You want to get in shape but really HATE going to the gym? No worries. There are lots of ways to exercise without the hassle and cost of a gym membership. You can even exercise at home and still get a great work out as long as you commit yourself.
Benefits of Working Out at Home
Working out at home is a great alternative for people who either hate going to the gym, or the cost or their busy lifestyle makes it difficult to fully utilize a gym membership.
One great benefit of course is that you do not have the expense of a gym membership which can be a lot depending on where you sign up. Not that they aren’t worth it, but for some, it simply doesn’t work.
Scheduling can be a hassle. If your life is packed with the hassles and stresses of managing your job, your children’s schedule, errands, school and other activities, fitting in time to go to the gym can be rough. Working out at home allows you to plan your exercise time on your terms rather than on a gym’s schedule. It gives you lots of flexibility to create your own time and routine without having to worry about whether or not the gym is packed (or even open).
Body image is a big challenge for many people and, if you are shy or insecure about your body, going to the gym can be challenging. At home, you can set up a quiet place and time where you can exercise and take good care of your body without feeling self-conscious about how you look. This decreases stress so you can enjoy your work out more.
Drawbacks of Working out at Home (and How to Overcome Them):
Motivation can be tough with home workouts. For one, there is something to be said about the value of supervision. You are naturally inclined to want to make a good impression so, if people are watching, you tend to work harder and are more likely to “do the right thing”. When at a gym, despite the fact that NO-ONE may be looking, you are still motivated by the possibility so you may work harder than you would at home when no one is there to see whether you completed your full workout or not.
Here are a few simple steps to help you stay motivated in your home workouts:
- Make a schedule and keep it
- Join an online fitness community or a live community that you can meet up with a couple times a month
- Create a support system with friends and family – let them know your goals and ask them to be your cheerleaders
- Set goals – small and big ones – to give you focus and remind you why you are doing all this
- Keep a log of your goals, fitness routines and achievements
- Reward yourself for achieving milestones and goals. Make it enticing so you really want to work for it.
There are some great apps and workout gear available that support your daily workout routine and overall health goals, too. Fitbit and the Apple Watch monitor your daily activity and help keep you accountable. Your phone has apps to do this a well, but they are slightly less reliable since you may not always have your phone physically attached to you.
There are thousands of workout apps available too. Fitstar and SWorkit have been rated among the top programs for providing you with a personalized routine and daily monitoring. It’s like having your own personal trainer right in your pocket! How’s that for motivation?
Distractions can be another challenge with home workouts. It is tough to make home a distraction free zone, not matter how hard you try. You may instruct your roommate, the children or your spouse that they are NOT to disturb you during your workout time, but do they actually listen? Maybe… if you’re lucky… And even if they do, you can easily be pulled by one of the thousand things on your to-do list that need your attention. Setting aside the time and sticking to it is a big challenge when working out at home.
Utilizing the motivational tips above will help with some of the distraction issues. Talk to you roommate or family about what you are doing and why. Let them know how important it is to you and ask them to support you by honoring your workout time, giving you space and time, and cheering you on. You could also invite your family to be part of your workout, too, making it a part of family bonding.
Get clear that your workout is a priority and deserves your attention and time – other things can wait. Scheduling a set time and honoring that time helps to reduce distraction as long as you have the mindset that, unless there is a true emergency, this is your top priority right now and everything else can wait. If you have the space, you can also set up a home gym or designated area for your workout so you can separate yourself from those things that will draw your attention.
Home Workout Programs and Tools
Home gym equipment can get expensive, so there may be an upfront cost if that is your workout preference. Otherwise, there are lots of inexpensive (or free) alternatives that give you a great workout. DVD programs and YouTube workouts are readily available and offer a wide variety of routines to target different muscle groups, mix it up with strength, resistance and cardio training, and keep things fresh and interesting.
You certainly do not want to waste a lot of money on DVD’s that you will never use. With the daunting number of home workout videos out there, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out which ones are right for you.
Think first about your personal goals – what do you want to accomplish with your exercise routine? Are you looking for a body builder physique, to tone and strengthen your body, to increase flexibility, or to simply shed a few pounds?
Second, think about what you actually ENJOY. Let’s face it, if you don’t like the workout, you are not going to do it. Exercise can be fun, and the more pleasurable it is for you, the more motivated you are going to be to get in there and do your workout.
Next, consider your body and what it can handle. Do you have any injuries or concerns that limit your ability to do certain types of exercise? What kind of shape is your body in now? How long has it been since you had a regular workout routine? Setting up a meeting with a Personal Trainer is a great way to get some insights in where to begin and what type of programs best sit your needs and goal.
Once you get clear, start shopping for programs that meet your personal goals. If you are looking for an extreme workout with hard core results, try Beach Body’s Insanity, P90X, or Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. Like to have a fun, high energy dance workout? You may want to try a Zumba DVD, or Jennifer Galardi’s “Dance of the Inches: Hip Hop Party” – or if you are into the classics, you can enjoy “Sweatin’ to the Oldies”. Love Yoga? You can get a wide range of workouts, from gentle to intense, so it is super versatile. Try Rodney Yee’s “Complete Yoga of Beginner’s” or “AM/PM Yoga”, or check out “Elements of Yoga: Air & Water with Tara Lee”. You can also get onto YouTube and set up a variety of favorite workouts to keep things fresh and fun.
Taking care of your body and meeting your daily or weekly exercise goals doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task. If the gym doesn’t work for you, no worries. Working out at home is a great alternative that can reduce some of the barriers you find with getting to the gym. Just get clear on what challenges you face in your home workout and take the necessary steps to eliminate or reduce them. It may take a little effort but with so many tools and resources available, it’s simpler than it seems. Also, here are some other ways to help lose belly fat.