD, CSSD, CPT…

If we only exercise to manage body weight, body shape, body image, or to ‘make-up’ for something we ate or will eat, then we are missing out on the joys of it entirely. It feels good to move! It feels good to be strong! And, neither of those have to do with your weight. If you’re having trouble understanding your motives for movement, ask yourself , “why do I want to move right now?”. Stay curious, stay open, and stay body-positive!

Krissy Lines

Thanks so much to all my dietitian friends and colleagues for your recommendations! Now I want to know, what would YOU add to this home exercise program list??? Be happy and well!

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