You don’t have to go to the gym to get a great workout
Although fitness centers are now opening in some states, many more will be closed for at least a while longer. Even if the fitness centers near you are open, you may not feel quite comfortable frequenting one yet, and that’s OK.
Just because you’re not going to a gym or a fitness center, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on fitness! Anyone can get in a great workout from home. It presents different challenges than working out at the gym, but with a little know-how, you can be just as successful from home.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
#1. Get what you need
You can get in an effective workout with no equipment at all, but, depending on your goals and what you want to do, you may want to invest in a little bit of equipment to help you get started. Bodyweight exercises are awesome, but simple equipment, like dumbbells or free weights, can open up the possibilities even more.
Not sure you want to invest in workout equipment for your home? Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to traditional equipment that are already in your home:
- Chairs – Want to do tricep dips but don’t have a bench? A sturdy chair is a great alternative. You can also utilize a chair for incline pushups, side skaters, leg raises and more.
- Canned goods – Who needs free weights when you have a pair of soup cans?
- Wall – There are so many different exercises that you can do by using the wall, including wall sits, wall planks and more.
- Laundry detergent bottle – Have a full bottle of laundry detergent? Use it to build strength, like with soup cans. The handles make it easy to hold for your workout.
- Stairs – Who needs a stair stepper when you have the real thing? Walking or running up and down the stairs is a great way to get your heart pumping.
Some fitness centers are also offering equipment rentals, so you might be able to get some of your favorite equipment at home without having to actually buy it. It never hurts to call and ask!
#2. Put together a plan
Now that you have the right workout equipment (or the appropriate at-home alternatives), you need to put a plan in place! If you go into your workout without having a real idea of what you want to do or what you want to accomplish, you’ll end up wasting a lot of your time trying to figure it out.
Just like you would focus on certain muscle groups in a workout at the gym, you can do the same thing at home, alternating the muscle groups you focus on each day. This will help to ensure that you’re working out each area of the body. In addition to building strength, make sure to include cardiovascular exercises and exercises to improve flexibility and balance.
Don’t change up your workout routine too often. If you do, you probably won’t make much progress in it. Instead, stick to the same routine for a while, adding more weight or more repetitions each week or as you progress.
#3. Carve out time in your schedule
Some people find going to the gym easy because it’s a part of their regular routine. When you can get your workout in on your way to work, on your way home from work or even on your lunch break, it’s easy to fit it into your day.
With coronavirus, though, many of our typical routines have gone out the window. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t establish one at home, and when you do, make sure that you carve out some time for your workout.
If you’re anything like me, then you won’t do your workout unless you have time dedicated to it. By making it a part of your schedule, even if it’s just for 30 minutes, you’ll ensure that you make time for fitness each day.
#4. Find a buddy to keep you accountable
Staying motivated in any fitness routine is challenging enough as it is, especially when you’re first starting out and haven’t started to see any results yet. But, just like at the gym, having someone to hold you accountable can go a long way.
If you’re living with a spouse, partner or roommate, take the opportunity to challenge each other and hold each other accountable. You can even work out together, which will make it more fun and enjoyable for everyone.
But, you don’t have to live with someone in order to hold each other accountable. Find a friend who also wants to get in shape, and check-in with them every day via Zoom, Google Hangouts or even by text to keep each other motivated.
#5. Watch your form
One of the biggest challenges of working out on your own is watching your own form. That’s especially true for strength training exercises, like squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc. It’s easy to fall out of the right form, particularly if you try to lift more weight than you’re ready for.
The bad news is that performing exercises incorrectly could potentially result in an injury, which will only set you back in your fitness goals. At the very least, doing exercises wrong could make them less effective than they could be.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources available online to help you learn how to perform each exercise properly. And, to make sure that you’re sticking to the right form, it’s always a good idea to work out in front of a mirror when possible.
#6. Take advantage of online classes or training
Just because you may not be physically working out at your local fitness center, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of their offerings. Many fitness centers are offering online group fitness classes and personal training sessions.
Group fitness classes can be a fun way to try a new form of exercise, like yoga or Pilates, as well as to learn new moves and push yourself in new ways. And with online group classes, you can enjoy all of the benefits from your very own living room.
Many local personal trainers have also moved their offerings online. With online personal training, your personal trainer can guide you through curated workouts, help you dial in your nutrition and more, all without having to actually go to the gym.
If you’re looking for a fitness center or a gym near you, or you’re looking for an online consultation from a personal trainer or fitness class, start your search with Top Rated Local®.
At Top Rated Local, you can read a fitness center’s reviews from across the web, and you’ll get a quick glimpse of their overall online reputation with the Rating Score™ system, that you can quickly compare side by side with other local fitness centers in your area.
There’s a reason why Top Rated Local has become the go-to local business directory for people across the U.S. Find a fitness center near you today!
Originally published 5/15/20