Amid the coronavirus pandemic, global measures to limit social activity may have brought about a few unexpected benefits. With most people being restricted to their homes, we have increasingly come to realize it’s possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle and commit to daily exercise even without going to the gym or heading to the outdoors in Utah. But, if you work out at home, you can miss out on certain benefits, such as having a coach or buddy who can monitor your form and motivate you, as well as the range of exercise options that make gym workouts more varied and interesting. Overcoming these challenges will help make your home workouts a sustainable habit. Here’s what you can do.
Find the right space
When engaging in any activity, you’ll benefit from increased focus, and exercise is no exception. It’s possible to roll out an exercise mat in the available space of your bedroom or living room, but maintaining focus and consistency can be more difficult when you’re surrounded by distractions, such as the TV and other devices, or comforts of the bed and furniture. On top of that, having to potentially clear out clutter or deal with the movement and activities of other people in the home can present an additional obstacle to getting into the groove of physical activity each day.
Identify the best space in the house where you can work out free from interruptions. Get creative — the garage can make a great home gym, especially if you don’t have a car or are parking it somewhere else in Salt Lake City. Tend to any necessary garage door repair, and you can easily transform this space into an accessible and useful fitness room.
Align goals, needs, and motivations
Accountability and social support can be a significant factor in cementing the habit of exercise for many people. This is why a good trainer at the gym provides constant motivation, and people often manage to consistently stick to any form of exercise that they can get into with friends or family. When you work out at home, it can be more difficult to commit to the habit of regular exercise since these factors are decreased or absent. Thus, it’s imperative to offset the lowered support by increasing the enjoyment you derive from exercise. Make a journal and reflect on your motivations to maintain fitness. Observe which muscle groups or forms of movement need to be strengthened or improved. Also, assess and realign your goals constantly so that you can avoid boredom, strain, and injury.
Bring variety to your practice
Contrary to the popular notion that targeted exercises are what you need — doing more crunches to develop the abs or curls for bigger biceps —, good fitness is a whole-body affair. You can achieve muscle hypertrophy by focusing on a specific area, but you won’t improve muscle definition or reduce body fat unless you also work out the rest of the body (and adhere to a healthy diet, too).
Deck out your home gym with any equipment necessary to allow a greater variety of exercises: foam rollers, stability balls, or a pull-up bar. Other touches can also be helpful. A mirror lets you observe and correct form, while improved lighting, windows, and indoor plants boost the mood and indoor air quality.
Working out at home can be the start of a great fitness habit. Use these tips to make your practice take a firm hold in your lifestyle.