A lot has changed. In the past, going to the gym was a no brainer. It was as simple as signing up for a membership and hopping onto the first available piece of equipment. The same could be said for outdoor activities. Hiking with friends on a busy trail or partaking in a rousing game of beach volleyball wasn’t a complex decision. However, the world as we know it has changed. At least for the time being. More and more people are spending time indoors, either by choice or necessity. That means many men and women are discovering at home workouts. Not sure where to begin? How to kick up the intensity level? Whether you are just starting out or want to make your exercise program more advanced…it is important to establish a routine and focus on creating an effective fitness program.
At Home Workouts: Establishing a Routine
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all reason to workout at home. Sure, it may have to do with recent world changes. There are additional reasons, though! It might also come down to with finances, since personal trainers and annual gym memberships can be costly. Or it could have to do with your overall level of comfort. Perhaps you simply feel more at ease exercising somewhere that feels safe to you. Where there is no one around to watch you fumble through an aerobics class. Regardless of the reason for your choice to embrace at home workouts…the most important thing to do is get started. Here are a few suggestions to make the process easier.
Clear an Effective Workout Area
There are a few things you need to do in order to properly begin. The first is to choose a spot (or a handful of potential spots) in your home that will be suitable for your workouts. This won’t take up nearly as much space as you might think! Ideally you need enough room to lay down on the floor with your arms overhead and your legs fully extended. More space than that is wonderful but is not essential. Some people will have enough room to get started right away and others may need to temporarily move around a coffee table or nightstand. Find out what you need to do in order to create your workout space.
Focus on Consistency and Planning
Once you have chosen your workout area it is time to truly establish a routine. At home workouts require just as much planning as a sweat session at the local gym. Where to begin? Start by committing to consistency. Consistency is easily the most important part of your routine and your fitness journey. Even on days that are busy and overloaded, it is vital that you maintain your at home workouts. Remember, exercising for five minutes is better than exercising for no minutes! So, whether you are back at work in an office, you are doing business from home, or are somewhere in between…the most important thing you can do is be consistent with an at home exercise program.
Put exercise in your planner and have a specific workout in mind ahead of time. Scheduling your workouts at the start of the week is a wonderful idea because then you can ensure you are incorporating enough variety, are considering your day-to-day schedule, and are tracking your progress. Just don’t forget to schedule rest days! Not only are they a good way to avoid mental fatigue, they are beneficial to your body as well. According to Healthline, rest days allow your body to recover and repair post-workout. They also prevents issues related to over-training and reduce your overall risk of injury.
Write Down and Modify Your Workout Schedule
Speaking of keeping track, it is also important to write down every workout you do. Yes, every single one. This not only helps you stay accountable and maintain that consistency but it also allows you to ensure that your workouts are balanced. Are you over working your legs? Ignoring your abs? Have you been totally skipping out on cardio exercises? Having a document or notebook where you can clearly see what you’ve been doing is extremely helpful.
It can help you see when it is time to intensify certain exercise moves, add additional repetitions, or challenge yourself further. Remember, your body will start to get used to certain movements after about ten days. That means you continually need to make it harder by switching up your exercise program, increasing intensity, or adding additional repetitions to those at home workouts. Don’t be afraid to alter or modify your workout schedule. It is all part of the process.
Effective Exercises to Try at Home
You don’t need to have a personal trainer (or be a personal trainer) to create a workout program that works for you. It is all about thoughtful moments of movement. It’s okay if you don’t have any equipment. Many exercises can be done without. If you do have basic exercise gear, you can use certain items to intensify the workout as your fitness level progresses. For example, hold a heavy weight or kettlebell during a sumo squat or use a resistance band during skaters. The easiest way to kick your workout up a notch is by adding weights or resistance bands into the movement. Otherwise, you can always do more sets or incorporate plank variations.
Example Beginner Workout: 20 squats, 10 lunges each leg, 15 push-ups, 20 second plank, 60 seconds jumping jacks. Repeat two to three times, or as many as you are able.
Example Intermediate Workout: 30 squats, 30 walking lunges, 20 push-ups, 45 second plank, 60 seconds jumping jacks, 10 burpees. Repeat two to three times, or as many as you are able.
Example Advanced Workout: 40 squats, 40 walking lunges, 30 push-ups, 60 second plank, 60 seconds jumping jacks, 20 burpees, 60 second wall sits. Repeat two to three times, or as many as you are able.
The exercises themselves can be swapped out for similar workout moves or changed up as necessary. However, the key here is to continue to advance by adding weight, adding repetition, increasing sets, and so on. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Just remember to listen to your body and know when to take a break. In addition to the full body workout examples above, you can also create a more well-rounded and targeted program for yourself. For instance, arms and abs one day, legs another day, cardio on another day, and a full body workout to round it all out. Add in your rest days and repeat.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Still feeling uncertain? You never have to face at home workouts alone. There are several technological options that can be wonderful learning tools and guides. That includes YouTube videos (there are hundreds of free workout videos and training tools available), fitness apps (which can feature exercise demonstrations as well as food guides and other healthy tips), and personal trainers that offer free workout tools on Instagram. Of course, there are also traditional workout DVDs or videos to consider. What you choose will depend entirely on the equipment you have available to you – and your own preferences for physical fitness.
At home workouts are more popular than ever. There is truly no better time to focus on your well-being than by starting a fitness routine in the comfort of your own home. Cost effective and beneficial to the mind, body, and spirit…. working out just got a whole lot easier.