Time. Of the essence. In scant supply. Is money. Nope, there aren’t many truisms about the ol’ ticking clock which boast of its abundance. As such, we’re often left wondering why we’d ever waste so much of it. Tied to the desk, vegging out on the sofa, scrolling through our phones vacuously, sharing the gym with sweaty strangers…not making the most of our short stint on this earth, let’s be honest.
And suddenly, with so many of us finding ourselves at home, self-isolating, working or in quarantine, and with loads of the stuff on our hands, it’s important to keep fit whilst confined to your house. Yep, it’s possible to stay fit, fresh and full of life without an expensive gym membership or even coming into contact with another human. And that’s with a domestically based exercise regime, of course. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL tips for working out at home.
CREATE A DEDICATED WORKOUT SPACE
While we’re not all lucky enough to have a spare room that we can turn into a home gym at the wave of a credit card, most of us probably do have enough room for a little inexpensive home sports equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands. Another must have is a good exercise mat that will protect you from the floor and the floor from you. Yep, within the tight real estate of your arm span, you can give yourself a top to toe workout with even the most basic of kit.
If you’re blessed with a garden with enough space for a few bits, consider creating a ‘gym shed’ – exactly what it says on the tin – with the capacity for some aerobic exercise. A budget rowing machine and exercise bike can fit into a snug space fairly seamlessly.
What’s more, consider adding some non-slip gym mats to the floor of your shed to give you plenty of space for training or consider interlocking floor pads which you can easily shape to fit into your new workout space.
MAKE USE OF FURNITURE
In the spirit of thrift, both in the sense of saving money and time, you can get a surprising amount of exercise and strength training done by simply using items already in your home. This most succinctly applies to your furniture. Yep, take a look around; there’s loads of potential.
A solid dining room or kitchen chair is often the optimum height for doing squats, depending on your size. Begin by sitting on the chair with a straight back and arms out in front before slowly standing and lowering yourself back down, but just hovering above the seat; and there you have it, a simple squat. Alternatively, to work those triceps, use the seat as you would a bench at the gym, lowering your body but not letting your elbows bend more than 90 degrees.
Ladder drills are a great way to improve agility and burn plenty of calories when done at high intensity. It’s best if you have a garden (though you’ll probably only own a ladder if that’s the case anyway). Lay down your ladder and run or jump through each individual square, mixing it up to test different muscles. A quality step ladder that’s properly secured can also be used for step exercises, again, best done outside.
Of course, you could forgo the equipment all together and harness the power of your body weight instead. This is a discipline known as calisthenics and it has been gaining serious traction in recent years. Don’t be put off by the seemingly impenetrable term; it’s just a fancy way of describing pull, press and sit ups, air squats, planks and the rest. The beauty of this form of exercise isn’t only in the fact that it requires no tools (and no financial commitment or clutter), but also in the way in which it establishes a meaningful connection with your body and grounding with your foundation. In this respect, it works perfectly in tandem with a home yoga practice.
Many home workout enthusiasts cite the only downside of such a discipline as being the lack of guidance and peer to peer motivation when doing things solo. There is, of course, a way to achieve that sense of camaraderie and receive expertise, and that’s through the internet.
Stream online workouts, download apps and participate in fitness forums to keep active in the working out community. Some of our favourite online and digital platforms include the apps Sworkit, for time constrained, tailor made workouts, and Fitbod, for highly precise muscle building. Forums well worth a look include Jetfit and Bodyspace. Go get it!
GIVE YOUR BRAIN A WORKOUT TOO
With all the focus placed firmly on the physical and aesthetics, we all too often neglect to give our mental wellbeing the same attention. But physical and mental health are inextricably linked, and one simply can’t function to its full performance if you neglect to nurture the other. So, make sure you take care of your mind too, treating it to a ‘regime’ as you would your body. We’ve written more about stress relieving exercises over here. Check it out!