While the variety a gym provides can give you endless workout options, a home workout can be just as effective — plus, it’s more convenient and less expensive.
Home workouts allow you to exercise whenever you want. Whether it’s 4 a.m. or 9:30 p.m., clear your a space on the floor and get to it! At home, you don’t have to worry about the gym hours or child care. And best of all, you don’t have to use those smelly gym locker rooms!
Home workouts also allow you to workout wherever you want: your living room, back porch, or even the park down the street. Plus, once you get a routine down, you’ll be more comfortable exercising when you travel.
If you’re new to exercise, your first step is to be sure you have your doctor’s ok before starting anything. Then follow these 5 steps for home workout success!
Step 1. Set a Goal
Decide what your reason is for your fitness plan. Why are you exercising? What are your goals? Making specific goals will set you up for success. If you’re switching to home workouts from a regular gym routine, then your goals may be mostly the same. But even if its just the setting that changes, you’ll still need to adjust to a new routine.
Your reason for exercise should be specific and realistic. “Weight loss” as a goal is not very specific. How will you know if you’ve achieved your goal? A goal to lose 10 pounds in 2 months is specific and realistic. It gives you something to work towards every day. Or, perhaps your goal is to do ten push-ups (not on your knees) or to get through a thirty minute video without hitting the pause button! A specific goal is a great motivator.
Step 2. You gotta have a plan
Once you know your reason then you can figure out what to do. A combination of cardio exercise and strength training is the best way to reach almost any fitness goal. Think about the time you have to devote to exercise and what equipment you already have, if any. You can get an effective workout in as little as 20 minutes. And you don’t even have to commute back and forth to the gym!
Step 3. Get it scheduled
Once you have your plan, look at your calendar and pencil in your workouts. A week or more at a time if possible but even if you have to schedule one day at a time, at least its on your agenda. Post it where your family can see it so they know not to interrupt you during your exercise time.
Step 4. Get your equipment ready
A workout with no equipment at all is simple and gets the job done but if you want to invest in some equipment for your home, here are a few items that will give you the most bang for your buck. And you can always add to your home gym later.
- Large exercise or stability ball. These balls come in various sizes and can be used for a wide variety of exercises. They can also serve as an “exercise bench” for things like shoulder press or bench press.
- An exercise or yoga mat. A mat is useful if you plan to exercise on hardwood or tile floors. It’s also nice to have a cushioned spot to stretch after your workout.
- A jump rope. Unless you have very high ceilings, you probably won’t be jumping rope in the house but you can do it in your driveway or backyard. Jump ropes are an inexpensive way to get a great cardio workout.
- Dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands. Bodyweight workouts are effective for building strength but sometimes you might want to add a little more. Dumbbells and kettlebells in varying sizes can be used for countless exercises and are amazingly versatile. Resistance bands can also be very useful for strength training and are easily portable.
Step 5. Check your space
Make sure your workout space is ready to go. If you need to clear space to workout effectively, do that. You don’t want to knock over a lamp mid-jumping jack! Make sure any equipment you want to use is handy. If you can keep it stored in or near your workout space, you’re more likely to use it. If you have to drag it out from under the spare bed or from the back of the closet, is that workout really going to happen?
Now that you have your goals and your plan, get started! Be flexible, get creative and you’ll never run out of workout ideas or slog through endless miles on a treadmill again. Whether you’re new to exercise or a workout veteran, home workouts can work for you.