by Gina Carlson

Senior woman exercising at home

There’s no way around it – everyone needs exercise. But let’s face it – the number one reason people don’t work out is because they don’t have the time! Between work and home life, you’re already stretched for time; if you’re someone on a budget, a gym can be out of reach. However, there are plenty of items already in your home that you can use to create your own personal gym! As an added bonus, you don’t need to go anywhere (or wonder who’s watching you sweatin’ to the oldies).

Find Your Space

To get started, decide where you’ll be setting up your workout space. Find an area that has room for you to move around with ease – or easily adjust the furniture. With space alone, you’ve got an area to use for a variety of exercises – burpees, crunches, jumping jacks, yoga, and even dancing! Newbies can find workout routines on demand or on YouTube, as well.

Grab a Chair

Once you’ve got some space set aside, there are some easy additions to make your workouts a little tougher, without needing to purchase anything. Grab a chair or use your couch – anything sturdy! Use it for tricep dips, push it against a wall and do pushups, and use it as a steeper step up to work your legs. If your chair or couch is lower to the ground, it’s also a great place to tuck your toes and do sit-ups or crunches.

Create Your Own Set of Weights

You’ve probably also heard about using cans as weights – which is great, if you’re first starting your workout routine. But cans weigh around a pound a piece, and once you’ve gotten started, you’ll need more of a challenge. Fill up a backpack with books, and work on your squats and lunges. Hold one heavy book in each hand, and work on your bicep curls and overhead presses. You can also use water bottles or milk jugs filled with water or sand or purchase 5 or 10-pound bags of rice, wrap them in duct tape – even create handles – and use them as free weights or as a kettlebell.

Multitask With Other Items

Another popular and inexpensive idea is to fill a basketball with sand and use it as a weighted fitness ball to work your core and grow your strength. A small footstool in the space you’ve cleared can also be used as a step for a cardio routine, as a box for weightlifting, or to stretch. In addition, towels can become a mat or a yoga block, and are easy to wash after a sweaty routine.

Creating a home gym may not help you find the time for fitness, but it will certainly cut down on the time you’d need to get started. With your new DIY gym, you’ll change your physique, without changing your entire house. All you need is some space, and a little creativity! For more ideas and inspiration, head to

About the Author:
Gina Carlson lives in Minnesota with her husband and four crazy pets, and is a DIY home improvement addict. She currently writes about all things home decor for