Exercise has several benefits (mentioned below) however exercising to keep your immune system strong and boosting your mental health is the most priority during the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently experiencing worldwide. All you need is 30 minutes of exercise a day, the objective is to simply keep it moving and you don’t necessarily have to a fully kitted gym or be in a gym to keep moving.
Below are several benefits of exercise:
•Exercise leaves you more energized and productive
•Exercise is beneficial for your mental wellbeing
•Exercise is great for your heart
•Exercise lowers the risk of diseases
•Exercise makes you stronger and fitter
•Exercise improves your sleeping patterns
•Exercise boosts your sex life – psychologically you feel better about yourself and more inclined towards sex, and physically, being fit improves libido, blood circulation and sexual functioning
I could go on and on about the benefits of exercise, but you can read up on that in your spare time. Exercising by yourself at home is not the same as training at gym and it can leave one really demotivated. In order to keep us moving and accountable to our fitness goals, below are a couple of tips to help you stay on track with working out at home:
HOME WORKOUT TIP 1: CREATE A WORKOUT SPACE
Setting up a mini ‘gym’ in the corner of a room or in a designated space is a great way to make sure you get the most out of at home workouts. Firstly, you’ll have everything you need in one spot, so you’ll spend less time looking for things and more time working out. Secondly, this space will become synonymous with working out and going at it hard. Most workouts can be done on a yoga mat so find a space (even next to a bed works) where you can roll one out. Next, stand in the middle and open your arms to your full wing span to make sure that you won’t knock anything over as you move about.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 2: GET MOVING
While stocking up on your very own weights not covered in strangers’ sweat might sound appealing, it shouldn’t be your only priority. A common mistake is to buy equipment before you’ve established a routine and then not use it. Remember, you need to get into the habit of exercising first. This will also help ensure you don’t use the excuse of ‘waiting for Take a Lot so I can exercise.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 3: ONLY BUY KEY EQUIPMENT
Once you are in the swing of things and ready to increase the resistance it’s time to invest in kit. However you don’t need everything that a gym does. ‘Most kettlebell exercises can be done with a heavy dumbbell and vice-versa. I recommend having one heavy weight and a set of lighter weights.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 4: ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
That includes the dog and your mobile. You can be easily distracted at home – be that family members, pets, the TV, someone at the door or the phone ringing – which could lead to skipping a workout or cutting it short. Take steps to remove or minimise these – like diverting the house phone to answer phone, putting the phone on flight mode if you use it to count seconds when exercising or putting a sign on the door to ask family members to answer the door if anyone calls round.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 4: ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
That includes the dog and your mobile. You can be easily distracted at home – be that family members, pets, the TV, someone at the door or the phone ringing – which could lead to skipping a workout or cutting it short. Take steps to remove or minimise these – like diverting the house phone to answer phone or putting a sign on the door to ask family members to answer the door if anyone calls round.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 5: MAKE SURE YOU’RE WARMING UP AND COOLING DOWN
Studies show that priming your body for a workout boosts muscle strength and power – so don’t skip a warm-up just because you’re at home. Remember to always do a warm up before your session and a cool down, including stretches, at the end. They’re super important for helping your body to prepare for exercise and recover afterwards.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 6: REMEMBER YOUR FORM
Alone, in the comfort of your own home, it might be easy to let your form slip as there is no one watching you and no one to correct you. In the long run, this could lead to injury so make sure you focus on doing it correctly, and if you’re trying something new it might be a good idea to do it in front of the mirror to check.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 7: PUT ON YOUR GYM KIT
Now, this is a handy trick. If you’re not leaving the house, it might be tempting to hang around in your pyjamas which can make you feel lazy and mean it’s harder to get motivated. Even if you have no plans to leave the house, put on your workout gear as soon as you wake up and you’ll be more likely to train and stick to your programme.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 8: PLAY MUSIC
You’ll be surprised by the difference it makes. Music works well at keeping you motivated and focused while at the gym, but if you forget to play it while at home then your mind can wander. So sort yourself a banging playlist.
Below are my personal playlists:
HOME WORKOUT TIP 9: SWITCH IT UP
Home is where you spend a lot of your down time, which makes staying motivated even more of a challenge than making it through that HIIT class with the encouraging words of a PT. It can be easy to get stuck in a workout rut, sticking to exercises which you like doing, but which won’t necessarily challenge you or get the results you’re after. To keep your body guessing and ensure you’re progressing towards your health and fitness goals, make sure you try new moves, or make classic moves like the squat or a push up more challenging.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 10: DO HIIT
Raising your heart rate will bring you the most home benefits. ‘A high-intensity workout, for 20 to 30 minutes, is a great way to target the whole body and burn off plenty of calories at the same time. Research has found short bursts of intense exercise are better for fat loss. Please see all my home workout videos for HIIT circuits to try from home.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 11: STAY HYDRATED
Just because you’re not in a gym, doesn’t mean sipping on H2O has lost its value. Have a water bottle with you. You can have an intra workout or energy drink to give you that extra push!
HOME WORKOUT TIP 12: BE REALISTIC
Patience is a virtue when it comes to fat loss. If you want to see a real difference, you need to be strict and dedicated to your routine. It takes time to change, both physically and mentally.’
HOME WORKOUT TIP 13: KEEP A FITNESS JOURNAL TO TRACK PROGRESS
Keeping a log of the workouts you’ve done, whether it’s just a dash on a wall calendar or full play-by-play breakdown of how you felt and moved, can be a motivational record of achievement to look back on.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 14: CHALLENGE YOURSELF
Just because you’re at home and no-one’s technically watching, that’s still not a reason to slack off. In fact, pushing yourself in the moments when you’d really like to give up is where you can make huge mental and fitness gains. Try to make sure you’re not going too easy on yourself or taking more breaks than perhaps are technically needed. Challenge yourself! You can handle it!
HOME WORKOUT TIP 15: FACTOR IN RECOVERY SESSIONS
When your home doubles as your gym it can be harder to factor in low-impact recovery sessions and not feel like you’re somehow skiving. But recovery (rest days) is just as important as going HAM during your sessions and scheduling in one to two per week is fundamental to seeing progress – not to mention giving your hardworking body a bit of break.
HOME WORKOUT TIP 16: LAY OUT YOUR KIT THE NIGHT BEFORE, RIGHT DOWN TO EQUIPMENT
The same as when you have to leave for an early flight, class or meeting, having your gear packed the night before really does make all the difference. The same goes for working out. Having your kit ready the night before, even down to laying out the mat and preparing the weights, sets you up for success – and makes it harder to ignore and snooze – the next morning. The work of minutes and could be the change that keeps you smashing your goals instead of snoozing your alarm….
Hope the above tips were useful! Let’s keep it moving and try to stay active for our physical and mental wellbeing!