We all know that exercise is good for us but hectic days, expensive gym fees and general life often get in the way.
No matter what your level of fitness, exercising from home is the easiest, most affordable and most efficient way to stay fit.
Why Exercise at Home?
There is no end to the benefits of pursuing your health and fitness goals from the comfort of your own home!
Here are just a handful of benefits you’ll experience…
1. Save Money
Seriously! No gym fees, fuel costs or the need for fancy workout clothes!
Need help with living healthy on a budget?
Our On A Budget Series will provide you with some invaluable tips to stay healthy and save money!
2. Save Time
There’s no need to drive anywhere, sign in, drive all the way home because you forgot your ID, wait for equipment, change clothes repeatedly, or wait for a shower in the locker room.
You’ll save so much time that, for once in your life, you’ll have some to spare!
For more healthy living ideas on limited time check out our Time Saving Series.
3. Open All Hours
That’s right, your home workouts can be squeezed in to suit your lifestyle; during an ad break, while dinner is cooking, while the tea steeps or late at night when the rest of the family are asleep.
When you work out at home, anytime is fitness time!
Being at home means you get to be you and you get to be comfortable.
There’s no need to struggle with headphones when you can play your music as loud as you want.
Your makeup doesn’t have to be done, hair perfected or clothes matching because it’s just you in the comfort of your home.
Put on an exercise DVD to give you that extra motivation and drive.
You can find a range of exercise DVD’s to suit your needs here: Exercise DVD’s.
There are all sorts of options depending on your age, gender, time available, interests, goals, etc.
The programme that has passed the “friends and family test” is Shaun T’s Insanity Workout which comes with a nutritional manual, calendar, fitness guide, fit test tracker and 10 workout DVD’s; although, this is aimed towards more physically able individuals!
5. Family Fun
Working out together is a great way of bonding with your family.
It teaches young children the value of health and fitness as well as helps them feel included in grown-up activities.
Working out is also beneficial to couples!
Stay fit and pick up a new together-hobby all at once.
Check out our cheap dating ideas for a few dates involving exercise.
6. The Perfect Environment
Whether you like your music loud or soft, you get to create your perfect workout environment!
What gym lets you do that?
What’s Stopping You?
There is a myriad of things that can discourage us from exercising.
So many of these reasons disappear when you choose to exercise from home.
Even though we know the benefits of home workouts, there are still roadblocks that can stop us from starting our home exercise program.
Here are just a few potential problems you may face and what you can do about them…
There never seems to be enough time in our days and yet we still find time to watch our favourite programs and scroll through our social media feeds.
When you work out from home, there’s no reason why you can’t watch your favourite program while staying fit with some low-intensity mat work.
Shared bathroom? Someone else’s 10-minute shower just presented a perfect opportunity for 10 minutes of stretching!
When you work out from home, no amount of time is too small to squeeze in a workout.
The thought of having to make space for a workout can be enough to stop anyone from exercising at home.
You probably won’t need to move a single piece of furniture!
If you can roll out a yoga mat, you have the space!
What if you don’t?
Rearrange your furniture once, just slightly, so that there’s always room to roll out a yoga mat.
Just a few minutes of one-time furniture rearrangement will mean you are always ready for a workout.
If you need ideas on how to workout in an area the size of a yoga mat, scroll down to the “exercises” section of this article.
Home exercise equipment doesn’t have to be large or expensive for it to be effective.
In fact, there are hundreds upon hundreds of easy and effective exercises that don’t require any equipment at all.
But for those of you that enjoy working with exercise equipment, there are so many affordable and space saving options available.
These are great starter pieces for any home gym…
Yoga Mat – Recommended for anyone who works out from home, mats help in defining workout space, increasing comfort, as well as help to maintain cleanliness of the home (especially if exercises are done on rugs or carpet.)
Resistance Bands – Compact, affordable and an excellent alternative to heavy, bulky and expensive hand weights.
Exercise Ball – Exercise balls help to increase the effort and difficulty of body weight exercises as well as improve balance and core stability.
Don’t let yourself be the biggest thing stopping you from achieving your health and fitness goals!
The best thing to do is write a short list of things that are important to you (preferably six – one for each spoke of the WHEEL OF WELLBEING).
Then take action each day!
Just do it!
Whether you take action for 5 minutes, 15 minutes or an hour; just do something that relates to each goal every day.
You will be amazed by the progress you make!
When you do find yourself in a slump, seek support from outside sources such as family and friends, a motivational Instagram page, video instructors, books or motivational literature.
Kaisa Keranen (@Kaisafit), Joe Wicks (@thebodycoach) and Ron “Boss” Everline (@justtrain) are just a few individuals who post excellent workouts on Instagram that you can complete at home.
A favourite motivational source for the MHV team is Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual by Jocko Willink.
This book certainly passes the “friends and family test” for motivation!
Short, to the point and no prisoners taken!
Do something every day! No excuses!
At Home Exercises
Now that you know just how wonderful and easy it is to work out from home, take a look at the different ways you can exercise from your very own living room…
Flexibility and Mobility Exercises
Flexibility and mobility exercises are very important, especially if you have a sedentary job or lifestyle.
Basically, these exercises are essential in maintaining a good range of motion in your muscles and joints.
They’re generally very low impact – a great place to start for beginners or those of you returning to training.
Such workouts include…
- Basic stretching in addition to (often before and after) strength and cardio workouts
If you’re new to such exercise techniques, take a look at some of these ideas…
Cardio can be a little more difficult to manage from your yoga mat, but not impossible!
Popular home cardio workouts are usually rather explosive, so if you need something a little lighter on the muscles and joints, use underestimated movements like walking up and down the stairs, rolling, crawling, cleaning, playing with children, etc.
For more experienced exercisers, try these…
- Squat Kicks
- Jump Squats
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain Climbers
Whilst running and cycling are not indoor activities, they are still worth a mention because you can certainly do them within the vicinity of you home!
Utilising the outside areas around your home and in your neighbourhood, means you can expand your workout routine to activities such as running, cycling, skipping and agility exercises.
Here are a few excellent agility exercises for more advanced practitioners…
- Box Shuffles/Box Jumps
- High Knees
Anything that involves jumping and moving quickly pretty much qualifies!
Still need a little more guidance on home cardio workouts, this video from Joe Wicks will help (note, this is not necessarily a beginner workout, please pace yourself and work you way up to this level if you need to, also take a break mid-session if you need to)…
Strength exercises can be performed at different times throughout the day, varying sets and reps to cater for your time and ability.
To get the most out of your strength exercises squeeze those active muscles, keep a tight core and concentrate on the mind-muscle connection.
Don’t waste the burn! Enjoy it, thrive on it! It’s the feeling of you getting stronger!
Examples of strength exercises include…
- Plank and plank variations
- Lunges (standing or walking depending on space availability)
- Tricep dips (using a chair)
- Crunches and crunch variations
- Leg lifts
- Wall sits
- Calf Raises
Check out our video for a full body functional strength workout…
Now you know how to do it, where to do it and how to find that little bit of extra motivation it is time to put your knowledge into action!
Your personal gym is sitting right in front of you, take advantage of it and get fit!
Mix and match different types of exercises so your workout routine doesn’t get monotonous and to avoid overtraining any sore muscles.
For more information on techniques and simple exercise programs that will suit your home, take a look at the resources below: