Dear Diary,

There are countless reasons why I can’t go to the gym. No time, no budget and no will power. I used to make excuses, but then one day, I made a decision to workout without leaving my home. Especially if you don’t have a babysitter or family member to watch your little one while you run to the gym, your living room can be just as effective. I crank up my music when I am working out at home–something I can’t do at the gym! Music is motivating and  serves as a good distraction if you are ready to quit. But wait, quitting isn’t in our vocabulary! Heck, we carried a baby for nearly 10 months, then labored and delivered. A workout will be a cinch.

Here’s what you need to turn your home into a fitness center.


Get a set of kettlebells and the following weights (5, 8 and 10 pounds). There is no need for heavier weights. Do more repetitions, and you will reap the same benefits. I purchased my kettlebells at TJ MAXX on clearance for $15! Don’t forget to pick up a pair workout gloves. The gloves provide a good grip and prevent blisters and callouses from forming on your hands.

Balance Ball

You can use a balance ball for crunches, push-ups and leg work. Be sure to buy the right size for your weight/body. The exercise ball

Jump Rope

If you have the space, jump rope for several one-minute intervals. Weather permitted, jump outside in your driveway. Your child will enjoy your moves while she sits in the stroller.

will strengthen your core and assist with balance. If you work at home, try swapping your desk chair for a balance ball.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands come in a variety of levels and are just as challenging as using an exercise machine at the gym. Plus, you have more control, since your body will know when to pull back or increase the tension. Some bands have the exercise instructions printed right on it to make exercising easy.


Grab your from the kitchen, and start to climb. You can also run up or walk up the stairs. Steps are great for your glutes and an increased heart rate helps burn fat. Start slow, and then work your way up to five sets.

Weighted Ball 

Using a weighted ball while doing sit-ups or crunches burns even more calories. You can also use the ball to do arm movements. If you don’t want to buy a ball, grab a bag of flour or rice. Your pantry is a great source for free weights! Cans of beans, a bottle of vinegar or spaghetti sauce can cause you to break a sweat! You can even exercise with your little one, just make sure not to move your little one too quickly–especially if he just ate!

Weighted Hula Hoop

I laugh every time I use my weighted hula hoop! Set your timer for 3 minutes. You will be sweating and praying for the timer to beep signaling the end. This a fun and effective exercise.

Workout Videos & Printables

Remember Bill Banks and Tae Bo? Their workouts are still effective and relevant. Don’t have any DVDs to dust off? You can always find a few on clearance racks, or you can search for exercise videos on YouTube. And don’t forget to checkout Pinterest. You can print tons of workouts right at home.

Even if you don’t have anything on the list above, you own the most important piece of your home gym: You! You don’t need any equipment to do basic cardio moves and calisthenics. Show up, show out and be accountable to you.

Yoga Mat

Use you yoga mat to stretch before exercising. I like a mat, because it makes me feel like I am really about to put in work, plus it takes the pressure off laying on hard floors.

Hey DFTM Fam–How are you getting fit & fabulous?

About The Author

MJ Levine
Fit Mom/Community Relations Manager

MJ is a married mom raising an 18-month old daughter and an 8-year-old daugter in Atlanta, GA. She writes about fitness, food, life, love and getting to know Atlanta with her toddler in tow. She loves being a mom, because it gives her joy to explore the world with her daughter while preparing her to follow her dreams into adulthood. Being a mom has started MJ's journey to live her own dreams. When not writing for DFTM, MJ enjoys all things toddler, cooking, exercising and living life in a new city. Shealso blogs at FAB Haute Mama ( In her spare time, she mentors young adults and assists them with job preparation.

2 Responses

  1. Miz Kp

    Great ideas. I have been working out in my living room for a while now. Love the youtube videos that give a full workout.

  2. Ms. Naturally Random

    1st time mom of a three month old and since going back to work just haven’t found my groove into working out again. I lost about 45 lbs pre-pregnancy and would love to maintain it. Not pressuring myself at all but this post was a great mental kick start on how to tackle this home.


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