woman doing a yoga pose

Living the Fitness Lifestyle (in Your Home)

In these uncertain times, staying fit doesn’t mean going to the gym anymore. Thanks to the quarantine, people have started exercising more, while three in five Americans believe that home workouts are the future. If your new year’s resolution is to get fit and you want to begin your home workout journey, you might be wondering where you should start.

Set Up Your Home Gym

Think about how much space you need.

If you’re starting, you can do it with simple exercise equipment like a yoga mat, resistance band, jump rope, dumbbells, and a workout bench. With this kind of equipment, you’ll only need a little space. If you want to go a step further and get bigger workout machines like treadmills or ellipticals, you’ll want to allot more space for your home gym. This also depends on what kind of exercises you’ll be doing. If you’re taking a light yoga or pilates class, all you’ll need is space for your mat and space to stretch. You can even do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in a limited space.

Once you’ve figured out how much space you need, choose the best spot in your home to set up your home gym. This could be an unused room, basement, or even a garage! One of the most important things to consider when picking out a spot for your home gym is that your space should get plenty of light and proper air circulation. This will help you avoid getting tired easily or getting heatstroke.

For example, if you choose to set up your home gym in your garage, make sure that your garage doors are functioning correctly. If your workout space isn’t climate controlled and your garage doors fail, it’s going to be a hot and smelly mess. If it’s not working like it should, get it repaired so that you can air out your garage after a workout or open the door if it gets too stuffy.

Get rid of any distractions.

Workouts can feel like a chore at times, but making your space your happy place can be a big motivator for a good workout. Clear your space of clutter and anything else that shouldn’t be there, add an essential oil diffuser, and play your favorite workout music to get you in a good mood to exercise. Try putting up some motivational quotes on the wall or inspiring artwork to help you stay motivated and remind you of your goals. If you have any extra space, try setting up a mirror to help you watch your form and see your progress.

Aside from removing any clutter, try to keep all your equipment organized. Use a rack or storage box to store your equipment properly. This will give you a routine and help you put you in a better headspace before and after your workout.

woman doing a push up

Plan Your Workout Routine

When planning your workout routine, it’s important not to get ahead of yourself and only get equipment based on your lifestyle and the workouts you are realistically able to do.

The first step is to choose your workout. Do you want to do cardio, strength training, or a mix of both? This all depends on your end goal: if you want to reduce fat and body mass, cardio is the way to go. If you want to build some muscle and increase your metabolism, choose strength training. If you want to reap the benefits of both types of workouts, then incorporate different exercises from both.

After you’ve chosen the type of workout you’d like to do, choose 10 different exercises. For cardio exercises, focus on those that have different intensity levels. For example, you can alternate high-intensity exercises like jumping jacks or burpees with light exercises like marching in place. For strength training exercises, choose pushes, pulls, core movements, front-of-leg, and back-of-leg exercises.

Once you have your workout combo planned out, choose the length of each exercise. If you’re starting, do 10 to 30 seconds per exercise. If you’re more advanced, then do 60 to 90 seconds per exercise. Before each workout, you’ll have to do warm-up exercises to prevent injuries. Doing a proper warm-up can help your body prepare for the workout and perform well. After your workout, get your heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure back to normal by doing cooldown exercises.

Keep Yourself Accountable

Workouts can be challenging especially when you lack motivation. It’s important to keep yourself accountable when working out at home by scheduling your workouts. Jot down on your calendar when and what time you should be working out. Think of it as having a meeting with yourself, so remember to start and end on time. You can also use workout apps and join communities that help inspire you to get up and moving.

If you’re too lax with yourself, you can also ask family members to keep you accountable by putting something on the line (like having to wash dishes for a week if you don’t exercise). It’s also important to reward yourself and the progress you’re making for doing your workouts on time to keep you motivated.

Getting fit and staying fit isn’t easy, but if you set up your home gym in a way that works for you and routinely do your workouts, you’ll be able to keep that new year’s resolution and look good doing it.

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