Exercise is important. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that American adults exercise at least five hours per week. For those just starting out, the guide says to begin with medium-intensity exercises for two hours each week, and increase the time spent exercising as they are able, until they reach the five-hour goal. Sometimes, however, things can get in the way of you getting in shape. One of those things that often gets in the way is the weather. For those of us who do not have a convenient gym nearby, and no access to a home gym, we need a solution that allows us to work out in an indoor space without a lot of equipment that is expensive and can cause clutter. Follow this simple exercise program and get in shape in your own living room; the only thing it will cost you is your effort.

Speed Walking. Move all furniture and other obstacles in such a way as to get the maximum amount of floor space in your living room. Walk as briskly as possible around the perimeter walls, cross through the center, do figure 8’s, whatever, for 20 minutes. You can vary the direction and pattern as it suits you. If you wish to add some muscle strengthening to this routine, speed walk with a lunge step to build your thighs.

Squats. These great exercises will get your legs and butt into shape quickly. Begin with your feet a bit wide than hip width, and, while keeping a focus on your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, bend your knees as if you are going to sit down in a non-existent chair. Stretch your arms in front of you or lace your fingers behind your head for balance, whichever feels more comfortable to you; you can even lay a broom handle across your shoulders and grasp that if it makes you feels more stable. Lower yourself to a sitting position with your thighs parallel to the floor. Rise slowly to your starting position and repeat. Do two to three sets of 12 to 20 repetitions.

Triceps Dips on a Chair. Use a heavy piece of furniture, such as a stable chair that can support your weight and not tip over. A pair of dining room chairs with one on either side and slightly behind you also works well. With your back facing the chair(s), squat and position your hands on the edge of the seat(s), fingers facing forward. Beginning with your arms straight, slowly lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Rise slowly to the starting position to complete one repetition. Do at least eight reps per set. Begin with one set each workout and increase as your strength increases.

Push-ups. Begin lying on your stomach with the balls of your feet firmly on the floor. Place your hands flat, the width of your shoulders apart. While keeping your elbows in line with your rib cage, push your entire body up until your arms are straight. Remember to tighten your abs during each rep and hold your body straight and rigid. You can vary the targeted muscles of the push-ups by elevating your feet or your hands. Do at least two sets of 10 reps, and increase as your ability increases.

Sit-ups. Do good old classic sit-ups to strengthen your abdominal muscles. This exercise works your core and improves postures, respiration and overall health. Begin by lying flat on the floor with your legs braced under the edge of your sofa, lace your hands behind your head, and, using your abs, rise to a sitting position with your back straight. Adding a twist of the torso in the up position exercises the muscles of your waist as well. To work the muscles of your lower abdomen, raise your feet slightly off the floor for each sit-up. Do at least 50 per set, and increase the number of reps to reach fatigue each session.