There are many reasons we may be staying at home these days and, in some areas, the gyms or parks may be closed so we feel our work-outs aren’t achieving what they need to achieve. Don’t fret – your home is a great place to work out! Talk with your physician before beginning a physical workout and use common sense as far wearing the right footwear, avoiding slippery flooring, stopping if you feel a sensation of pain, and so on. You know your body best and can judge what and how often something should be done.
There are workout opportunities all around your house. For example, did you know a gallon of water weighs approximately 8.3 pounds? Do reps with a jug of water at different angles and you’ve given your arms, chest, back and shoulders a nice workout. Have a step or stairs in your home? Stand on the ground and use the first riser to step up and step back down. If you’ve ever taken an aerobics class you know that will get your heart rate going. Just that one step can help keep your ankles, knees, and hips active and strong. Use that first step with some arm motion and you’ll be burning calories in no time.
Make a daily plan for yourself. It’s important to keep on track and feel like you’ve met your workout goals. Much like how you would meal prep, you can create an exercise calendar that will help you work out different parts of your body and add recovery days. There is never really a “break” day per se, as you should make an effort to move every single day. For example, you may set a goal to walk in place for 5 minutes every hour during work hours or walk around the block before work and after dinner. Your body loves little adventures and oxygen-rich blood being pumped through it. It’s also great for your mental well-being, too.
Housework IS a workout. Don’t underestimate the calories you burn around the house or garden. Mowing, pulling weeds, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing surfaces, laundry… it adds up. They estimate it’s 4 calories per minute of mopping or vacuuming – so in one hour, you’ve burnt through 240 calories! Plus, you’ll be stretching and giving different muscle groups their chance to shine. Absolutely budget housework in your exercise plan and you’ll be tackling two goals at once.
Use apps on your phone to help track your progress. There are pedometer apps and apps like “Map My Walk”, as well as, exercise planners and more.
There are many free and paid workouts to follow along at home. You can peruse YouTube or download fitness apps for your devices to follow along. Did you have a favorite class at the gym? You can find many of those classes online.
Dance! Throw on some music and dance around the house like you did when you were a teenager. Set aside 20 minutes to have a dance party and get your blood flowing.
You can also find inspiration from others’ workout playlists on places like Spotify. Or create your own. Having a fun, upbeat song in your head of songs that you love is an easy way to pass the time and keep you moving. Plus, you can use it in your house or outdoors.
Don’t overdo it. Working out feels good and sometimes we can start to pull muscles if we get tired or push ourselves too hard. In your exercise plan take in to account realistic goals for your fitness level. We know that fun things sound motivating, like the #100squatchallenge on Instagram, but some of us can’t do the challenge for whatever reason. Create your own challenge, instead of 100 squats, do 10 squats in an hour. Set your goals and feel proud for accomplishing them.
Find a virtual workout buddy. Whether you join a group on Facebook or ask a friend to whom you can share your fitness efforts with, there’s a lot of motivation in having to keep accountable. If you’re not online or want to share, create a visible list that you have to check off every day. Having this type of reinforcement can be very positive in setting good behaviors for yourself.
If you’re not at home alone, there may be other emotions that come in to play. You may feel frustrated that the dog is interrupting your downward-facing dog yoga moves or that the only space to work out is in front of the couch where others are constantly watching TV. You may feel self-conscious. Know that it’s ok to put the dog in another room while you work out or that telling the family that you need to reserve a room for a while is important and you need to put yourself first. A half hour is only 2% of the day. They can give up 2% of their couch time to give you space to improve yourself. You may even inspire them! Or, you may make it a family/roommate activity so everyone can get some energy out. It can alleviate stress for the entire group. But, if they don’t want to join, that’s their decision, and you can’t force them to change, you CAN focus on you.
Being at home has its perks when it comes to working out, too. For example, that bathroom that you just used calories to clean, is all yours and you don’t have to wear shower shoes. You should still practice good hygiene and safety by wiping down surfaces that may have been sweated on. You can absolutely wear the shirt with holes. You control the music and the room temperature. You don’t have to rush through traffic to fight for a spot in the back of class. You determine when class starts and ends. See, there are lots of reasons to love working out at home. Now, stop reading and start moving!