Exercising at home is the best scenario if you have a busy lifestyle that does not lend itself to extra-curricular trips to the gym or fitness center membership fees. However, what if you are having problems squeezing exercise into your schedule or simply cannot muster enough motivation? Here’s some helpful strategies to follow for your home fitness plan.
Commit a Time to Exercise – Write it Down
Sometimes, the simple act of writing down times to exercise at home in your daily planner or calendar is enough to get started. Consider even setting it as an alert on your iPhone, BlackBerry or other smartphone. If you always exercise at a specific time of day, it’ll start to become habitual.
Treat it as an appointment that you are committed to make. Even if it is just 15 minute blocks of time, every bit of physical activity counts. If you are consistent in “meeting” your exercise appointments, it will become a habit. You might want to create a chart so you can visually track your progress too. There is just something about visually seeing your exercise times checked off that provides a feeling of satisfaction. There are great web apps and smartphone apps that help you track calories burned and this can be a great incentive!
Multi-Tasking While Exercising at Home
Do you record your favourite television shows to watch later? Instead of snuggling in bed or on the couch, try exercising while you watch them. There are a number of workout options that would allow you to multi-task in this way such as floor exercises, walking on the treadmill or working on an elliptical trainer.
You can incorporate a number of exercise moves while you go about your normal daily routine at home as well. For instance, while washing dishes or stirring a pot at the stove, you can do toe raises. When vacuuming, sweeping the floor or simply walking from one room to the other, you can perform lunges to stretch and tone your leg muscles. This exercise can even be performed when mowing the grass! Standing in line? Tighten your core for counts of five or so, too. Every bit adds up!
The Right Tools and the Right Space for Fitness
Sometimes, creating a special space for exercising at home can be just what you need to get on the fitness track. Of course, your fitness goals and the equipment needed to accomplish them can directly tie into the space you choose in your home to exercise. If you don’t have a lot of space, choose equipment that can easily be stowed away in a closet or under a bed. An exercise ball, floor mat, resistance bands, free weights and an aerobic step are just a few tools of the trade that are easy to store.
If you want to invest in certain pieces of equipment like a treadmill, cross trainer or weight bench, determine how much space you need and choose an appropriate place in your home. It could be a home office, family room, garage or even a guest room. What you should not do is put your workout equipment in your bedroom as that could subconsciously prevent you from getting a proper night’s sleep.
The important thing to remember when creating your fitness goals is to set them realistically. If you cannot stand lifting weights to burn calories and trim fat, don’t do it. Instead, choose physical activities that appeal to you. Whether it is yoga on a floor mat or dancing to an instructional DVD or using an Xbox Kinect, PS3 Move, or Wii to help you get fit, exercising at home is the most important thing you can do for your health.