There is no better time than the present to make the most out of your at home workout regime. If you find yourself with an abundance of time on your hands, you can manage your emotional and physical well-being with a daily commitment to physical fitness.
There is no way to cheat your way to optimal physical wellness, but there are ways you can ensure your success getting there—AND staying there.
Don’t Forget the Golden Rule
Warm up! It can be easy to forget that at home workouts are subject to the same rules as workouts under other circumstances. When you participate in a group class, a training session, or are just accustomed to working out in the company of competitive gym rats, it’s easy to designate working out as something that only happens under “special” conditions in your mind.
However, if your body is used to warming up before participating in strenuous physical activity, you will want to maintain that practice even in social isolation. While it’s fine—and even encouraged!–to switch up your standard routine, you want your body to be primed and ready to take on its new challenge.
But You Can Break Some Rules, Sometimes
The fastest way to sour on a new addition to your lifestyle is to make it completely inflexible. It is hard to create habits! Still, if it’s a habit worth making, you must be committed to the long haul—and it will be long.
Cut yourself some slack when you are first adjusting. You may find yourself lacking in motivation after the initial thrill fades, and you can take a break when you are feeling frustrated or burnt out. Don’t let a lapse discourage you, however: taking a break does not mean that your entire workout regime is derailed! You can always push it back a day or two.
If you are not sure about what sort of workout regime you want to commit to for the long run, try incorporating more variety into your routine. Keep a regular, consistent workout schedule, but experiment with a different discipline of fitness each time you work out.
For instance, if you are a body builder, try a targeted workout from pilates to substitute your usual leg day. For those of us who are partial to yoga, try strength training with free weights during your practice. Making use of the wide spectrum of available workouts will keep things interesting—and your muscles on their toes! You might find that your perfect chest workout comes from a completely unexpected place.
Just make sure to listen to your body. You might think jazzercise can’t compete with your usual HIIT training at the gym, but you should give every workout a fair shake and the respect it deserves. Safety is the name of the game, and you don’t want to overexert yourself or your muscles!
Invest in the Right Places
If you are a natural born yogi or a pilates fiend, you might be able to go without expensive equipment. But some of us gym rats are going to have a more difficult time adjusting to physical fitness routines in the home. Home gym equipment doesn’t run cheap, though sometimes it can be more cost-effective in the long run. (Of course, this necessitates that you use it regularly enough to warrant the purchase, so you have to know if you like the machine before you take the plunge.)
Before you turn your study into a fitness center, decked out to be a gym rat’s fantasy, start small. Invest in tiny workout pieces and take note of how often you find yourself wishing for more complex equipment. If you find your workout is lacking over time, feel free to go bigger.
Maintain a Routine
Routines are very helpful in stressful times, much like our own. They help your brain process information more clearly and keep a sense of normalcy in a life otherwise teeming with “what if’s?”.
Fortunately, it is never too late to start a routine if you don’t already have one, and there is no time like the present! And this extends beyond creating a workout routine. Your life, whether working or just isolating, at home should be structured, even where it normally might not be. Set a regular bedtime and wake-time. Eat at regular intervals. Keep a schedule.
(But also give yourself a cheat day.)
Get Enough Sleep
All good workout enthusiasts know the importance of a good night’s sleep. It appears that the relationship between sleep and physical activity is bidirectional. This means that, just as exercise contributes to good sleep, good sleep patterns contribute to fruitful participation in exercise.
All that means is: get enough sleep on the regular, so those gains don’t go to waste!