Staying fit with workouts at home
The gym is usually the go-to place for getting into shape, but you'd be surprised how much can be done with a good routine, minimal equipment and positive dose of motivation from the comfort of your home. Plus, there's no intimidation or sweaty men running around. Here are some tips for workouts at home.
Do set up a designated workout space at home. This is easier said than done, especially if you live in a small studio or apartment with few rooms. But having a designated space may make it easier for you to 'get into the mood', especially now that it is common for many of us to share our living space with our office space in times of Covid-19.
If you can rearrange a room to be used for exercising, great! If not, no worries. Stow away the clutter and distractions in your room, tidy up the floor and move furniture (so you can move around freely without stubbing your toe), and install a solid music speaker. Make it your space for 30 minutes per day. And it saves you from an expensive gym membership, too.
Don't start exercising in your regular clothing - of course there is nothing wrong with it, but often wearing your sportswear tricks your brain into a more sporty mindset. It also gives you more self-confidence.
Do buy a solid yoga mat. You don't necessarily have to use it for yoga purposes - it's a real all-rounder. Helps protect your back when you're lying on the ground doing sit-ups, and relaxes your hands if you attempt the odd push-up. If you don't want a mat, use two towels as resistance on a hard floor.
Do subscribe to a workout channel on Youtube. Exercising without direction can be disorienting for sure, especially if you're starting out and need some help with good exercises. There are thousands of channels out there offering a '10-minute Ab Workout', 'Stretching at home', or 'Upper Body Strength' - just have a quick look around and pick the trainer and channel that suits you most. Sometimes it's simply the attitude of the coach that can be motivating, or the type of music they play in the background.
Don't worry too much about purchasing weights. The number of exercises you can do just by using your own body weight is extraordinary. If exercises with your own weight are becoming too easy or too hard, simply apply variations to adjust them. For example, if a regular push up is too easy for you, raise your feet onto the couch - your push up will be intense! If a regular push up is too difficult, start out by doing a push up on your knees - this will make it easier, or by elevating the position of your hands. Furthermore, slowing down an exercise will make it harder.
You can also make your own homemade weights by filling a backpack with several litres of water. A squat will be made much more difficult.
Do determine what you want to accomplish with your exercise. This will aid you in finding a routine and building a workout plan suitable to your needs. Is it burning fat? Or would you like to build muscle? Something inbetween? Having this in the back of your mind will help you find a video on Youtube, or follow a written workout programme online. Having said that...
Don't set yourself crazy goals. Take it easy. Things should remain challenging, but fun. It's motivating to hit a goal and then to push yourself a little further next time. Making a note of your progress is a great way to look back and see how hard you've worked and pushed yourself.
Do remember to stretch. Being one of the most important elements of a workout, a stretch should come before and after, and can be a short 5 minutes. Warming up those muscles and reducing injury. It even helps you perform better and faster workouts.
Do turn off your notifications. Leave your phone in another room, and mute notifications if you are in the middle of following a workout video on Youtube.
Don't forget to schedule your workouts. A plan can make it much easier to get it done, especially if you're the last-minute type of person.
Don't exercise barefoot. A good pair of gym shoes will go a long way in supporting your feet and knees during the workout session.
Do find a colleague or friend that can hold you accountable for not exercising! A buddy system will surely stop you from making excuses. You can even tune in live together!