Spending a lot more time at home during COVID? Make exercise a part of your regular routine by working out in your living room.
COVID-19 has changed the way many of us spend our typical days. With so many new restrictions against leaving our homes, it can be easy to think we have to put off being active for when this is all finally over.
Lucky for your body, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you’re a bit unsure about starting up an at-home workout routine, here are a few reasons why we find exercising at home to be awesome (and why you will too!):
The top reasons why you’ll start to love working out at home
- You don’t need to commute to and from the gym
- You don’t have to pack a gym bag (or even change out of your PJs)
- You can leave your stuff wherever you want
- There’s no waiting for equipment
- There’s no one around to compare yourself to
- You can fit in a quick workout at any time
- There are no gym fees to access your living room
- You can hop right into your own shower when you’re done
To help you get started with exercise (and stick to it), here are some simple tips that will get you moving consistently and effectively from the comfort of your own home.
1. Designate an at-home workout space
Choose your space: Any area of the house where you have a little privacy and enough room to lie down flat on your back is great. If you can stretch your arms out to the sides, as well as overhead, this is a perfect spot to start your routine.
Remove distractions: Try and avoid setting up in high-traffic areas where you know distractions will be high. Kids, the TV, your computer…these can all easily pull you off-track, so try to find somewhere that you know will be relatively free from these attention-grabbers.
Gather the essentials: The only piece of equipment you really need is a yoga mat or alternative (a towel, blanket or carpet works great), and your body weight. If you have additional equipment at home (like dumbbells, resistance bands, etc.), gather it all up and store it close to your workout space so it’s always within arms-reach when you’re ready to work out.
2. Don’t worry about additional equipment
With so many great bodyweight exercises that can be progressed to suit any fitness level, equipment ends up becoming a perk, rather than a necessity.
Planks, lunges, squats, pushups…and a ton of other exercises can be varied to increase or decrease their difficulty with nothing more than your bodyweight to do so. This means you can get a really effective workout that targets all of your major muscle groups, without the addition of fitness equipment.
If you do want to invest in some workout gear, there is some great at-home gym equipment available online, or you can try using some typical household items as a replacement for weights and other equipment.
3. Dress the part
The beauty of working out at home is that you can literally pop out of bed and drop into a set of squats.
And while PJs are a nice touch for those quick and easy sets, you also have the option to change into your workout gear at any time if you’re looking to motivate yourself to do a more focused workout.
By putting on your athletic clothes, you’re signalling to your brain that it’s time to switch gears away from work, kids, cooking, cleaning, etc and dedicate the next 10-60 minutes toward a bit of much-deserved self-care.
You might also find it helpful to put on your running shoes and do 15 minutes of house or yard-work. It’s a great way to warm up and get a little extra energy before beginning your workout.
4. Plan your time
Whether you have 10 minutes or 60, there are lots of ways to maximize your workout time to fit in an efficient (and effective) bout of exercise.
Prior to starting the clock, do a quick pre-plan to determine which exercises you’d like to complete, how many reps and sets you’d like to include, and how much time you’re going to devote to rest intervals. Your home workout doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated, it just needs to happen, and by doing this little bit of prep-work, you’re setting an intention to maximize your time and are more likely to get better results than if you wing it, mid-workout.
Not sure how to put together a program? No problem – there are plenty of general routines you can follow, including our Healthy-at-Home Workout Kickstarter, or more personalized options, like online personal training, to provide you with a program designed to support your body specifically.
5. Make it a habit
Motivation and willpower will only get you so far – to be truly successful at staying consistent, you need to set up a system of small, attainable habits.
Start slow, trust your body and treat yourself well. You don’t need to jump into anything full-speed; instead, focus on committing to a few simple things that you feel are reasonable for your schedule and your body.
Right now, maybe that’s doing 60 seconds of jumping jacks every morning before you brush your teeth. Maybe that’s scheduling three workouts a week that you can complete in under 20 minutes each. As you become more comfortable with these smaller goals, then start seeing what it feels like to take on a little bit more.
Finally, do your best to strike when the iron’s hot. Once your trigger happens (ie. brushing your teeth, your scheduled workout time arrives, etc), get started with your workout right away. Do your best to avoid putting it off “for just another 5 minutes” while you finish up that last email, as that’s a sure-fire way to increase your chances of skipping the workout altogether.
Equipment-free workout you can do at home
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, sleep better and overall help your body and mind feel great.
If you’re ready to make exercise a part of your daily routine at home, start yourself off right with our free download: Healthy-at-Home Workout Kickstarter and see where the day takes you!