You wish to get fit but the issue is you don’t want to join a gym. It can become too expensive or there’s no gym near you, or maybe you’re just the independent type. In another scenario you may already be a gym member, but your schedule has been too manic for you to get away.
Many people may not agree with this but even with no props or machines, you can build muscles and burn calories. For a starter, you can take a brisk walk, and then do some abdominal exercises and maybe push-ups. An effective fitness have five basic components, these can very easily be done at home.
- Warm up exercises
- A cardiovascular (aerobic) workout.
- Resistance (strength-building) exercises.
- Flexibility moves.
- A cool down at the end.
A warm-up exercise could be simply an easy walk outside or getting on a treadmill, or even a slow pace on a stationary bike. However, for the cardiovascular portion, walk or pedal faster, doing step aerobics with along with a video, or jump rope, basically whatever you enjoy that gets your heart rate up.
The resistance portion on the other hand can be as simple as push-ups, squats and abdominal crunches. You can even work with small dumbbells, a weight bar, bands or tubing. Furthermore, you can increase your flexibility with yoga poses or floor stretches. Finally, your cool down should be similar to the warm up, that is, do the cardiovascular work at a low level in order to bring the heart rate down to a resting state.
You can further do strength work in the same workout as your aerobic work, or even split them up. Just make sure to warm up and cool down every time you exercise as they are the most important components of a healthy workout.
Once you have a grip on the basic five components, you can now work towards increasing the intensity of your workout. You can incorporate this by simply choosing a harder program for 25 minutes and really push your stamina. You can opt for the hilly walk in your neighborhood, or start jogging instead of walking.
You can even increase the pace of your strength workout by doing compound exercises, the ones that work more than one muscle group at a time.
You could do squats (with or without weights) that help in working the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, and calves. Push-ups on the other hand involve the pectorals, deltoids, biceps, triceps and even abdominals and the upper back.
If you’re not the create-your-own workout type of a person then there are various fitness videos offering everything from belly dancing to kickboxing to Pilates. You can easily find them on youtube and other online forums on the web, even local bookstores. Just make sure to choose the one that’s appropriate for your fitness level.
Working out at home has its obvious advantages and some disadvantages. Obstacles or disadvantages may include distractions from the cellphone,
kids, pets (if any), the Internet and even the refrigerator can derail a workout. When you’re at home, it’s pretty easy to find something else that needs to be done.
The best way to stay motivated and avoid distractions according to experts is to start exercising early in the day. It’s more likely that morning exercisers tend to stick with their workouts.
Tips for home exercisers
Many experts offer some tips for home exercisers:
- Firstly, challenge yourself and most importantly avoid boredom. At home, you won’t have the majority of equipment and classes that are always available at a gym. So you need to surf the Internet and browse fitness magazines to stay updated regarding new workouts and please make sure you’re exercising correctly.
- If you can, you may as well find an exercise partner. This way you will not be able to find excuses when you’ve arranged to work out with a friend.
- You should always schedule your workouts, that is, “Have a plan”. You can look at a planner and write out your exercise appointments maybe one month in advance. If something comes up and you have to change one, reschedule it immediately.
- Make sure to use a journal to track your progress and note down any breakthroughs you may have. When you have a bad day, note that down too, to help you to find patterns you can break. For instance, you may find an egg-white omelet gets you through your morning workout better.
- You should set goals, such as, training for a race or losing 20 to 30 pounds. You could even give yourself mini-rewards along the way: those workout tights you’ve been eyeing on lately, or a new pair of sneakers.
- The most important tip is to make exercise as integral to your life as sleeping and eating. You need to think of it as a lifestyle change that should not end. Get out of the mindset that exercise is something you’re only going to do for a period of time only.