What's more convenient, private or difficult to avoid than your own living room? Pop in an exercise video, check your cable for free workouts on demand or download a routine from a fitness website, and you're ready to get started without leaving your house. We know what you're thinking: You don't have the equipment.

But look around your house, and we're betting you'll find a few things to get you started with a simple routine: canned goods to use in place of weights, a few towels to lay down instead of a mat, a small stool or a stack of books to use as a step, a chair to use for triceps exercises. Find an old jump rope for some basic—but surprisingly challenging—cardio, and you can avoid the gym entirely.

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