It's hard to beat the convenience of working out at home. There's no commute to a gym or competing for use of a machine, and it doesn't matter how you look. You don't need to worry that you won't get an efficient workout if you don't have weights at home. With so many workout methods at your disposal, including strength training without weights, it's easy to design a good workout routine.
Your environment may not be as structured at home as it is in a gym, but you can still make space to work out, even if it's in your living room. Move furniture to give yourself enough room for aerobic activity, particularly if you exercise to a DVD workout. Wear comfortable clothing that doesn't impede movement and don't forget to put shoes on for aerobic activity. You may find that a mat for yoga or Pilates offers more comfort than your floor.
Aerobic activity is essential to heart health and overall fitness, and you don't need weights for a good workout. At minimum, you need 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week, according to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. If you're just beginning, work your way up to 20 to 40 minutes of aerobics five times per week. Jogging and vigorous walking are good aerobic activities, but if you don't want to leave the house, run up and down stairs or use an exercise DVD. Classic aerobics, kickboxing and dance routines are great aerobic workouts.
Calisthenics are just as effective for strength training as lifting weights, if you aren't trying to be a bodybuilder. Strength train two to three times per week for maximum efficiency. Pushups, triceps dips and the downward-facing dog yoga position are good exercises for the arms. Do situps and crunches for the abdominal muscles. Lunges, squats and bridges will strengthen your lower body. Perform each exercise at least eight times and work your way up to three sets of repetitions.
Your muscles need to be loose and flexible to prevent injury and promote overall fitness and good posture. Stretching is essential after a workout to cool down muscles gradually. When stretching before a vigorous workout, perform a light activity such as walking for five to 10 minutes prior to stretching. Stretching cold muscles can injure them. Hold stretches for 15 to 30 seconds each and make sure you stretch all your muscle groups. Yoga is ideal for both flexibility and strength, and many DVDs are available for home workouts.