Leading a fit, active lifestyle doesn’t always require an expensive gym membership.
I won’t deny gym facilities present wonderful opportunity to indulge in different types of training via fancy equipment, weight machines and group classes, but it’s definitely possible to build muscles & burn calories in the comfort of your own home.
Home workouts can be more convenient, time effective and certainly a little kinder on your hip pocket. You just need to find the motivation to get started and stick to it, which for some is a little harder when there isn’t an ongoing financial commitment to keep you on track.
I think a successful home workout program needs many of the same considerations that a good gym program requires; they are just adapted to a different environment.
- Good preparation: Proper exercise gear, adequate hydration and a good warm up. Don’t just roll out of bed onto your exercise mat, spend 5 minutes getting your body ready. A brisk walk around the block coupled with simple dynamic stretches or activation exercises is all you need. I also always recommend good supportive shoes, barefoot jumping lunges are totally uncomfortable (that is unless you are a used to training barefoot then by all means continue)
- Technique: If you are designing a circuit of exercises make sure you learn good technique, it sounds silly but resources such as YouTube have great educational videos on how certain exercises should be done. Use a mirror to check your form or if you really aren’t sure video yourself & watch it back, sometimes you can see what your body is doing more clearly. Mastering the basics will reduce the risk of developing and injury.
- Variety: If you do exactly the same circuit, with the same exercises, working the same muscles and the same joints every day, you’re asking for an overuse injury (not to mention your workout will get very boring very quickly). Change it up, use local sets of stairs, a soft sand walk, or the coastal running tracks for your cardio workout and rotate through different exercises in your home resistance circuit. Your body is a weight, you just have to know how to use it. Lunges, squats, push ups, planks, mountain climbers, burpees, star jumps are all examples of exercises that need no equipment. Some are resistance based to build strength while some are cardiovascular designed to get your heart rate up & the blood pumping. These days there are heaps of great home workout ideas on instagram or the internet. If you’re unsure of where to start or stuck for new ideas do some research beforehand.
- Recovery: 5-10 minutes per day of mobility work, trigger ball self massage or stretching will help your body to recover and ensure it’s ready to perform the following day. This could double as your cool down after training. I often use my trigger ball while watching TV of an evening, I get distracted and end up doing more than I set out to do which is never a bad thing!
- Be accountable: It’s sometimes harder to keep stay motivated if you aren’t fronting up to a gym so make sure it becomes part of your daily routine. If you need some external motivation ask a friend or family member to hold you accountable. Start with small, achievable goals especially if you’re stepping into a new exercise regime. 20-30 minutes a few times a week is a great place to start and you can begin to build on that if you are ready for more of a challenge.
Remember exercise is meant to be enjoyable. Find something you like and start there, you may surprise yourself and begin to actually have fun!!