How to be successful with at-home workouts
Author: Riley Pearce
Director of Social Media
At-home workouts are a great way to exercise from the comforts of your home. One of the biggest challenges with at-home workouts is the fact that there is no one to hold you accountable; your bedroom, the kitchen, the tv and other household distractions are more tempting than a workout (sometimes); and the equipment is limited.
Getting physical activity at this time is more important than ever. It should be everyone’s priority to keep themselves in good health. Self-isolating and social-distancing are how we are protecting our fellow neighbours from the spread of the novel coronavirus. With our community taken care of, we should all be focusing inward on our own health. Here are a few ways you can make sure you are successful with at-home workouts.
Make an appointment
Health officials are advising that we maintain a good routine during this time. Take a moment at the beginning of every day to plan out what you have to do. Make sure you leave at least 30 minutes in the day for intentional physical activity. Yes walking around the grocery store, or going from downstairs to upstairs will get your daily steps up, but you want to set aside 30 minutes to be intentional about your health.
Not only will this ensure you are getting physical activity everyday, but it will create the routine. Your body will get used to being intentionally physically active, which will work well when we can all return to our usual workout facilities.
Have someone who holds you accountable
After you have scheduled time in your day to get your workout done, find someone you trust to hold you accountable. Maybe it is your trainer, or your spouse, or a friend that you speak with regularly.
Whoever you choose, just make sure that you choose someone who will check in on you and make sure you are getting the workout done when you planned to.
Even if the day changes, that person can also be there to support you and help you find another time in your day. Not only should you find someone, but be that someone for someone you care about. Encouraging an active lifestyle with the ones you love really helps to make fitness part of your lifestyle.
Have a plan for your workout
Okay – so you know when you’re working out, you have someone to hold you accountable, now it is time to figure out what you’ll be doing. Starting with the type of workout is a great place to start. Will it be full body, upper body, lower body, core, or maybe even a mobility session? Once you know what your goal is for the workout, then you can begin to choose your exercises.
If you are an active member of Free Form Fitness, speak with your trainer about the option to set up a remote session. Then the “what” of your at-home workout is taken care of.
If you are not currently a member of Free Form Fitness, there are a number of different ways you can plan your workouts. Just be mindful of your current fitness level, the equipment you have available (if any), and if you have any pre-existing injuries that need to be considered. This is a great time to learn how to listen and trust your body in movement.
Know that it is okay that your workouts will not be the same as they are at the gym
One of the biggest mental barriers to working out from home is knowing that it won’t be the same as your gym sessions. For the time-being it is important to adopt a mindset of patience and flexibility. Yes, you won’t be able to lift the heavy weights, or use the fancy equipment, but you will still get a great workout if you follow the above recommendations.
If you take some time to look into calisthenics, you’ll see that there is a whole side of physical fitness that is solely reliant on bodyweight. As mentioned above – this is a great time to learn how to listen and trust your body in movement.
Get the family on board
Having family around can make workouts from home more exciting, if you plan for it and get the family on board. Include physical activity in the family’s schedule for the day. This way everyone gets the physical activity they need at this time, and the family can take this time together to bond. In the busy world we live in, taking this time to enjoy your family’s company is one of the hidden benefits of self-isolation.
If you like your workout time to be your workout time, then ask your spouse to care for the children for the time it takes you to finish your workout. If you have very young children, take advantage of their nap times to get your workouts in.
If it is a priority for you, then there is always time for a workout in the day.
Last, but certainly not least, remember your warm-up and cool down.
Getting up from your home office, or the couch, and jumping into a workout can mean feeling stiff and weak when you begin to workout. Nothing is more discouraging than starting a workout feeling stiff and weak.
Set aside 5-10 minutes to do a quick warm up before your workout begins. This can mean doing a few sets of stairs, jogging on the spot, or doing a simple yoga flow (there’s tons of them online). Whatever elevates your heart rate, and warms up the joints and muscles will make a huge difference in your workout. Not to mention it reduces your risk of injury.
As for your cool down, take just 5-10 minutes to lower the heart rate down to a resting level, and switch the body from “workout mode” to recovery mode. Running from your workout the next virtual meeting, or errand with the kids will keep your internal stress levels high. This could leave you feeling burnt out by the end of the day.
Although working out from home requires a little more patience and planning from the individual, it is entirely possible and it is a great way to make your health a priority at this time, when it is arguably more important than ever.