With 2020 behind and KNOWING we will probably still be at home more for a while, it’s time to find new ways to stay active in Northern Virginia!
Working out at home has a lot of advantages compared to visiting a gym. You cut down on driving, you skip the long lines, and you control the playlist. Plus, regardless of the weather, you can remain warm and dry. And, let’s not even mention the fact that COVID has closed or limited many local gyms and exercise facilities anyway.
Maybe the only thing that would make staying home even more rewarding would be making your exercise sessions extra effective.
Try these suggestions for creating and using a home gym that will help you to become slimmer and fitter in less time.
How to Design an Effective Home Gym:
- Designate a space. Being able to set aside an entire room may be ideal, but you can make any layout work. If you’re short on space, arrange a gym in one corner of your basement or studio apartment. You can even put your equipment out of sight when you’re done.
- Clear away distractions. Make it easier to concentrate by storing work materials and children’s toys elsewhere. Turn your phone off if you’re tempted to text.
- Stock up on equipment. There’s plenty of gear that you can pick up even on a tight budget. Maybe you want a deluxe treadmill or just some resistance bands and a yoga mat.
- Go online. For endless variety, use your phone or set up a monitor so you can watch fitness videos. Sign up for a CrossFit program or visit your library for free titles. YouTube, Amazon Prime, and even Netflix have exercises online that you can indulge in.
- At the end of last year, I visited with my friend Robyn on the many benefits of yoga. You can check her out here: https://www.mindfulnessyogawithrobyn.com/
- Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MindfulnessYogaWithRobyn/
- Or watch our video: https://youtu.be/2ZgwkYkEF2w
How to Use Your Home Gym:
- Focus on whole-body movements. Compared to exercises that target single muscles, compound movements are more efficient. You may want to spend more time doing push-ups instead of bicep curls.
- Be comprehensive. Train for strength, heart health, flexibility, and balance. Vary your workouts instead of sticking to just the exercises that you like.
- Try interval training. You may have seen studies that show that interval training increases the benefits of exercising. To get started, alternate between high-intensity activities and less demanding movements. Gradually make your workouts more challenging by increasing the intensity, pace, or resistance.
- Find a buddy. When you workout with a friend, you can share feedback, encouragement, and laughs. Invite a neighbor or coworker to join you. You can even “Zoom” to workout together if need be.
- Set goals. It’s common to reach a plateau after you’ve been working out for a while. If you want to stay motivated or keep making gains, give yourself targets to strive for. You might decide to work out for at least 30 minutes at least 3 days a week or take an inch off your waist within 30 days.
- Track your progress. Once you establish goals, you can measure them. Keep a journal about your workouts and performance. Reward yourself when you reach each milestone.
- Have fun. Remember to have a good time. If you love training with kettlebells or watching nature shows while you’re running on the treadmill, you’ll be more likely to stick to your workout program.
- Use good form. Protect yourself from injuries by doing exercises properly. If you’re a beginner, you may want to take a class or work with a trainer to receive the instructions you need.
- Rest up. Giving your body adequate time to recover will also help you to stay safe and strong. If you have no signs of overtraining like fatigue or persistent muscle soreness, you may prefer active rest like going for a gentle walk on your days off.
- Talk with your doctor. Discuss any individual concerns with your physician. That’s especially important if you’ve been sedentary or you’re trying to manage a chronic condition.
Enjoy the comforts of home while you maximize your workouts. A well-planned space and a balanced exercise program will help you to shape up faster than you expected.
Do you have a favorite online video or local place to get some exercise? Let us know about it.
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