How Working Out at Home Changed This Fitness Expert’s Life

Emily Chadwick-Vint working out at home

Emily Chadwick-Vint

Working out at home can be just what you need if your workout routine has gone stale or you are having trouble feeling motivated. Some people enjoy the peace and tranquility of a quiet, private space, while others relish the opportunity to crank some (loud) tunes while they lift.

Whatever your preference, working out on your own terms has its perks. For Emily Chadwick-Vint, EvolveYou Coach and Barre Method Specialist, working out at home started as a mental health practice but soon turned into a fulfilling passion that helps her connect with her body and mind and opened up space for a mindset change—she firmly believes that moving your body doesn't have to be a chore.

When did you start working out at home?

"I started working out at home in March 2020. As an ex-professional dancer, movement has always been my therapy, so I originally began working out from home purely for my mind."

Emily isn't alone in this; the spring and summer of 2020 found many individuals shifting their workout routines to a home exercise environment, whether they were hardcore fitness enthusiasts previously or newbies looking for a refreshed mental state.

For some, home workout habits sustain their movement goals for a season, when obstacles like commuting to the gym, the price of group fitness classes, or inaccessibility get in the way. For others, like Emily, dipping their toes into the home workout waters encouraged them to make it a long-term routine.

"I started to come up with creative ways of challenging my body using just my body weight and simple pieces of equipment to spice it up, like water bottles as weights and cushions as props for core work and the physical results—as well as the mental results—were actually amazing. I’ve never looked back."

Do you always work out at home or do you prefer a more “hybrid” workout schedule? 

"I purely work out from home now and I absolutely love it. The convenience of rolling out of bed and onto the mat is wonderful and saves so much time. Also, when it’s a beautiful day, I’ll take my workout outside which brings a whole other level of escapism and mindfulness into the session That’s the beauty of finding a workout style that requires minimal equipment!"

What are some things you’ve done to make it more enjoyable?

"My fitness style is Barre, which is a predominately bodyweight and mat-based workout, so all I need is my body and a great playlist. Good music is essential and is what keeps it fresh and fun! Also, it is important to create a workout space that you genuinely feel excited to spend time in."

While at-home workouts have the potential to be done at the drop of a hat, strategically setting aside a certain space where your workouts will be done helps set mental associations.

Many individuals, particularly those who live in highly populated metropolitan areas, may not have the luxury of an entire room that's conducive to a home gym. But consistency in the space you work out is still helpful to forming home workout habits. Whether a corner of the living room that's easy to move furniture around, your patio next to a favorite plant, or rolling out a yoga mat at the foot of your bed, spacial consistency encourages workout consistency.

"It might sound silly, but even something simple like lighting a scented candle, buying a house plant, or a mood light can lift the energy of the space and add to the ambiance. It is important that your workout space is somewhere you actually want to be," Emily noted.

How has working out at home changed your workout goals?

Emily's fitness journey looks a lot like many individuals'—full of ups and downs.

"After a tough relationship with exercise and with my body, my fitness goals were ultimately to feel genuinely confident and strong in my skin. I’d often put myself through grueling workouts as a way of punishing my body for not being ‘enough.’ But discovering a way of working out that brings me such joy, challenge, and fulfillment has been a game changer. I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be complicated…it can be incredibly simple actually." 

It's no secret that the simplest habits are often the most sustainable. This is because habits—acts you've trained your body and mind to perform on a regular schedule without too much thought—feel natural, not like a chore. Keeping an at-home workout routine simple, fun, and fulfilling is key to ensuring you have a natural inclination to keep the habit going.

Have you achieved what you set out to achieve?

"Working out at home has absolutely led me to achieve my fitness goals because it's demonstrated that moving your body doesn't have to be a chore, and you can achieve incredible results, physically and mentally, using just you!" 

For individuals just beginning their home workout journey, following Emily's example of bodyweight exercises is a great starting point. This way there's no big equipment (or upfront cost for that equipment) to sway you from starting. Bodyweight workouts provide excellent physical fitness, as well as a great way to learn about your fitness level (and what level you'd like to progress toward).

What advice would you give to beginners looking to start a workout routine at home?

Emily's advice for beginners is:

  • Define your why: What is your motive for movement? Does it drive you, excite you and motivate you? Your why, or your goal, should be fuelled with positivity first and foremost. That is key to motivation and to successful workouts that lead to results.
  • Have a workout plan: Make a plan to follow that will guide you, motivate you, and provides sustainable results. I have two programs on the EvolveYou app which does exactly that—it's for all levels and is a great place to start for any beginner! My programs are designed as home workouts, require minimal equipment, and focus on building total body strength muscular endurance and leave you standing taller. 
  • Have a routine: Prep your workouts in advance, and don't leave space for contemplation. Consistency is everything. Also, ensure that your workout space and activewear are prepped and ready for you the night before. A pleasant workout environment and activewear that makes you feel good is always great for motivation too! 
  • It doesn't have to be extreme, just consistent: It's a process, so allow for bumps in the road when starting this new routine. Some days, showing up on the mat will feel tougher than others but be kind to yourself and remember that even just 10 minutes of movement is better than nothing! 
  • Have patience: Remember to allow space and time for adjustment while transitioning to a new way of training. You might be getting used to moving your body in a totally new way that feels alien to you but out of our comfort zones is where we grow, so embrace those little hurdles."

Emily's transition to working out at home helped her get more in touch with her body, mind, and self-worth. She's realized that moving your body is not a chore or form of punishment but something that can build confidence and joy. If you are interested in working out at home, start with something you love and enjoy and build on it. "Be patient with yourself and find joy in the journey," she advises.

A Word From Verywell

Working out at home is a great choice for individuals who do not have the time, money, or accessibility of a gym environment. It's also a choice some individuals make strictly due to preference. Before embarking on a new fitness routine, speak with a medical professional regarding any questions or concerns you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best form of exercise at home?

    The best form of exercise at home is whatever will keep you motivated enough to stay consistent. Choose a form of exercise you really enjoy. This could be strength training, bodyweight training, dance videos, gardening, Tabata, or a home yoga practice.

  • Can you build muscle without weights?

    You can build muscle without weights by using your own body weight and items around your home to add resistance such as bags, jugs, and other solid items. To build muscle, you'll need to be consistent and increase the challenge to your muscles over time by adding volume and/or more weight. You'll also have to eat more calories than you burn to create new muscle tissue, with a focus on carbs and protein.

  • How do I get in shape without a gym?

    You can get in shape without a gym by moving your body throughout the day. You should aim for 30 or more minutes of targeted exercise each day in a mix of cardio and resistance training using your own body weight or any equipment you have at home. You can also incorporate more movement by walking, doing active chores and hobbies, and taking active breaks from sitting.

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Kaur H, Singh T, Arya YK, Mittal S. Physical fitness and exercise during the covid-19 pandemic: a qualitative enquiryFront Psychol. 2020;11:590172. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.590172

  2. Clark M, Lupton D. Pandemic fitness assemblages: The sociomaterialities and affective dimensions of exercising at home during the COVID-19 crisisConvergence. 2021;27(5):1222-1237. doi:10.1177/13548565211042460

  3. Gardner B, Lally P, Wardle J. Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practiceBr J Gen Pract. 2012;62(605):664-666. doi:10.3399/bjgp12X659466

  4. Schumacher LM, Thomas JG, Raynor HA, et al. Relationship of consistency in timing of exercise performance and exercise levels among successful weight loss maintainersObesity. 2019;27(8):1285-1291. doi:10.1002/oby.22535

By Rachel MacPherson, BA, CPT
Rachel MacPherson is a health writer, certified personal trainer, and exercise nutrition coach based in Montreal.