The world is still dealing with the Omicron virus. Working out at home has many advantages over visiting a gym, and you will not be exposed to it; you can stay warm and dry, and no one cares what you wear to work out.
Maybe the only thing that would make staying home even more rewarding would be making your exercise sessions extra effective and easy to do daily.
Try these suggestions for creating and using a home gym that will help you control your numbers become slimmer and fitter in less time.
How to Design an Effective Home Gym:
1. Designate a space. Setting aside an entire room may be ideal, but you can make any layout work. If you’re short on space, arrange a gym in one corner of your basement or studio apartment. You can even put your equipment out of sight when you’re done.
2. Clear away distractions. Make it easier to concentrate by storing work materials and children’s toys elsewhere. Turn your phone off if you’re tempted to text. The computer may stay if you use it for workout videos or music, and music always makes working out better.
3. Stock up on equipment. There’s plenty of gear that you can pick up even on a tight budget. Maybe you want a deluxe treadmill or just some resistance bands and a yoga mat. No equipment, no problem. Using your own bodyweight through a series of moves or poses is all you need. It’s called Calisthenics and includes some of these moves: pushups, crunches, squats, lunges, and jumping jacks. Calisthenics improves coordination, flexibility, balance, and endurance. Get this; Calisthenics is better in burning calories than weightlifting. Take that, gym rat!
4. Go online. For endless variety, use your phone or set up a monitor so you can watch fitness videos on YouTube. Or visit your library for free titles. Remember, moving your body in a CrossFit, Zumba, or Yoga class vs. doing Calisthenics, video yoga, or crushing it on the Peloton is still working out – and that is the goal!
How to Use Your Home Gym:
1. Focus on whole-body movements. Compared to exercises that target single muscles, compound movements are more efficient. You may want to spend more time doing push-ups instead of bicep curls. Just move your body, try new things, don’t give up. Oh, and have some fun. Dancing like no one is watching is fun and carries a lot of your body – don’t believe us, try it.
2. Be comprehensive. Train for strength, heart health, flexibility, and balance. Vary your workouts instead of sticking to just the exercises that you like. Studies show walking outside in the fresh air provided outdoors can burn the fuel in your cells to create energy, which allows you to feel more focused and productive throughout the day. Going outside can increase your oxygen intake and give you a break from the artificial air found indoors.
3. Try interval training. You may have seen studies that show interval training increases the benefits of exercising. To get started, alternate between high-intensity activities and less demanding movements. Gradually make your workouts more challenging by increasing the intensity, pace, or resistance. Log your exercises daily. Consider adding just 1% more per workout, like one more set up or one more pushup, and over time this 1% will add up to massive changes.
4. Find a buddy. When you work out with a friend, you can share feedback, encouragement, and laughs. Invite a neighbor or coworker to join you on a Zoom call. You can now work out one line with anyone around the country or the world.
5. Set goals. It’s common to reach a plateau after you’ve been working out for a while. If you want to stay motivated or keep making gains, give yourself targets to strive for. You might decide to work out for at least 30 minutes at least 3 days a week or take an inch off your waist within 30 days. If you are just starting a workout plan, check with your physician or diabetes educator to ensure your goal is suitable for you and your current condition.
6. Track your progress. Once you establish goals, you can measure them. Keep a journal about your workouts and performance. Reward yourself when you reach each milestone. Rewards should be healthy or make you happy, not surgery or expensive. Think message, new journal with fun stickers, see a movie, or give yourself a manicure/pedicure. What about a professional makeup lesson or new workout clothes? Cooking class, aromatherapy oils, new haircut, or a new book.
7. Have fun. Remember to have a good time. If you love training with kettlebells or watching nature shows while you’re running on the treadmill, you’ll be more likely to stick to your workout program. Try a few new things to see what works best for you to get you started; then, every 3 weeks, mix it up and try something new. If you like it, do it again; if you don’t like the latest workout, know you now.
8. Use good form. Protect yourself from injuries by doing exercises properly. If you’re a beginner, you may want to take a class or work with a trainer to receive the instructions you need.
9. Rest up. Giving your body adequate time to recover will also help you stay safe and strong. If you have no signs of overtraining like fatigue or persistent muscle soreness, you may prefer active rest to go for a gentle walk on your days off. Moving your body does not always mean working up a bit sweet. A long walk at an average pace while listening to your favorite podcast is perfect for active rest. The CrossFit or yoga class will still be there tomorrow.
10. Talk with your doctor. Discuss any individual concerns with your physician. That’s especially important if you’ve been sedentary or you’re trying to manage a chronic condition.
Enjoy the comforts of your home or surrounding area while you maximize your workouts. A well-planned space and a balanced exercise program will help you shape up faster than you expected. Pay attention to your self-talk. You will either talk yourself into the workout or out of the workout. Make good choices. Chose to move your body.