Just when you feel like committing to a gym schedule and finally getting fit, a worldwide pandemic happens forcing you to quarantine and stay at home. If you’re in this situation, then you’re not alone. Thousands of people just collectively groaned when it was first announced that they shouldn’t frequent high-density areas such as gyms unless they want to be at risk.
But does this mean you should just give up on your fitness plan?
No, as a matter of fact, far from it.
Because exercising at home is a possibility. And before you yawn or feel like it’s too boring to work out at home, remember that it’s something that many health professionals recommend. Physical activity throughout this time is a great way to be in shape, stave off the cabin fever, and keep yourself busy. If you’re not particularly sure how to go about exercising at home, let’s take a look at what you can do to change that.
No Need for Free Weights
We can’t deny how convenient and effective free weights are. Ultimately, they’re the number one tool for muscle building and general fitness. But they’re not the only way to get fit. Have you ever asked yourself how humans stayed fit throughout history? Through calisthenics of course. Calisthenics, or bodyweight exercises, do just that: use your own bodyweight to make yourself stronger.
Traditional exercises such as pushups, squats, and pull-ups all fall under this category. But you’ll be surprised to find out that there’s a large movement community behind calisthenics. Resources for the various kinds of exercise for all skill levels are readily available on the internet, and all you basically need to get started is yourself. It’s a great starting point, especially if you’re a beginner.
Resistance Bands Instead of Free Weights
Alternatively, you can still opt for something similar to free weights if you so prefer. You might be more used to the motions involving dumbbells and barbells, and want to replicate the movement even at home. But the problem of size and storage comes into play: where are you going to store all that steel?
Fortunately, resistance bands offer the same resistance and weight, all while being able to fit inside a small bag. The motions are very similar too, albeit with more emphasis on controlled motions versus sudden jerks. Resistance bands make for a great investment, and if you’re just starting out, is also a great jump-off point into fitness.
Make Sure Your Room Has Circulation
Exercising involves a lot of strenuous activity that might leave you huffing and puffing. The last thing you want is to exercise in a dusty room where it’s hard to breathe. Before you begin your home fitness journey, make sure that all your air ducts are clean, all your vents are working, and you have adequate airflow.
Trust us, passing out from lack of oxygen is no joke. And even if you won’t be doing too arduous of exercises, the risk of oxygen deprivation is still high if you’re not in a well-ventilated area. Exercise with the windows open, not only will it let you breathe easier and feel cooler, but sunlight can also motivate you to continue.
Invest in Rubber Mats
The biggest benefit of training in a gym is the rubber flooring. It’s also one of the most overlooked parts: after all, you barely notice it. But during moments where you drop the weights or other training equipment, you don’t want a loud thud that’s distracting. Neither do you want the floor cracking. And this is what rubber mats are for: they provide a cushion for equipment, and also yourself.
Yes, if you really want your exercise sessions to be comfortable, a good rubber mat is crucial. You don’t have to cover your entire room with rubber flooring, you can start by using a yoga mat. Your lower back and tailbone will thank you when you’re doing crunches. If you do a lot of jumping and moving on your feet, martial arts puzzle mats are also a good investment, as it helps you keep a good grip on the ground, preventing slides and trips.
Don’t Force Yourself to It
And the last piece of advice is that you don’t have to be too hard on yourself. Slowly ease yourself into working out. Start by introducing smaller fitness activities in your life. Jog for five minutes a day. Add another five minutes during the next day. Maybe do twenty push-ups today and do twenty squats tomorrow.
Getting into working out can be intimidating, especially if you’re doing it alone in your home, but it can be safe and effective as long as you don’t rush yourself.