We all agree that everyone needs to be physically active. Sometimes it can seem difficult to get a workout in but don’t let your excuses get the best of you. We hear a lot of reasons for not staying active.
The gym is so expensive.
I can’t afford a trainer.
I have young children.
The gym is intimidating.
I can’t get to the gym in time.
I don’t know what to do.
These may be real challenges for you (they have been for me!), but they aren’t reasons to skimp on your fitness goals. The good news is that workouts don’t have to happen in a gym for you to reap the benefits! Home workouts can solve for each of these challenges and don’t require any more discipline than going to a gym.
Ready to give home workouts a try? Take these 12 tips into consideration as you get started!
- Schedule your workouts.
Pull out your calendar app or your paper planner and schedule your workout sessions. Keep this commitment to yourself the same way you’d keep a commitment to any other appointment. If you share a calendar with your family then put your workout appointments on your shared calendar, too! Make sure everyone understands that your physical wellness is a priority.
- Make a plan.
No matter where you workout, you should have a plan based on your abilities and goals. It’s fun to wing a workout here and there and do your favorite movements or to focus on areas that need special attention, but work that into your workout programming. Working out at home doesn’t mean you have to know everything, though! Find a home workout program that does the planning for you! We recommend (and use!) BeachBody on Demand. This is a subscription service that provides you access to over 1,000 20-40 minute workouts and popular programs like P90X, 3 Week Yoga Retreat, 80 Day Insanity, Core de Force and more! Workouts can be streamed on most connected devices and can be downloaded for offline use, which means you can take your home workouts on the road without missing a beat. Get started with a FREE 14-Day trial!
- Create a space.
You don’t need a home gym to enjoy effective home workouts that get results, but you do need a little space. If you have the room for it, carve out a corner in your home that you can dedicate to your workouts. If space is tight, then look for options in your garage or even in your yard! Still not finding much to work with? Find an area of your home that you can easily rearrange for your workouts. For example, arrange your living room so that you only need to slide a coffee table out of the way before getting to work! Consider adding inspiration to your workout space with wall decals like this one that we keep in our metabolic room at the Live Lean Rx Houston office. You can choose customizable decals, a decal that tells it like it is without the sugarcoating, or anything in between! Find one that appeals to you to set the tone for your home workouts – and consider it a reminder to get your workout done! Don’t wait until your workout space is perfect to get started, though. Your space should help you reach your goals, not create excuses for procrastinating.
- Invest in the basics.
You can definitely build a workout program that relies on your body weight and movement to get your heart rate up, but we recommend investing in some home gym basics. Here are some items you might want to consider to get you started.
Resistance bands with handles
Resistance band loops
Dumbbell or kettlebell set
- Find a partner.
Working out at home doesn’t have to mean you workout alone. Enlist a friend, neighbor, spouse, roommate, or anyone you like as a workout partner. Even your young children can make fun workout partners – and what better way to set an amazing example for them? Don’t limit yourself to people that can workout in your home with you. Consider finding an accountability or workout partner that you can connect with online via social media or text! Share photos of your workouts, ask for pep talks when you need them, and celebrate successes together! You can even create a virtual workout group by going through the same workout program at a similar pace!
- Share your goals.
Need more accountability in your life? Share your goals with your friends and family. Nobody wants to be the one who didn’t do what they said they’d do, so share your goals. Your goals don’t have to focus on your body shape or size, either. Your goals may focus on fat loss or strength but they may also focus on improved endurance or consistency in your workouts! You’ll be more likely to work consistently, you’ll have a network to cheer you on when you’re unmotivated, and you’ll have others to celebrate your accomplishments!
- Warm up and stretch.
Now that you’ve set up your space, gathered the basic supplies, and enlisted a partner and cheerleaders, you need to get started! Start each workout with a brief warm up. You can try something like a jog around the block, jump roping for a couple minutes, or dust off those jumping jacks you loved as a kid! Get your heart pumping harder and your muscles warm, then take time for some dynamic stretches, or movement-based stretches before getting started. Checkout this blog post from My Fitness Pal for a quick crash course on dynamic stretches.
- Work hard.
Most of us tend to work harder when we’re being watched. One of the benefits of working out at home is that you don’t have to worry about others watching you in the gym if you’re still feeling a bit insecure. But, that can also mean that nobody is going to see you slack off! Always push yourself to do your best and work your hardest during your home workouts the same way you would in the gym or a group fitness class. You might find a heartrate tracker helpful in making sure you maintain an elevated heartrate throughout your workout. We like the Garmin Vivoactive 3 or Forerunner 235 because Garmin allows you to input the results of your VO2 Max test for truly personalized heart rate monitoring. If you like a simpler heart rate monitor then consider the Fitbit Alta HR or Charge 3.
- Stay consistent.
If you’re like most people, and you probably are, then you’ll get off to a great start! You’ll nail every workout and you’ll feel like you can achieve your goals in no time! Then you’ll miss a workout here or you’ll take it easy on a workout there and before you know it, you’ve lost steam and derailed your progress. No matter what your goal is, the best thing you can do to achieve it is to stay consistent. Consistent behavior is the number one predictor of your success, so even when motivation dwindles and challenges pile up, stay consistent with your home workouts and everything else you do to improve your health and fitness.
- Focus on nutrition.
The perfect home workout solution alone won’t get you to your goals whether you’re focused on weight loss, increased strengthen, or gaining mass. Your nutrition is always going to be the most important part of any health and fitness program, so don’t forget to focus on your nutrition. Not sure where to start? That’s okay! We were there once too. You can schedule a FREE 15-minute phone consultation with our certified nutritionist to find out more about our nutrition testing and coaching services to see if they’re right for you.
- Rest and recover.
Working out at home doesn’t mean you can go all out all the time! You’ll need to plan for rest and recovery just like any workout program you’d try in the gym. BeachBody on Demand programs can help by suggesting rest days for you or you can choose a day or two each week to do lighter activities, like a walk outside, yoga, or stretching and mobility work. If you find yourself sore or achy, then try a light warm up followed by work with foam rolling or mobility balls to help work out any muscle knots or soreness. Foam rollers and mobility balls are good quick alternatives when you can get a message on demand. And don’t forget to prioritize sleep! Make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep each day to allow your body to really recover from the work it’s performed.
- Track your progress.
Always track your progress. Be sure to get started with your baseline DEXA scan and repeat your DEXA on a schedule that makes sense for you and your goals. You’ll feel great when you see the changes you’ve made both inside and out. Learn more about how Fit3D along with DEXA can help you track your progress like you never have before!
However you choose to workout at home, make sure to make it fun and keep it interesting. Have a tip or idea for making home workouts great? Share it in the comments below!