How to work out at home for physical and mental results
Like pretty much everyone, you’ve swapped the gym for your backyard, living room or garage. Welcome to social distancing, 2020, right?
While you might not be able to recreate your exact gym routine at home, there’s a lot you CAN do for a fun, fulfilling and effective workout at home, even without all the weights and machines you’d find in your local gym.
Or perhaps you’re using self-isolation as a time to kick off a new workout routine?
Physical activity can support your mental health during these uncertain times and also form part of a healthy daily routine, crucial to maintain when your regular routine has significantly changed. “Physical activity improves mood and well-being and reduces stress and anxiety,” Dori Rosenberg, PhD, affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health told Travel & Leisure.
“You can also use exercise as a way to organise your day,” Dr Rosenberg says. “Our daily lives can be more stressful when we don’t have a schedule, and exercise can be an anchor.”
Whatever your choice, there’s plenty you can do to set yourself up for success while working out at home.
Here’s how to get the most out of your home workouts. And if you’re still looking for the perfect program to keep you physically fit and boost your mentality while at home, we’ve got some suggestions at the end of this blog.
Get motivated to work out at home
Get motivated to work out at home For many people, walking through the doors of the gym sets their workout headspace. The music, the lockers, scoping out the machines you want to use and if your usual workout buddies (or gym “extras” in your workout) are there.
At home, you need to create your own headspace for your own motivation.
Consider roping in your friends or family for a bit of online competition – rather than support. According to Psychology Today healthy competition “appears to trigger a ratcheting-up of physical activity levels that creates an upward spiral within an entire peer group”, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania. “Within a competitive framework, each person's activity raises the bar for everyone else and creates a contagious chain reaction marked by increased levels of physical activity for the entire group.”
But it’s competition, not support via social networking which is the key. Apparently, if you’re social networking without the competition, it can be demotivating, and if just one person in a “supportive group” drops out, it can give the rest of the group a subliminal message that it’s okay to take the foot off the accelerator, too.
Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to dedicate a room of your house or your garage to being a full-time workout set up, factor in setting up and packing down your area before and after your workouts.
Assess what equipment you’ll need for your workout – for a pure Tabata workout you may only need a mat for floor work, other programs will call for adjustable dumbbells, resistance bands, a chair or a skipping rope – find it and lay it all out. Don’t get caught out needing to run back inside to find a piece of equipment. The fewer obstacles you have, the better. It sounds simple but it works.
Find some music to get your reps up – check out DJ sets on Soundcloud for some longer mixes – and get ready to go.