Let’s face it, the challenge of staying active with the continued closure of recreational centres and gyms is tough. Perhaps we have done endless amounts of push-ups and/or sit-ups but no longer feel we are accomplishing our fitness goals. Although you may not be able to work out in your local gym, the good news is that you can do it in the comfort of your home.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Ironically, Kevin Steele, a Ph.D. exercise physiologist, encourages individuals to work out from home (Sarnataro, n.d.). He states that in this way, “people are more apt to adopt fitness as a lifestyle.”
Working out from home can be convenient, but it also has its challenges. The thought of working out at home by yourself can be difficult–I find myself feeling unmotivated some days. Some of us need motivation from a workout buddy to push and encourage us, or maybe the change in routine has left you feeling unsure of what to do.
Here are 3 ways to achieve success working out at home:
1. Set a specific time and place
Set a time and a place in the house where you know you can perform a workout and where there will be no distractions. Setting a specific time allows you to get in a new rhythm and routine that you will become accustomed to as time goes on. My advice would be to stay away from the area in your home where you like to relax–try keeping your workout space away from the television and your favourite chair! Proverbs 4:25 says, “look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Do not get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil”.
2. Set realistic goals
Another valuable step is to figure out how many days a week you can realistically work out. Whether it is two days or five days a week, set a goal and stick to it as best you can. Figure out what your fitness goals are and choose your workout accordingly. Setting realistic goals is important as this will keep you motivated and produce results quicker. Whether you are looking to stay active, gain muscle or lose weight, be sure to think of the goals you want to achieve before you start.
3. Stay accountable
Perhaps you can discuss various workouts or exercises with a friend and then keep one another accountable by either calling or texting and seeing how their workout went. With COVID-19 restricting our social life, we need to be creative in how we interact with others.
GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR HOME GYM EQUIPMENT
Before COVID-19, I had a preconceived notion that having a “proper” workout meant using the fitness equipment at my gym. This simply is not true. Initially, I went online and searched for gym equipment but quickly realized how expensive items cost. Instead, I began to think about different ways to work out at home using various things I already had around the house to maintain cardiovascular and muscular strength and endurance.
I started to get creative and realized I had a few empty one-gallon and five-gallon water jugs laying around the house. I have found these simple household items to be extremely useful, as you can add and subtract the amount of water for your desired weight.
You can invest in a few inexpensive items such as a kettlebell, microbands and resistance bands. And, of course, bodyweight exercises. These will all help to achieve the same effect as using workout machines at a gym.
Home Gym Workout Exercises
Water Jug Weights
Here are different exercises you can do with one-gallon and five-gallon water jugs:
- For arm workouts – single arm preacher curl, hammer curls, one arm concentration curl, two-arm curl, overhead tricep extension, tricep kickbacks
- For shoulders – overhead press, lateral raises, bent over lateral raise
- For back – single arm row
- For chest – valley press, one arm upward fly, bench press (laying on the floor), close grip press
- For legs – perform squats by bear-hugging a five-gallon water jug
Microbands and Resistance Bands
Here are some suggested exercises you can perform with microbands and resistance bands:
- For shoulders – front raises
- For back – bent over rows, deadlifts, reverse fly, stiff-legged deadlift, and lat pulldowns
- For chest – perform a fly either standing or laying down on the floor
- For legs – hamstring curls, leg extensions
When it comes to exercises you can perform with a kettlebell, the various leg and core workouts can include:
- single-leg Romanian deadlift
- kettlebell swing
- gladiator get-up
- pullover leg lowers
- seated figure eights
- two-arm overhead sit-up
Although this is my list, the ideas are endless as there are many other options. I would encourage you to be creative and look at other items in your house to use as well.
Stay Spiritually Fit
Now although working out is extremely beneficial to our physical and mental health, spending time with the Lord is far more superior.
Our homes are a great place for working out, but they are also meant for spending time with the Lord. With this continued pandemic we find ourselves in, let us choose to focus our gaze on God.
I know for myself, when I read or hear of depressing or saddening news related to COVID-19, my first instinct is to complete a workout. However, our first response should be to pray and spend time with God in his Word. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”