We never thought we’d say this, but we kind of miss going to the gym. Those treadmills, free weights, and strength training machines seem to have always been menacing, but having been stuck at home for so long, we yearn to work up a sweat.
Being stuck at home has made it tough to stay active, and you might be feeling a bit sedentary yourself. Working out at home just doesn’t have the same effect as working out at a gym… or does it?
Believe it or not, your home could be a better gym than any, especially because it’s free! With these home fitness hacks, you might even decide to cancel your gym membership before they even open back up.
The Importance of Exercise
If gym class in grade school taught us anything, it’s that eating right and exercising is important to a healthy, fulfilling life. And this is absolutely true, but why exactly?
When you exercise, your heart rate increases, allowing oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to your organs and muscle tissue. This has a positive influence on your cardiovascular health, as well as the health of your organs and muscles.
And of course, exercise can keep you in good physical shape. This can help with confidence and self-image, as well as lead you on a healthy path for a long life.
Exercise doesn’t have to be something as intense as a marathon sprint or a P90X routine, it could be something as simple as a brisk walk. This means that you don’t need the gym to get all of the amazing effects of exercise. In fact, all you need is you!
Benefits of Working Out at Home
Even when gyms reopen, there might not be much need to go back. There are so many benefits of working out from home that gyms just can’t match.
You Don’t Have to Go Anywhere
Gyms are great, but getting the motivation to change, drive to the gym, workout, then drive home is tough. A 45 minute routine could end up being an hour and a half once all is said and done.
When you workout from home, the gym is right there with you. It will take out a smaller chunk of your day, and the showers are right there for when you’re all finished. Plus, you have easy access to water and a snack if you feel like you need some, or you can easily slouch into your own couch if you’re going just a little too hard.
It Won’t Be Crowded
5pm gym rushes are the worst. There’s never a machine open and it feels like you’re waiting to workout more often than you actually are.
At home, there won’t be any strangers taking up spaces in your living room or bedroom (we can’t say the same for your dogs or partner, though). This means you can have full control over your routine without having to adjust based on machine availability or capacity limits in the building.
There’s No Pressure
The gym can be a daunting place. It feels like everyone there is judging you, knows more than you, or is in much better shape than you. These thoughts can dissuade beginners from doing physical activity for fear of being judged at the gym.
At home, you can build up your confidence through workout videos and personal routines to develop a more advanced understanding of fitness. Experiment and make mistakes from the comfort of your own home. Then, when you’re ready to venture to the gym for the first time, you’ll be even better off than the seasoned lifters.
Tips for Working Out at Home
Working out at home is awesome, but where do you even start? Here are some tips for making the most of an at-home workout so that you can feel energized for the rest of the day.
Utilize Your Surroundings
While you might not have a full dumbbell set or stair-climber in your bedroom, you don’t need those to have a killer workout. Though, if you do have those things, you won’t need this section.
Try using water jugs in place of dumbbells, or fill a backpack with books to add some resistance to a plank. Even something as simple as a can of soup could be a great way to simulate dumbbells.
You can also make use of small spaces to get a good jolt of cardio into your routine. Exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, or high-knees don’t require much space at all, so you could do these in your bedroom with ease. Although we can’t speak for your downstairs neighbor, these are great ways to get the blood pumping.
And don’t be afraid to get creative. You could try using different rooms in the house during the same routine. Maybe do push ups in the bedroom upstairs, then run downstairs in between sets and do mountain climbers in the living room. The change of scenery is nice, and you get some extra cardio going up and down the stairs.
Throw On Some Gym Clothes
Even though pajamas are the newest trend in fashion, putting on gym clothes before an at-home workout can give you a more authentic exercise experience.
When you dress for success, you might be more inclined to put your best foot forward. This could encourage you to do a longer or more intense workout than you normally would with casual attire.
You could even reward yourself with a new pair of running shoes or workout clothes if you reach personal goals. This will give you something to look forward to once you can finally return to the gym in person.
Nature is Your Friend
Especially if you have a smaller living space, or that downstairs neighbor is extra grouchy, going outside to get in a workout routine is great. The extra space gives you even more freedom than a gym, so you could freely do whatever routine your heart desires.
But even moreso, stepping outside to get some sun on your skin has benefits all on its own.
When the skin is exposed to sunlight, the brain releases serotonin, which is a hormone associated with serenity and relaxation. It also helps your body produce Vitamin D, which can support your bone health.
And above all of that, it’s just a nice change of scenery from normalcy. Make use of your backyard, a nearby park, or even the beach. Not to mention, face masks won’t hinder your oxygen intake, so you can stay protected while getting your sweat on!
Make Use of Your Devices
It can be tough to think of your own exercise circuit or routine, but that’s totally fine! There are people who have devoted their lives to doing that for you, and you can find exercise videos that suit any style easily online.
YouTube is a great place to find free workout tutorials, and you can find tons that are geared specifically towards at-home exercise. If you want a personalized routine, personal trainers have begun using video-chatting services to guide you through a workout safely from inside the house.
You can even stream your favorite show or movie from your laptop and phone during your routine. Being able to listen to a great show as you do curl-ups or burpees is a great way to keep your mind focused on something exciting. Try setting a goal for yourself where you only can only watch a certain show during a working out. This might motivate you to get moving just so you can see how it ends!
Look For New Ways to Workout
Even the gym can start to feel repetitive after a while, so it’s important to think up new ways to get your heart racing. While at home, there are some creative ways to exercise outside of the normal push up.
If there’s been a home improvement project you’ve been waiting to try, why not give it a go? Not only will you be giving your house a new facelift, but you’ll also be working up a sweat as you paint, build, or deconstruct.
Gardening is another great way to get some sun and keep moving. Plus, you’ll have some organic produce at your disposal constantly.
Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you need to feel trapped. In fact, being fit inside the house is easier and less stressful than having to actually go to the gym.
Make use of water bottles, cans, and jugs as stand-ins for dumbbells, and utilize your laptop and phone for instructional videos of distractions. Make use of the outdoors, and think up creative ways to keep your routines fresh every single day.
It’s easy to forget to exercise during the craziness of the world right now, but it’s important to stay busy, healthy, and happy. Even something as simple as a brisk walk is something to be proud of!
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