Belonging to a gym is not a requirement to lose weight. You can exercise at home effectively and efficiently. Whether you have a fully loaded home gym, or no equipment at all, commit to a routine that helps you burn calories, build strength and lose weight.
Clear a space that is about 10 square feet. Use a garage, your living room or a spare bedroom. Gather any equipment you have—dumbbells, resistance tubing, stability ball.
Warm up before every workout with light activity for five to 10 minutes. Walk briskly on a treadmill or pedal on a home elliptical machine, if you have one. March or jog in place if you do not have a machine.
Do a cardio interval workout three times per week. Use a cardio machine or a jump rope to perform a minute or two of high-intensity exercise alternated with a minute or two of easier exercise. Do other cardio activities if you do not have a machine. Try a minute each of fast jumping jacks, high knees, speed skaters and tuck jumps. Between each of these activities, march for a minute. Repeat 10 to 12 times total. Make this workout last an hour to increase your ability to burn fat, as shown in a study in the journal "Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism" from December 2008. Exercisers who performed three, one-hour interval sessions weekly for six weeks greatly increased their fat-burning capacities.
Perform a full body strength training routine two times per week. Go for at least one exercise for every major muscle group—back, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, buttocks, legs and abdominals. Try bent-over rows, shoulder presses, push-ups, biceps curls, triceps dips off a coffee table or sturdy chair, wall squats, walking lunges and the bicycle maneuver. Use dumbbells for the rows, presses and curls or be creative—use water-filled 2-liter bottles or laundry jugs as weights. Complete eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise using weights heavy enough to fatigue you in the chosen number. One set is sufficient, but if you are an experienced exerciser, consider adding a second or third set, notes the American Council on Exercise. A regular weight routine helps build lean muscle mass, which burns more calories at rest.
Change your routine every month or so. Alter your cardio routine by adding in new moves such as runs up and down your staircase or sprints across your backyard. Do your strength training exercises in a different order, or add in new ones such as chest presses off a stability ball or resistance tubing shoulder presses. Regular adjustments to your program challenges your body so that it continues to burn maximal calories during your workout to help with weight loss.