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Since the pandemic, many of us have changed our working lifestyle. The long walk to work is now removed from our lives, so we need to think of another way to keep healthy.
You might find the idea of going to the gym too stressful or crowded, and that’s okay. There is another way to exercise and maintain your fitness; working out from home!
Doing your workouts in your own home allows you to be in control of your sessions, move the exercise around your time frame, and allows you to take a break without worrying about judgments.
Home workouts are the way to go, and we will explain how to get started, what to buy, and the key concepts to keep your new fitness routine on track!
Benefits Of Working Out From Home
Before we get into the “How To” details, we want to explain why home workouts often give people a better chance of continuing on their healthy journey. Here are just a few benefits of working out from home.
Some of us have a burst of fitness energy at certain times of the day. It might be as soon as you wake up, after you finish work, or in the middle of your day. Working out from home will allow you to follow these energetic desires without waiting for an instructor.
If you were in a gym or followed a class, you would have to change your whole day or even your entire week to make that routine work. If you work out at home, the only thing you need to manage is you! Have an hour to work out at lunch? Do it! Want to sneak in a morning workout before the day? Do it!
The only person you have to check in with is you.
Be Your Own Boss
With no one else telling you what to do, you can create your own workout routine that focuses on the areas you are interested in.
Working on your glutes or your biceps can be your main workout target instead of constantly going over cardio. Or, if you would rather concentrate on cardio, you can leave the dumbbells for a quick 10 minutes routine.
Creating your own goals and your own routines can be a challenge, but once you’ve learned which exercises best fit your plan, you can edit or stick to the goalposts as much as you want. You can move at your own pace.
Working out from home means you will already be saving yourself a yearly, monthly, or weekly bill. You won’t be paying for another building’s electricity, rent, or staff, and if you don’t have an instructor, then your bills will be reduced even further.
But saving money from a lack of gym membership isn’t the only financial treat. You technically don’t need to buy any equipment, as your own body weight can be used as a measurement for lifting in general.
Not only that, but if you have the space outside your home, you can jog or run in your own neighborhood.
For many of us, going to the gym isn’t a problem because of money or because of time. It is a problem because of a lack of self-confidence. There is a whole gym culture that shows off the toned and muscular people while shaming those who are trying.
If you look around a gym and see no diversity, then you may feel shut out by the organization even if they don’t go out of their way to reject you.
Working out from home can help you build up your fitness and self-confidence without being watched by actual bodybuilders. When you feel more comfortable around workout equipment, you can brave the wildlands of the gyms once more.
How To Get Started
Although working out from home will be easier and will give you more flexibility, you still need to provide yourself with a plan. We are going to help you create a rough idea of how to create your workout routine so you have everything to begin this journey.
Find Your Fitness Level
You may already have a general idea of what you are currently capable of, but the best way to see your progression is to log your current abilities to compare later on.
The second reason you should find your fitness level before starting your workout is to create an exercise plan that will actively work towards your goal and won’t leave you over-strained or under-used.
Let’s get back to the first point – finding your current fitness level. To create this benchmark, you need to assess your muscular fitness, aerobic fitness, generalized flexibility, and overall body composition.
Here are some workout benchmarks for you to note down your fitness level.
Marking Muscular Fitness
For your muscular fitness, you should attempt either a standard pushup or a modified one. Make a note of the style and count how many you can complete while keeping the form.
Try not to lie to yourself, as an accurate reading is more beneficial than a rounded-up one.
Standard push-ups are when you get on all fours, then straighten your legs to create a plank-like position. Then you lower your body using your arms until your chest nearly touches the floor. After a brief pause, you then push yourself back up again. That is considered one complete push-up.
A classic modified version of this workout is to complete the push-up on your knees instead of your feet. This is an easier workout and may be the preferred method for now.
Whichever you pick, make a note of the movement and how many you achieved.
Marking Aerobic Fitness
“Aerobic” literally means “with oxygen.” It’s an exercise that makes your heart rate and breathing rate increase, like swimming, running, walking. Its more popular name is “Cardio.”
To measure your fitness in this area, you should take a pulse reading before you start a 1-mile walk ( around 1.6 kilometers) and measure your heart rate again after. You should also time how long it takes you to walk this length of space.
If you are in good shape already or walk semi-regularly, then you should time running 1.5 miles (or 2.41 kilometers), instead.
As your fitness and health grow, you should notice either a lower heart rate after your walking or a faster running time.
Marking Generalized Flexibility
Testing your flexibility has an easy and telling method. All you need to do is stand up straight and bend your hips to try and touch your toes. Take a photo of how far you can reach, and this is your current flexibility level.
Marking Overall Body Composition
The last thing to measure is the circumference you want to see change. If you want to lose weight along your waist, measure your waist circumference. If you want your biceps to grow, measure that circumference.
Measure everything you’d like to see a difference in.
Some guides will also tell you to note your body mass index (BMI), however, it’s been proven time and time again that the BMI chart isn’t helpful to many people. The idea is that you measure a person’s height and weight. Using the formula kg/m2, you want your number to be between 18.5 and 24.9. Above 24.9, and you are considered overweight, and under 18.5, and you’re considered underweight.
However, If you are a large chested woman, a muscular person, a young person, or an older person, then you will be misjudged by the BMI scale. BMIs only work well for proportioned men between the ages of 18 and 50. Everyone else will have a misread outcome.
Plan Your Goals
Once you know your starting numbers, you can plan how to change them.
There is a lot to consider when planning your fitness goals and overall program, so don’t try to “wing it.” Instead, follow these simple steps.
Think About Your Goals
The first thing you need to know is your goal. Are you getting fit for a timed reason, like a marathon or a wedding? Or do you simply want to make your body look a certain way?
Note this down.
Understand Your Routine
Ideally, adults should achieve at least 150 minutes of heart rate-raising activities a week. If the exercise is vigorous, it can be reduced to 75 minutes.
This doesn’t mean you have to go for a 2 hour 30 minute run once a week. Instead, you can break up the activities to better fit your skill and personal life.
Knowing your current routine, try to organize a time where you can fit these workouts into your life. Maybe you could complete a 30 minute workout every weekday lunchtime. Or you could try to complete a 38 minute cardio session both days of the weekend.
Look at your schedule and see how to fit these times in. Remember that doing something is better than nothing, so if you cannot reach the 150 minute goal, go for the next best thing.
Choose Your At Home Space
You know your goals, and you have scheduled a time for the workout. Now it’s time to figure out where your training will be.
If you have a large living space, which can give you lots of room to move around in, that would be great. Even a small yard could be perfect.
If your only space is outdoors, you need to plan for an indoor routine on wet or windy days. This could mean sticking to dumbbells on cold days or swapping to a treadmill.
Create Your Own Personal Fitness Plan
Now you understand the space you want to work in, you can start looking at your plan. If you planned without evaluating your area, you may end up with a routine that couldn’t be completed, starting this process again.
Ideally, your plan should have a level of difference throughout it. This way, you won’t get bored, and more than one part of your body will be used.
For a weekday 30 minute exercise routine, you could use Mondays as dumbbell days (or fill up a bottle of water and use that as your weight), Tuesdays as jogging days, Wednesday as yoga days, Thursdays as squatting days, and Friday as abs days. This is just a suggestion, but creating a different activity daily will keep you interested and use every muscle in your body.
Build A Daily Routine
Daily routines are normally easier to keep on top of than weekly ones, as it will quickly become part of your day-to-day lifestyle. If you don’t have the time to work out daily, you can still build a daily routine around health. This could include water counting, calorie counting, or weight loss counting.
Start A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet means making meals using the vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy food groups. When looking at every meal, half of the plate should be filled with vegetables or fruits, while the other half should contain proteins and grains. Dairy should be a minor part of your day, for example, having milk with coffee or one egg with your ramen meal.
If cooking every day seems like a chore or a difficult task to maintain, you should consider preparing your meals for the week. Maybe dedicate Sundays for cooking your weekly meals.
Start Exercising – Slowly and Consistently
The most important thing to remember is that consistent but low activity is better than one big burst of exercise that is never repeated. To make sure you keep on board and don’t burn out, you should start your exercise routine with easily achievable goals.
Don’t push too hard or aim for something unattainable, as not only will your mentality weaken from a failed session, but your body may strain too far, leading to an injury. Instead, build up gradually.
At Home Exercise Equipment
Although you can exercise at home without any equipment, you can also buy workout tools that can fit in your home and give you the same benefits as gym equipment.
We will include standard exercises and equipment suggestions along with cheaper and space-saving alternatives to help you figure out which tool will work best for your home.
Rowing machines used to be exclusive equipment for rowers. But since the CrossFit community learned just how great this tool is, the manufacturers have made cheaper and more accessible versions for the masses.
Research shows that rowing machines are amazing for cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular development. This means it can get your heart pumping faster, keeping it healthy and clear while also strengthening your muscles and bones.
If you want an exercise machine that can help you lose weight and gain muscle. This is the one for you!
To use a rowing machine, you should sit on the seat, push your legs back and pull the handles to your chest. You then allow the resistance to pull you back into a knee-high position. This is one rep, and you continue this motion for 10 to 15 minutes.
If the idea of a rowing machine sounds good, but you don’t have the finances to buy one, you can create the same effect with a resistance band and a sturdy pole.
Wrap the resistance band around the pole until you make a tight knot. Then sit on the floor, back straight with two ends of the band pulled tight to your chest. At this point, you should be facing the pole and seeing the band.
Your back will join the workout for this method, as your legs will be taking a time out. Using just your arms, pull the band to your chest and then let the band’s resistance put you back into a resting position. This is one rep; continue this motion for 10 minutes.
Treadmills have also become more popular in recent years, which means that manufacturers have created many different types for you to choose from. These could be cheap and slimline treadmills with a counting screen and minimal settings or a massive community with TV-quality screens to show you wonderful outdoor spaces when you’re really running in your living room.
With a treadmill, you can slowly grow your running speed and monitor your heart rate at the same time. Each week, you can give yourself the same course to follow and see how much you are improving by the seconds.
You can also vary your running styles by adding inclinations that work on your calves or by mixing up the speed levels of your run.
Because it is all monitored, you will have a complete history of your progress and don’t have to worry about the weather stopping you from your fitness journey.
Again, if the treadmills are out of your financial limits, then you can reach the same goals through running or jogging in your local area.
The timings won’t be exact, and your routine won’t be the same every day, but depending on your needs, that could be absolutely fine.
Elliptical trainers, also known as cross-trainers, mimic the motions of climbing stairs or running.
Many people prefer these to treadmills, as the motion of the pedals is less painful on their knees. It is considered a non-impact cardio workout, which means your heart rate will rise without harming your joints. This is the perfect machine for older individuals or those with joint problems.
It is also great for individuals who want to lose weight or keep their heart rate healthy.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a real “non-equipment” version of the elliptical. We could recommend climbing stairs or running, however, these are impactful workouts that will put pressure onto your activity. If you suffer from joint pain, the pressure come become painful.
If you don’t suffer from painful knee joints, then you can take the cheaper stair approach instead.
The ellipticals can monitor your training the same way as a treadmill, give you workouts with more resistance to build up your thigh muscles, or time how fast you can reach your goals.
To replicate this on the stairs, you should time how fast you can go up and down your stairs 10 times. Make sure to be careful, as a slower time is more important than falling down the stairs.
Exercise bikes are another popular exercise in the gym that can be brought into your home. However, the other suggestions we have given so far offer slim-down versions for small homes. Exercise bikes, however, cannot be reduced in size. This means that people with small workout spaces may find it hard to space this tool, or even worse, they might not know where to store it after the workout.
We have a workaround for that problem, which we will get to in a moment, but for now, let’s look at the workouts you can do on an exercise bike.
Exercise bikes or stationary bikes are a great aerobic exercise that strengthens your muscles, heart, and lungs.
Like an elliptical workout, cycling is considered a low-impact exercise as your knees are supported by the pedals. However, it’s not just your knees and legs that are joining in this workout. Your biceps, triceps, and shoulders are joining in the strengthening exercise too. They need to keep you balanced while your legs peddle away!
If you already own a bike, you can purchase a bike trainer instead of an exercise bike. Bike trainers can be attached to your bike, making it stable enough to cycle in one place, turning it into a stationary bike.
These trainers are the cheapest and most moveable alternative to a completely stationary bike, especially if you already have a two-wheeler in your home.
Recumbent equipment, or recumbent bike, is another type of cycling machine. However, this one makes the rider lean back in their chair like they are reclining.
This change in position allows the rider’s weight to be evenly distributed, making the exercise more comfortable. This seating position also makes the bike more aerodynamic. In fact, the world record for the fastest cycling speed was on a recumbent bike!
Just like any of the other bikes, you can adapt the speed, resistance, or changing resistance on the bike.
We would recommend it for anyone who is trying to reach a specific speed, or those who need support on their back.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cheap or “non-equipment” alternative for a recumbent bike.
There are so many weights for you to use, from kettlebells to dumbbells, barbells to bottles filled with rice.
If you haven’t got the money to buy heavyweights as your strength grows, you can continue to push your limits by adding more repetitions to your workout. Keep this in mind when you are looking for places to put your weights in your home too.
If you already have a bench at home, you can use it for a bench press.
This means you lie down with your back on the bench and lift the dumbbells above your chest. Then you slowly lower your arms, so your elbow brings the weight down and then push it back up again. One rep of this is called a dumbbell bench press. You can complete 8 in a row, take a 2 minute breather, and go again. Continue this cycle for 15 minutes.
There are so many other easy routines to follow, so search for your favorite and get lifting!
Consistency Is Key
It can be easy to set up a workout routine as you feel the excitement of achievement in the moment, but sticking to the routine can be difficult.
If we don’t see an instant change, we can become disheartened and lose interest in our goals. Or, if our plans change and we cannot keep up with the workout schedule, it can become easy to fall into old habits.
To avoid this problem, we have a couple of ideas to help you along the way.
Track Your Progress
Keep a log of your workouts. Note the time it took you to complete the task, the amount of weight or distance you managed to achieve, and the way you felt afterward.
Even if you only increase by a tiny margin every time, you will feel a sense of triumph as a physical representation of your strength grows.
You can make these notes monthly, weekly, or from every attempt. However, if you go with the “every attempt” method, then be ready to see negative results. We cannot achieve greatness in every workout, so give yourself some slack if your numbers aren’t improving how you would like.
Increase Your Training
To make sure your workouts stay helpful, you need to increase your training to match your growing abilities. Every month reevaluate what you can do, and create a new goal with your increased capabilities in mind.
The increase could be to run faster or to run further. It could be to use larger weights or push for more repetitions. Depending on what you are trying to achieve and what feels the most beneficial to you, pick a development that goes with your at-home workout.
Get Friends and Family Involved
Although the stereotype exists that a gym buff can only talk about their workouts, these jokes stem from a realistic need.
Telling your friends and family about your workouts helps to keep you accountable. If your buddies know that on a Thursday after work, you like to go for an hour run, then they won’t try to tempt you away from your workout when they want to watch a movie.
If your family knows that during lunch, you start a 30 minute exercise routine but see you are locked to your desk, they can encourage you to get back on the treadmill.
You need your friends and family to support you when the motivation has gone and to understand just how important your workout is.
Of course, the biggest source of motivation has to come from you.
Staying motivated can be a tricky job as our life shows us new and fun ideas all the time. Ideally, the goals and tracking method should keep you interested and determined to continue on your healthy lifestyle, but if it doesn’t, we have some extra ideas for you.
Changing Your Goals
Give yourself a time-related goal to keep your mind on your health. Maybe you want to lose weight before summer vacation? Perhaps you want to develop your strength by the NFL season? Or you could simply want to run 5 miles, and you can think of a new goal when you’ve completed it.
Changing your goals and ambition within your workout can help you keep on track.
Wearing The Clothes
Another idea to stop yourself from thinking, “I’ll just do it tomorrow,” is to wear your workout gear straight away. Don’t mess around putting on two different types of clothing that day; instead, wear the job you want to excel in. Putting on your workout clothes will remind you all day that you want to run or lift or practice yoga. When the time comes, it will be harder to deny this request.
Jumping Back Into The Game
Lastly, if you do drop your motivation, or realize that you haven’t worked out in months, don’t think that it’s time to officially give up. Taking a break is normal, and life will get in the way. When this happens, tell yourself to start again. Realizing that you fell off the wagon is the first step to jumping back on it again.
Allow yourself this setback, and start charging towards your goals again!
Remember that working out from home can be even more liberating than working out in a gym. You are your own boss, and you can decide when to exercise, what activity to do and which equipment would be most beneficial.
Once you’ve made the leap to home workouts, you can assess your home and decide what equipment would work best in the area you have. Think about storage, finances, and movement room. With the equipment picked, you can start crafting your routine!
Whatever training you’ve scheduled should be tracked so you can see how well you are doing. And as always, have fun!