If you are self-conscious about your weight or body image, you will understand when I say that my biggest obstacle when it comes to exercise is the fact that going to the gym makes me uneasy. When you are insecure about the way your body looks, the thought of people looking at you while you struggle is an unpleasant one. It is not easy to work out on your baggy tracks and oversize T shirt when you have a hot young thing in sexy yoga pants and a ponytail who makes running on the treadmill next to you seem like a snap, while you are huffing and puffing and doing your best not to fall on your face.
While this scenario may be a bit extreme, there are many other reasons why going to the gym may be difficult for people – such as being super busy. Lump into that mix all the COVID-19 concerns that plague us these days and you’ve got a dilemma and a half on your hands. But here’s something quarantining this past year taught me… you don’t need fancy equipment or a gym to work out or exercise. In fact working out at home can be the better alternative to a gym. Here is a helpful guide to help you set up a home workout routine.
Dedicate a small space for your workouts
By this I don’t mean you need to free up an entire room, or set up a fancy machine. All you need is one designated place where you should work out regularly. Working out is a routine and a habit. You need to work out in the same place to help the habit forming.
Advisedly, this space should not be where you eat or watch TV, as that is going to distract you. You don’t need a whole lot of space, just enough space where you can roll out a yoga mat and move around freely is sufficient to give you plenty of options to get in an effective workout
Dress up to “go to the gym”
There are many little things that help you get in the state of mind for the task at hand. Dressing for the occasion is one of them. When you are planning to work out, it helps to change into something you would actually wear to the gym. This automatically conditions your mind and you feel like exercising.
Wearing athletic clothes and putting on running shoes while you do housework, gardening, or even run some errands gets you into the zone and warms you up before your actual workout.
It is not easy to work out on your baggy tracks and oversize T shirt when you have a hot young thing in sexy yoga pants and a ponytail who makes running on the treadmill next to you seem like a snap, while you are huffing and puffing and doing your best not to fall on your face. Check out heydayDo for more fitness guides.
Don’t rely on machines or gym equipment
Unless you already have a treadmill or some other equipment at home, you don’t really need to invest in specialized machinery to work out from home.
Your body weight is more than enough for the job. There are plenty of body weight and other exercises you can do that require no additional equipment.
A few of my favourite exercises are planks, squats, push-ups and crunches. You can easily build up a whole routine around these basic exercises as they work multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
You can also switch them up for variety like doing a reverse crunch instead of a regular one or adding burpees to the mix. However you must follow proper form to avoid injury while you exercise.
Use your smart phone and the internet
There is a world of knowledge and experience ready to be tapped, and it is all available at your fingertips… or at least through your smartphone.
You can use all the many great apps and websites out there to support your journey.
From meal and diet plans, to workouts and routines, as well as community help and advice, you can access it all.
These will guide you to achieving the best from your at home workouts. You can also use your gadgets to time you, and play music to pump you up and energize you while you work… just resist the temptation to check your social media and work emails while you work out though.
Set practical and realistic goals
Like any other gym or diet plan, you need to start off slow, especially if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle.
If you jump off the deep end and plan to work out for 2 hours a day when you haven’t been doing diddly squat, that’s an impractical and overly ambitious goal basically guarantees that you will fail. You should set realistic goals based on what your body allows, it’s strength and abilities.
Commit to something that is reasonable and something you can easily schedule into your routine.
Start with alternate days, and as your body becomes more used to the exercise, increase the frequency and duration of your workouts. Maybe get a leg press for your home gym and alternate strength training with aerobic exercises.
Don’t make excuses for yourself
You are the best judge of your own motivation. Don’t let yourself be hoodwinked by yourself and don’t fall for your own excuses. When we make exercise a part of our routine, it should be something we do regardless of whether we feel like it or not. It doesn’t matter if you are a morning person or a night person, if you had a bad day or just feel lazy.
Don’t tell yourself it’s okay if I skip today because I’ll make up for it tomorrow. Don’t fall for any excuse that allows you to be lazy at a time you should be working out.
Making time to exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself. Not only is it an essential part of achieving your weight and fitness related goals, it also helps reduce stress by releasing endorphins or the “feel good hormones” into your bloodstream. Working out from home allows you to customise your workout routine according to your needs and comfort levels; they are cheap and time efficient.
As long as you stay committed and don’t give up too soon, you should see results in no time and bea healthier happier version of yourself. Making exercise a regular part of your week, will make you feel better about yourself, thereby making you more confident and sure of your own self-image. Who knows, soon enough you might even find yourself not dreading working out where others may see you!