We live in a world that’s dealing with sickness in a way we’ve never seen before, which means that many gyms are closed, and a lot of people don’t feel comfortable going to the open ones. If for whatever reason, you can’t work out in your local gym, we’re here to tell you that you can get just as much out of your at-home workouts as you can from the ones that you do in the gym!
Exercising at home has a lot of benefits, especially when it comes to convenience, cost, and comfort. There are downsides too, like distractions, a lack of amenities, and not enough space. To get the most out of your at-home workouts, you need to minimize the cons and maximize the pros and try to replicate some of the benefits that only the gym can give you. Let’s start by breaking down the advantages that a gym provides and see how we can simulate them from the comfort of our homes.1. Space
One of the best parts about going to the gym is that you have a lot of room to move around. There’s enough space that five to ten people can work out in the same area without having to worry about running into each other, but at home, that gets a little trickier.
Depending on how many people live in your house, you may not have to worry about knocking elbows with other people, but you do have to be conscious of tables, chairs, laundry baskets, etc. Even if you live alone, living in a small apartment can leave you with little to no (literal) wiggle room.Solutions
- MAKE room. A lot of the time, not having “enough” space comes down to the simple process of moving some furniture around. You don’t necessarily have to rearrange your entire house, but smaller pieces of furniture can be moved and put back with minimal effort before and after a workout routine. On the other hand, rearranging the furniture in a room can provide you with ample space to do your preferred workout routine.
- Go outside. If all else fails, take the dumbbells in the yard or go for a nice jog around the neighborhood. You’ll have all the room in the world without having to redecorate!
Another great thing that a gym has is a wide variety of workout machines and exercise equipment. You have treadmills, dumbbells, stair climbers, classes, and so much more. When you’re at home, you can feel limited in the types of workouts you’re able to do. Believe it or not, though, it doesn’t have to feel that way.Solutions
- Stock up on some diverse and affordable equipment. No, we don’t mean go out and buy a treadmill or a stationary bike (though if you have money and room for one, go for it!). You’d be surprised at the variety of workout equipment you can find in your local department store; there are dumbbells, yoga mats, elastic bands, exercise balls, jump ropes, etc. The best part about small items like these is that they’re conveniently sized and easy to store, so they won’t get in the way of your everyday life.
- Watch workout videos. There are tons of DVDs and YouTube videos that mimic workout classes, especially if you enjoy aerobics, dancing, yoga, or high-intensity exercises. Most YouTube videos are free, but DVD sets are by experts in the fitness world, which makes the investment that much more worth it.
Even if you work out alone, you don’t usually feel alone when you’re in a gym surrounded by people. Extroverts can have an especially hard time exercising at home since they can’t feed off the energy that comes from having people around them who are working toward the same goals they are. Working out at home can feel isolating if you’re used to taking fitness classes in person or being a part of a running/dancing/weightlifting group.Solutions
Get your family involved. If you don’t live alone, we have good news for you: when you work out at home, you still have people around you. Ask your spouse, kids, parents, or siblings to do an exercise with you. It may even become a new bonding routine!
Find a workout buddy. If you DO live alone, or if you can’t convince anyone who lives with you to exercise, call up a friend. You can spend quality time together catching up on life while you take a walk through a park or go on a bicycle ride. By doing these things, you may even find that you feel even less alone than you did in a crowded gym.4. Focus
This is one of the hardest problems that people who choose to work out at home can face. How can anyone focus with a pile of clean laundry that needs to be folded sitting in the corner? With kids screaming in the background? With the constant demands from our cell phones and social media accounts? No one. When you’re at the gym, where everyone is working hard, there are a lot fewer things that try to take your attention away from your exercises.Solutions
Create a safe space. Once you’ve decided which room you’re going to work out in, get rid of anything in the room that could be a distraction to you, especially things that are on your “to-do” list for the day. While you’re exercising, your next workout should be the only thing on your mind.
Communicate with the people who live with you. If you can, pick a certain time of day that you’d like the freedom to exercise, and then let your family know that you are not to be disturbed during that time. Before long, it’ll become so routine that nothing needs to be said anymore, but until then, set firm (but kind) boundaries so that you can take care of yourself.5. Motivation
Staying motivated might be the hardest thing that any person who exercises has to deal with. Let’s face it: life gets hard. When life gets hard, especially within the home, exercise is the last thing on a lot of people’s minds. If they do have the wherewithal to exercise, getting out of the house and going to the gym can help alleviate some of the tension simply by getting them out of their usual environment. So, when life gets hard and you CAN’T go to the gym to clear your head, how are you supposed to even try to work out at home?Solutions
Make at-home exercises a part of your daily routine. It’s easier to do this step when things going on in your home and life aren’t particularly draining or crazy, but it’ll be a lot easier to motivate yourself to work out once it’s become a habit. Make yourself do it, even when you don’t feel like it, and eventually it will feel effortless.
Make an inspiration/motivation board. If you’ve never heard of creating a dream board, it’s essentially creating a kind of collage of the things you want in life in order to keep you inspired and motivated to pursue your dreams. You can make one for your fitness goals, too. Hang it up somewhere in your “safe space” that we mentioned earlier, somewhere easily visible, to help you remember why you started working out in the first place.
Trying to create a new workout routine is hard; trying to create a new place to workout in is even harder. But you’ve got this. After all, at the end of the day, it isn’t really your environment that determines the results you get from your workouts: it’s what’s inside your mind and your heart. Keep working hard!