If you’ve been following my fitness journey, in recent months, you will know that I cancelled my gym membership in October of last year and have struggled to settle into a new exercise routine. I miss the trainers and classes at my old gym. And, since moving, I haven’t been able to find a local gym that I connect with. So I’ve been doing a lot more exercise from home.
That’s obviously great from a financial perspective, because I no longer have a monthly gym membership. But my motivation comes in waves, and sometimes it’s been a challenge to push myself hard enough.
Over time I’ve managed to stop beating myself up so much, however. And I’ve noticed a few things do make exercising from home more enjoyable – and more effective. So here are my top tips for getting the most out of your at-home workouts…
1. INVEST IN SOME BASIC EQUIPMENT
The first thing I did after cancelling my gym membership was log onto Amazon and order some basic fitness equipment to help with at-home workouts. I didn’t get anything fancy, just a set of resistance bands, a pair of dumbbells, and a kettle bell (which, to be honest, I rarely use).
All together it cost about £40, and was definitely a worthwhile investment as it has helped me bring the gym experience into my home. I achieve more of a burn when I incorporate weights and resistance bands into my at-home workouts. And it also allows me to perform a wider variety of exercises. (Trust me, without variety exercising from home gets VERY boring, VERY quickly).
2. SET MANAGEABLE GOALS
At the time of cancelling my gym membership I was in the best shape of my life. So I assumed I’d continue to be as fit and committed to working out. Unsurprisingly, that did not turn out to be the case. And I realise now it was naive of me to expect I’d get the same results working out without a trainer.
It took a while, but eventually I came to accept that I’m just in a season of my life where working out to the extent that I did before isn’t possible. And I probably will return to that level of fitness again in the near future. But, for the moment my goal is to remain as active as possible. Instead of beating myself up and setting unrealistic targets, I now work to manageable goals – like doing 20-30 minutes or exercise three times a week.
So think about what is manageable and realistic for you, at this moment in time. And just focus on that.
3. MAKE IT ENJOYABLE
Along with setting more realistic targets, I’ve also gone to great lengths to make exercise from home more enjoyable. So instead of slogging through exercises I dislike, whilst counting down every second, I now only ever do workouts that I’m in the mood for. And 9 times out of 10 that’s yoga.
If I’m dreading a workout it becomes even harder to motivate myself. And I’ll usually invent an excuse to stop after 10 minutes. Eventually I realised there was no point fighting with myself, and decided to just focus on fitness that brings me joy and puts me in a positive headspace.
4. FIND A VIRTUAL TRAINER
One of the main disadvantages to exercising from home is that there’s no one there to witness you slacking off, or challenge you to work a bit harder. And sometimes you really need that extra push!
So I think a “virtual trainer” can be incredibly valuable. They will help bring variety to your workouts, and give you a boost of motivation.
There are loads of great fitness apps you could try – from Fiit and Aaptiv to Freeletics Bodyweight – and YouTube also has loads of great at-home workout videos. I love Yoga With Adriene on YouTube, and Mimi Ikonn also has a selection of easy-to-follow fitness routines (I like her Bigger Booty and Toned Legs video).
Do you also exercise from home a lot? What are your top tips for getting the most out our your short workouts? Leave a comment below to have your say…
Style Notes: Top and leggings both from Lululemon
Photos by Lydia Collins