It’s not always practical to hit the gym. Time, kids or motivation aren’t always on your side. But exercising at home can be just as effective as a gym workout, so here’s what you need to know about working out in your living room and making it count.
Where to start
Working out at home is convenient, saving money on gym fees as well as travel time. But it can quickly become monotonous if the exercise routine isn’t varied. So you’ll have to invest a little time and imagination to make it fun and keep your motivation high.
For example, you could decide to work on flexibility one day a week, with strong yoga or pilates-based movements and concentrate on building strength or pushing cardio on others.
The best thing about working out at home is that by using very little equipment, you can exercise every muscle in your body as you would in a gym.
A perfectly good session can be had by simply using your own body weight. Or you may want to think about investing in an exercise mat, dumbbells and stability ball. There will also be ordinary household items which can be incorporated into your workout. Use a chair for tricep dips or kitchen benches for push ups. And if you have stairs leading from your lounge room, then you have a ready-made cardio set.
You may decide to follow a workout video or exercise app or just crank up the stereo with your favourite beats and pump out a few sets of your own.
The key to working out at home
As with any exercise routine, the key to staying motivated is to have goals and to make your workouts fun. This is especially important if you’re working out by yourself at home.
Goals can be anything from maintaining a particular heart rate while working out or setting your sights on the next fun run, to completing a set of pushups on your toes or deciding you’re going to work out for 30 minutes three times a week.
Any goals you set yourself should be achievable, realistic, relatively short-term and very specific. Write them down and pin them up wherever you workout.
Making it count
For your home fitness routine to be really effective, mix it up. Use a variety of exercises to build strength and increase cardio fitness. Push ups, tricep dips and sit ups are great way to get strong, while burpees, running on the spot or skipping will benefit your cardiovascular system.
Sometimes it helps to know you’re only going to complete three sets of sit ups or run on the spot for 60 seconds, but any exercise is most effective when you keep going until you can’t do any more. It’s those last ones that you struggle with that count the most!
There are a multitude of possibilities when you decide to workout in your own living room. Just keep being inventive, incorporating variety and a bit of fun to stay on track.