Home comforts

Want to try working out at home? Here are some top tips for how to get started – and stay motivated

Making time for regular exercise is essential to our overall health and wellbeing, but not everyone has the time to go to the gym or attend fitness classes. Fortunately there is a wide range of at-home workout videos now available online, via apps or DVDs.

“There are loads of benefits from working out at a gym,” says strength and conditioning coach Richard Tidmarsh (r4reach.com/). “But at home you’ve got the comfort of your environment, which can be essential for those returning to exercise for the first time in a while.”

“Working out at home is a fantastic option if you can master it,” adds Ian Male, head coach with Greenwich Training (facebook.com/groups/greenwichhealthyliving/). “It’s convenient, it’s cheap and no matter how busy you are you’ll always have time to squeeze in 10–15 minutes a few times a week. The tricky thing is sticking to it and staying motivated.”

Don’t complicate things
“Keep it simple and goal led,” says Richard. “Workouts should incorporate ways to improve joint mobility and key muscle activation followed by ways to improve your strength and cardiovascular fitness as you build up your fitness and ability.”

Keep it short
“Your workout doesn’t need to take forever – 20 minutes is all you need,” says Ian. “Plus, the “I don’t have time” excuse gets blown out of the water. Do supersets or circuits of exercises, allowing your legs to rest while you work your core and vice versa. This also means you’ll be working your cardiovascular and circulatory system, so a win-win!”

Avoid distractions
“One of the drawbacks to training at home is all the potential distractions,” says Ian. “Avoid this by switching your phone to airplane mode, turning the TV off and just putting a motivational playlist on. This will also help you switch off from any stresses and refocus for the remainder of the day – those emails and social media posts can wait!”

Raise the stakes
“One of the perils of working out at home is there is no one to drag you off that nice comfy sofa,” says Ian. “You need to get some skin in the game, and the best way of doing this is involving other people. Challenge a friend to commit to a certain number of workouts each week; maybe have a wager on who will be the first to skip a workout – they buy the drinks next time you go out! Another option is to write down what you’re going to commit to, why you need to do it, and a vision for how you’ll feel when you’ve achieved it, then stick it up on the fridge so you see it every day.”

Do what you enjoy
“You’re never going to enjoy every single workout, but if you hate every second you don’t stand a chance of sticking to it,” says Ian. “So find something you genuinely enjoy and build out your routine around that.”

Switch things up
“Be clear on what results you are looking to achieve before researching a training video,” says Richard, “but equally important, always ensure that you warm up. And switch it up. Doing the same work out every single day can become really boring, so switch it up occasionally to ensure the variety and fun keeps you motivated.”

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