The Beginners Guide to Home Workouts
Having a positive mindset means thinking of solutions, not thinking of problems. If the last year has taught us anything, it is that life can present us with challenges at will. Some of these challenges may be minor, while some may be larger. They can come in all shapes and sizes, impacting us and the world in many different ways. The last year has also taught us that we are stronger and more adaptable than many believed, but we are nothing without our health.
f you want to start exercising, starting at home is a brilliant option. You can train in the comfort of your own bedroom, have everything you need nearby, and not have to worry about the gazes and thoughts of others. If you are new to training from home, here are a few tips that hopefully help you out!
When scrolling through social media, it is very easy to get overwhelmed. There is so much information available in the palm of your hand. Online, the fitness community is often shown as men with six packs, workouts that look overly complicated, and training equipment that not everyone has access to. But exercise doesn’t have to be extreme or complex.
For most of the world’s population, walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It can be done almost anywhere, it burns calories, it is easy on the joints… the list goes on. It is simple and effective. I have had clients lose 10+ pounds of bodyfat with walking being their only form of exercise.
When choosing exercises for your home workouts, keep it simple. Pick 5-10 exercises and do them 2-3 days per week. Quality beats quantity in exercise. 10 perfect push-ups are better than 100 awful ones.
You can also get a great workout done using just your bodyweight. You don’t need expensive gym equipment or complicated exercises. Squats, push-ups, planks, sit ups… you can definitely get fitter and healthier with just bodyweight exercises.
Keep It Fun-
When you think of exercise, what comes to mind? Sweat? Pain? Dread? It is common for people to think of exercise in a negative way. ‘No pain, no gain’… how many times have we heard that phrase? Fun fact: you can exercise without pain and actually enjoy it (who would have thought?)
Exercising at home, by yourself, in your room might get boring after a while. If something bores you, you’re probably not going to do it. One way that keeps exercise exciting is including other people/ having a workout partner.
If you have a partner, drag them off the sofa to workout with you for 20 minutes. Grab a family member and go for a walk. If you have kids, get them involved and I can guarantee their energy will have a good impact on you!
If something is fun and you enjoy it, you’ll probably do it again. Keep your training fun and have a laugh. Unless you’re a professional athlete, you don’t have to take your training all that serious. If running around the sitting room after your 5-year-old gets your heart rate up and gets you sweating, then do it! Laugh with them, make a game out of it, and have fun!
Most gyms have every piece of training equipment that we need. If they don’t have a specific machine, there is usually a substitute that comes close. Dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, squat racks… you name it, most gyms have them.
When people do their workouts at home, training equipment usually becomes limited. Gym equipment can be pricey and take up a sizeable amount of space. If you want to start training from home but have no equipment, don’t worry, you still have options. Gym equipment isn’t a requirement for exercise. When starting off, your body and your own bodyweight is all you need. If that starts to get boring, then it is time to get creative.
500ml, 1litre, and 2litre water bottles may not be dumbbells, but they’re weighted items you can hold in your hands and lift. A backpack full of books may not be a barbell with plates, but you can still do squats with it. You can fill up a bucket and do literal ‘farmer carries’! Bodyweight workouts are great, but without any equipment you are limited in what exercises you can do. For some people, this makes exercise and training boring. To combat this, think outside of the box. Get creative!
Build the habit-
I want you to think about what your bad habit is. For me, it is biting my nails. I do it all the time. Whether I’m anxious, relaxed, happy, or sad, I will bite my nails. We all have something, and we have probably been doing it for years. That action is engrained in us. We have done it thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of times. That habit has been built up over a long period of time. If I wanted to stop biting my nails from tomorrow and go cold turkey, I would probably find the first day or two easy. Maybe even the first week. But things would get harder over time, the urge would build, and I’d likely give in. I’ve spent so long building this habit, I would need to spend time breaking the habit down to stop.
If you have rarely exercised before, then you shouldn’t expect to start exercising 5-6 days per week. Just like if I stopped biting my nails and went cold turkey, you might train for 5 days the first week, but you probably won’t train at all the second week. The habit of exercising needs to be created first.
People often find themselves in the mindset of ‘if I’m not working at 100%, then I’m not working at all.’ These people fail to realise that even 1% is better than nothing. Exercising once per week is better than never exercising. Start at 1% and increase it over time. Build the habit and I can guarantee that you will be able to stay consistent with your training.
Help is Available
Aura Leisure has a range of recorded classes and home-workout videos created specifically for people doing home workouts. These workouts are based around using little to no equipment and are accessible to everyone no matter of fitness level. The social anxiety of using a gym doesn’t exist in your bedroom. All those fears of judgement that may have held you back before are gone.
There are so many ways that you can add enjoyment and fun into your home workouts, too. Doing burpees while trying to avoid landing on my dog is a challenge, but a fun challenge! Training with your kids can be a great bonding experience and teach them great values. If you are new to exercise, home workouts are a great option. Make them exciting, enjoy them, and have fun while doing them.
About the Author
A fully qualified personal trainer with awards in Strength & Conditioning, Kyle McGee is a strong advocate for keeping training plans simple and accessible. Working out of our DKIT Sport club in Dundalk, Kyle helps clients develop fitness routines tailored to their own personal goals. Follow Kyle on Instagram (@kmgperformance).