How to Start an At-Home Workout Routine
Almost 20 percent of professional jobs have shifted from in-person to remote, and that number is expected to keep rising. When giving up a commute to the office, many people might also be forgoing their regular trip to the gym. Not surprisingly, digital fitness is also on the rise. But working out at home can come with its challenges—especially for a fitness beginner. So, how do you make sure that the switch to virtual exercise is effective? With a little bit of planning you can make your at-home workout routine a success in no time.
8 Tips for Working Out at Home
Before you run out to buy dumbbells and new workout clothes, check out the below advice for creating and maintaining a successful home workout practice. You may find that all you really need is a little grit and determination.
1. Make Your Workout a Habit
One of the most effective ways to transform your health is by establishing a new behavior as a habit. Committing to exercising at the same time every day can help solidify your workout as something that is part of your daily routine. At first it might take a bit of perseverance to get yourself to stick to the same fitness schedule everyday, but eventually your workouts will become second nature.
2. Define Your “Why” for Working Out
Healthy habits are much easier to adopt when there is purpose behind them. Why do you want to start an at-home workout program? Find a reason behind your new workout routine that connects it to what means most to you—your core values. Core values can include things like family, integrity, freedom and leadership. No matter what your values, you’ll be more motivated to workout if you care about the end result.
3. Figure Out What Type of Exercise You Like
Exercise should be challenging but enjoyable, and with so many options there’s no reason not to find something that you like. Do you lose interest in longer classes? Try a high intensity workout that’s only 15 or 20 minutes. If it’s in the budget, consider one of the many pieces of home equipment that include virtual instructors. Heck, you can even just dance in the kitchen to your favorite music for 30 minutes a day. Find a workout that you love so you legitimately look forward to showing up to your at-home routine every day.
4. Find Exercises You Can Do at Home
Take inventory of what equipment you currently have. If you don’t have any, don’t let that stop you from exercising. You can easily do a full-body workout at home without it. In fact, some of the most effective exercises—like planking, burpees and pushups—are done without any props at all (and they are tough). Starting now with what you have is way better than waiting until conditions are perfect. You can also get creative and supplement equipment for items that you have around the house, like water jugs for weights or a bath towel for a mat.
5. Make a Realistic Workout Schedule
Consider your schedule and make a realistic plan to slot in your at-home workout. Think not only about when you usually have free time, but also when you have the most energy and motivation. If you’ve always had a difficult time exercising after work, try fitting it in in the morning or during a lunch break. If you know what days of the week are usually busiest, schedule those as your rest day
6. Create a Space for Working Out
Just like creating an office space makes working from home more effective, creating an area for exercise improves your home workouts. Devoting a spot just for exercise tells your brain “we’re here to move” anytime you enter it, which will help you click-in faster on those extra tired days. Lay out whatever equipment you have, plus a towel, water, and most importantly a good stereo.
7. Keep Yourself Accountable
One of the major challenges of sticking with a home workout is not having a teacher or community who will notice if you don’t show up. That’s why it’s important to build accountability into your at-home plan. Consider hiring an online coach, recruiting a friend to workout at the same time, or signing up for a live-stream class where the instructors can see you and keep you on the hook.
8. Don’t Give Up if You Miss a Day
When building a new habit into your schedule, persistence is imperative. It takes time to get in the routine of doing something—about 66 days on average, according to this 2010 study on habit forming. In the beginning it may be a struggle to make it to your mat consistently, but you must keep showing up. A good trick for those just-don’t-feel-like-it days is to tell yourself you’ll only workout for 10. Once your heart rate increases you might surprise yourself and keep going. If not, at least you stayed in the practice. Of course nobody is perfect, so if you do skip a workout don’t waste energy feeling guilty. Simply start again the next day.
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