COLUMN: Is home where the workout is?

Tips for making a home work out, work for you

We have the best intentions, but all too often treadmills and stationary bicycles at home end up as glorified laundry baskets. Being successful with home workouts can be tricky, to say the least.

Home isn’t just where the heart is, it’s where we have family, meals, work, cleaning and a whole host of other chores and responsibilities that wait for us. It takes skill and planning to create a home environment conducive to training. There is a reason gyms exist. So if you’d like to do some workouts, or even yoga, at home, try these steps to give you the best possible chance at being successful. 

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Create a separate space, just for working out. This is the biggest hurdle to triumphing in the home workout department. You need to set up a space (room, garage, et cetera) that is only for training, away from all the distractions of home.

When it’s a training-only space, it will help you get into the right frame of mind as soon as you enter the room. Imagine trying to do your workout in the living room, and when you start your warm up, you look over, and staring back at you is a comfortable couch, Netflix, and snacks. It’s all about eliminating things that will knock you off track.

Set a time, and stick to it. Your time is precious, so reserving some for you and your health is important. By setting a specific time to work out, you’re prioritizing it, and not letting the other myriad of tasks at home take away from your workout.

Set up a program. It’s never worse than to walk into a training space, stare at all the equipment, and not know what to do. You spend so much of your valuable time trying to figure out what to do that you have very little when you eventually get down to work, if you workout at all. You may end up walking away in frustration.

If you have a preset plan, you go in already knowing what’s coming and excited for the workout. If you dread your workouts, then perhaps your program isn’t right for you. It may not be addressing the goals you have for yourself, and it may not be a plan that is honest about how you personally enjoy fitness.

Have all the equipment you’ll need ready to go. This way, when you go to train, you won’t be constantly skipping exercises or modifying your program.

Just remember to work with what you have available. There are great bodyweight exercises and programs, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t have a lot, or even any equipment.

Change your program every four to six weeks. Variety maintains interest, challenges the body, and helps you continue to build.

Don’t let your fitness equipment become a clothes-drying rack. Choose what works for you, and make the commitment. Working out or doing yoga at home is possible, if you prioritize it, and take steps to ensure your success.

Do what you can with what you have where you are, and always prioritize the positive.

Melissa Sloos is a certified group fitness instructor.



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