Exercising during these times can be quite difficult. Due to the COVID-19 virus, many gyms and parks have been closed due to social distancing mandates and/or attempts to help “flatten the curve”. While many places around the world are opening as the phases progress, Gyms are among the last places to open. This is due to the combination of sweat and droplets with a warm, humid environment – the perfect place to catch disease. Now many people are trying and hoping to create their own version of the gym inside their own home! After doing some research to create MY own home gym, here are some tips and tricks that I follow to help me lead an active life in my own home!
Find your own space
Before you can do anything, you need to make sure you have a space in your house or apartment that can be dedicated to exercise. Although it’s not necessary, it can be very beneficial to have an area in your home where you can focus entirely on your physical activity. For example, if you have all your gear in your bedroom, you may only be able to focus on sleep and relaxation. While all of this is fun and important for becoming a healthier version of yourself, it might not be the best plan to try to be more active!
Discover your training goals
Like most things, it’s always good to embark on a project with a goal you can achieve. It gives you something to work for! For some people, especially those just starting out, a broad, non-specific goal may be better for you, like “I want to be stronger” or “I want to run more.” This helps to reach the initial vague goal more quickly and may even encourage you to set other, more specific ones, such as “I want to be able to lift X amount of weight.” Some of my goals are to be able to lift 75 pounds, run/walk a mile in ten minutes, and just train more often than not!
Start small – then grow
A mistake I often make while exercising is that I go very far. I spend more money than I should, exercise all the time, and never give my body time to rest. And like anything, going from not being active at all to being a gym rat can do a number on your body. But if you start small and succeed with it, it can encourage you to keep going and come up with even bigger plans, longer practice times, or even more complex equipment. So in the meantime, take small steps to become a more active you!
Come with your training plans
Before you jump into a workout, it will be much easier to go with a plan of what you want to do or what you want to accomplish for the day. Maybe one day you will focus on your core or your biceps or your legs! When I focus on strength training, I come into the workout with an idea of the type of exercises (weights, bands, etc.) and number of reps I plan to do. It not only helps me stay on track in general, but I feel much more focused when I have a checklist to follow.*
* This doesn’t mean the plan can’t change while you exercise – you know your body and what you can do in the moment!
Use things you already have at home
When setting up almost anything, many people get very excited about creating a new area of their home. They start online shopping, second-hand shopping…honestly, just general shopping! But what many don’t know is that you can find plenty of gym equipment replacements right in your home! For example, instead of a 10lb weight, you can use a 10lb bag of rice (then cook it for dinner that night!) or instead of buying a treadmill, you can walk or run around your neighborhood (if allowed.) While there’s nothing wrong with buying equipment, you can save a lot of money by using only the simplest things in your environment !
Save for quality equipment
Although I recommend trying to find things to use around the house, it can be very exciting to buy new things to use! Buying and installing your new treadmill or weight rack can be a lot of fun and may even inspire you to start using it right away! It gives you the atmosphere of a gym right in your own home. But make sure your gear is worth it! While the deals and savings may excite you, beware of faulty equipment that may be on sale. While the inexpensive elliptical might be fun for a few weeks, a more expensive elliptical can serve you and your home gym for many years to come!
Personalize it for you
Make sure your gym feels like a place where you can truly be yourself! As with any place, it feels more comfortable if you add your own Spicy to that. Maybe that means adding inspirational posters to keep you motivated! Or paint the walls (if available) your favorite color! Or even just organize your furniture in a way that relaxes you. For example, my training area has posters of my family’s favorite college football team – I’m pumped! Now… what’s that to you?
As things settle into a new norm of coronavirus norms around the world, many people are still hesitant to go to grocery stores, let alone the gym (myself included.) We had to completely transform our way of living our lives. But! There are still so many ways to be active, even in our own homes. Good luck renovating your new home to help boost your active lifestyle!