For many of us, the “new normal” means we regularly sleep, eat, work, and now exercise from home. Say goodbye to early morning pilates at the gym.
Some of us have moved our gym memberships into our homes with dumbbells, kettlebells, and gym equipment standing next to the TV or couch. Early-morning squats, lunges, push-ups, and burpees in the dining room is now as normal as the sit-down family dinner around the table.
Getting fit at home can include high-intensity training, bodyweight training, cardio activities, and a host of other sporting options, but with the gym membership or personal trainer out the window, how else can we get fit at home?
Renowned cultural analyst Faith Popcorn once predicted that ”cocooning” will become the new trend. Little did she realise that this would be imposed upon us by a pandemic rather than just through our own devices. Covid has not only caused a radical change to our lifestyles but also presented us with a conundrum: How do we look after our physical and mental wellbeing and then maintain our wellness when our space, privacy, resources, and facilities have been restricted?
Working, learning and exercising effectively from home certainly does present its own set of challenges, especially for beginners.
Dr Matt le Roux shares his advice on the topic as a Chiropractic specialist, sports enthusiast and wellness coach.
Let’s start with the question: How to get fit at home?
Generally speaking we can combine some of the home-workout activities into complementing groups that can help you determine how much space you may need:
Equipment & Accessories:
There are many get-fit items available at your favourite online store that can kickstart your home workout. Home gym equipment can safely include dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, pull-up bars, jump ropes, gym mats and gym balls. These items can typically help you include strength training and muscle-building into your fitness routine where you can isolate glutes, calves, biceps, triceps, and other body muscle groups.
A fantastic and low-cost alternative to getting fit at home is using your own body weight, movement, and flexibility to reach your fitness goals. You would be amazed at the results you can achieve by combining squats, lunges, push-ups, burpees, sit-ups, mountain climbers, and jumping jacks into your home workouts. Your fitness levels will increase substantially, with positive contributions to your cardiovascular system and heart rate.
A few Google searches will open a world of home-workout options for you, with easy to follow bodyweight workouts to help you get fit and stay fit. Besides popular Apple and Android apps that focus on home-workouts, you can also stay fit by browsing Youtube and Instagram, with thousands of accounts, channels, and pages dedicated to getting fit at home.
Next, your workout space needs to accommodate your workout routine and fitness needs, and you’ll need to consider the following factors:
- Size of your home and possible/potential exercise spaces
- Competing interests and needs of other members of the family
- Times available for personal training
- Budget available for equipment and accessories
Try to combine a mixture of high-intensity and low-intensity workouts into your fitness routine. Many people get the best exercise from high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Stay hydrated, make sure to warm up, cool down, and stretch. Keep things exciting, challenging, and achievable. The last thing you want to do is set an impossible expectation for yourself, especially when taking on the get-fit-at-home challenge for the first time. Remember to focus on upper body and lower body exercises. You can build muscle, increase your fitness level, and achieve your fitness goals with an effective home workout.
Every successful journey starts with the decision to “GO”! In the same way, your wellness journey starts with a number of decisions you need to make to help you develop a regular health and fitness routine with planned pre-set patterns and outcomes. What are these decisions?
- The first thing to do is to make the decision to START your own home fitness regime. Getting the mindset right is the essential starting block;
- Decide on the TYPE of exercises you want to do;
- Decide how much SPACE you need at your home;
- Decide the best LOCATION for your setup (whether plain exercise or using gym equipment, or a combination);
- Decide if you need GYM EQUIPMENT, and if so, what gym equipment, and of course, your budget;
- Decide on the best TIME of day and frequency to focus on your wellness training;
- Set yourself a GOAL – for example, either your weight, your muscle tone, your general health, or a combination of these. Remember to set a measurable target and a realistic timeframe to achieve it.
As with any sport or activity, be careful and conscious of what your body is telling you. If you suspect any injury, don’t know which options may be safest for you, or perhaps would prefer a professional opinion on your journey to getting fit, Dr Matt le Roux suggests that Chiropractic care can help you stay on top of your game, improve your quality of life, and decrease overall pain that may be associated with physical activities.