Gone are the days when staying home to workout seemed like a lesser form of exercise. As many people spent more time both living and working at home during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, home became the center of everything again, including entertainment, education, and, yes, exercise. Here’s how to get started working out at home and make it into a habit you can stick to.
You don’t need a ton of space to do a beginner workout at home. It is easiest to form a daily habit when your exercise space is in the same place every day, at least until the habit is established. It is also beneficial to have your workout space somewhere that you enjoy being in your home. If you make the space a dingy corner of a dark basement that may put a damper on your motivation to workout. If your workout space is someplace you pass by at least a few times every day (in your bedroom or living room, for instance) this will ensure that you are reminded to exercise throughout the day.
Once you’ve chosen a space, decide what equipment you’ll need and then find a convenient place to set or stash your equipment. Keeping your basic exercise equipment in your chosen workout space will provide a visual cue to exercise as well as giving you one less excuse not to exercise today (“I can’t find my you-name-it”).
Keep Equipment Simple
To begin, do not invest in any bulky and expensive exercise equipment. Form the habit first and figure out what kind of exercise you most enjoy before you buy any fancy equipment. You can even start by just using your own body resistance to provide strength training. You don’t need a treadmill to get a good walk or aerobic workout at home. Some other minimal equipment workouts you can try include resistance bands, jumprope, yoga mat, aerobic step, and small hand weights.
Choose a Workout
Loads of free workouts can be found online. You may also want to look into buying or streaming a workout DVD or just following simple written instructions for a workout. It doesn’t have to be complicated, you’d be amazed how fit you can get just doing a simple jumprope workout regularly. Do a quick scan of available workouts that you think you might enjoy and choose one that you can commit to do every day for two weeks. A full-body workout that incorporates both strength and cardio is a great place to start. Doing the same exercise routine repeatedly over a period of several days will help the habit to stick. The workout may be difficult for you at first, but once you’ve done it several times you may actually start to like it, and crave it.
Mix It Up
Once you reach the point that you are craving exercise every day (or almost every day), you are ready to branch out and try some different workouts. Try both lower and higher intensity workouts, and longer and shorter ones. If you were doing a yoga set or step aerobics workout for your first two weeks, now try adding something like a resistance band workout a couple times each week. Your physical energy level may shift from day to day. Have shorter, easier workouts ready for days where you feel off or tired, and longer, harder workouts ready for the days you feel strong.
The perks of a home workout are priceless when it comes to things like fitting it into your work schedule, finding babysitters, or cost. Now, during the time it would have taken you to drive to the gym and home again, you can finish your entire workout at home with a lot less stress and still just as much benefit. If you’ve had trouble making exercise a daily habit, starting with a good home workout regimen may be the best thing you can do to achieve your fitness and wellness goals.
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