Determination is all you need to successfully exercise at home. The only difference between a gym work out and a home workout is that in the case of the latter, you use your own body weight instead of weights.
Before you begin your workout ascertain which part of your body needs the most attention. Alternatively, set yourself a balanced workout routine where your upper-body, core and lower-body are equally tested.
In order to feel good about your new workout and get consistent, break your workout into small chunks (10 minutes a day) over a week. This way you won’t feel demotivated when skipping out on a whole session. This applies to all kinds of workouts, and even other habits you’re trying to build.
Listen to your body and don’t be a robot about it because we aren’t. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to fitness, so don’t push yourself too hard or, do something that you don’t enjoy. Consistency and longevity are the most important thing, so take your time experimenting and I’m sure you’ll find your path.
There are a variety of things you can do apart from gym-ing, these include, at-home exercises, running, dancing, yoga, trekking and playing a sport.
Gym exercises at home
The first thing you should do before any kind of physical activity is stretch. Start by slowly rotating all your joints, for instance, the wrists, ankles, shoulders, neck etc and then stretch out all your muscles regardless if you’re working on those areas on that day or not. This will help make your muscle flexible and reduce the risk of injury.
After you’re done stretching, warm-up your muscles and get your heart rate up a little. Here, focus on the parts of the body you are planning on working out that day, it could even be a lighter version of the exercise you are planning on doing. For those of you who love taking walks, a brisk walk will also do the job or you could even put on a Zumba workout routine on youtube and dance away.
3-5 minutes of warm up is ample and now your body should be ready to take on some rigorous exercises. Do some jumping jacks or skip for a few minutes and then immediately switch to ‘jog in place’ to keep the heart rate up – this is key to get the most out of an aerobic exercise. If you do this, make sure you have a good pair of running shoes on so that you don’t strain your feet or put pressure on your knees.
Some days you can also go for step exercises, and do about 50 of them and repeat it a few times within your session, these are great for making your legs stronger. Dancing is one of the best ways to get your heart rate going; it just feels like heaps of fun and not like you’re exercising. It is also dynamic so you can switch up your dance moves by changing the songs you listen to, just keep the music upbeat for obvious reasons!
Next, move on to strength building exercises, for instance, push-ups, crunches, squats etc. If you’re like me and get bored repeating the same exercises then look online for variations. Pinterest is one of the best platforms to find a ton of different exercise charts. Use water bottles as dumbbells and practice various biceps and triceps building exercises, fat in the arms is harder to get rid of, especially as you get older so get started ASAP!
The penultimate step is another round of stretching, this time a little more intense. Try doing lunges or some yoga poses like child’s pose, downward dog or a spinal twist.
After an intense workout, it is essential to fuel your body so grab a protein shake or eat a high protein diet mixed with greens. Aim to increase the intensity of your workout every two weeks by doing an extra set or holding a stretch for a few more seconds.
Additionally, if you feel like you’re making headway with exercising at home, try out dumbbells, an exercise band, a fit ball or a push-up bar, whichever suits you. This equipment will enhance your workout plus a little retail therapy can be a great motivator.
Yoga is my workout of choice, not only can it reduce fat, it’s also very healing for the mind, body and soul. Here, breathing and concentration is the key, so make sure you get that right before perfecting the poses- usually your body aligns itself with practice anyway.
Start off with some Om chanting to help you get centered and focused on your workout. Do this by sitting with your legs crossed and palms facing the ceiling, shut your eyes keeping your head tilted slightly upwards and focus on the point between your eyebrows. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, recite ah-oh-mm slowly.
You will feel the “ah” in your belly, the ‘oh’ in your chest and the ‘mm’ in your head, do this at least 8-10 times. When you finish, rub your hands together to make them slightly warm and place them on your closed eyes for a few seconds and then you can open your eyes. This is healing for your brain and is incredibly refreshing, I feel re-energized just writing about it!
Moving on, practice at least 5- 10 Surya Namaskar, in a fast or slow motion, and pay attention to your breathing. A tip here is, when you are facing upwards or moving up in any manner, you are usually supposed to inhale and exhale when moving downwards or looking down.
After this, do 4-5 breaths in cat pose, you do this by sitting on all fours (like a cat) and arching your back in and out. End this practice by sitting in child’s pose for a few seconds. Don’t hesitate to look up poses online and practice them, to see what works for you and gives you the best stretch for any tightness you may be experiencing.
For a little more intensity, do a forward and side plank, at least twice on each side and the rest in vajrasana for about 3-4 minutes. Once you’ve regained some energy, practice some balancing poses like tree pose and try and hold it for as long as you can (on both legs). A tip to mastering tree pose is before taking your leg up, focus on a point and keep staring at it throughout the pose.
End the session with a few more Om chants and you’re done! Vary your session by adding any asanas you like. Again, keep in mind focus and breathing as that is the most important.
Author: Roxanne T