Exercising at home requires self-discipline, but not much more. You can burn the same number of calories doing cardiovascular, flexibility and strengthening exercises at home that you would at a gym. Certain workouts burn more calories, while adding challenges to moderate workouts can make them more intense. Consult your doctor before starting a home workout regimen, particularly if you have health concerns.
The fastest way to burn the most calories with a home workout is by doing vigorous cardiovascular exercise. High-impact activities like running and jumping rope burn between 800 and 1,400 calories per hour, depending upon your current weight and your fitness level. Not all cardiovascular exercise has to be high impact. Climbing stairs at home will burn around 700 calories per hour, while sprinting up them burns the same number of calories as running. If you have a treadmill at home, set it on an incline for portions of your workout and you will strengthen as you burn calories.
Pumping iron does not burn the same number of calories as cardiovascular exercise. However, as you do resistance exercises or lift weights, you replace fat mass with leaner muscle mass. Your body works harder to feed the muscle mass, raising your basal metabolic rate and burning more calories in the course of your day. Fluidly lift and lower hand weights as you march in place, walk or run during your home workout. Do triceps dips from the coffee table or a series of lunges across the living room. Pushups, either on the floor or against the wall, work your upper and lower body. Build core strength by doing abdominal crunches.
Turn your home into a gym by setting up a series of exercise stations. Warm up by jogging up stairs or marching in place, lifting your knees high. After five minutes, hit the floor for pushups or the kids' swing set for pullups. Raise your heart rate with some calisthenics such as jumping jacks and burpees. Pick up some soup cans or hand weights and do some deep squats while lifting the weight overhead. Jump rope or do some explosive leg plyometrics by bending down, then jumping up. Cool down with some yoga poses, remembering to breathe deeply. The faster your pace and the less you rest between stations on your circuit, the more calories you burn.
As you get more fit, you get too efficient at your workout, burning fewer calories. Keep up your challenge level by doing interval training. No matter what home workout regimen you have, you can make it an interval workout by incorporating short bursts of intense speed. If you run on a treadmill, set it for sprint level every five minutes and maintain top speed for 30 seconds. If you do strength training, stop every five minutes to jump rope or run up the stairs. After you expend intense effort, your heart rate stays raised during your recovery period, maximizing the calories you burn.