10 Tips To Be Consistent With At-home Workout

A lot of us skipping the gym and working out at home has become part of the new normal, but exercising regularly is a challenge in itself. It has become even more important to find your fitness motivation.
wellness . 12 min read
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Woman doing yoga in a small living room.
Photo by Tim Samuel from Pexels

We’ve all been there. We know we need to exercise, we might even want to, but we just can’t seem to find the will to commit. Maybe it’s getting winded walking up the stairs. Maybe it’s the numbers on the scale slowly creeping up or an eye-opening conversation with a doctor.

While the pandemic has run rampant throughout the world, among other things, working out at home is a new trend. Things are slowly starting to open back up, but gyms are only offering so much. It’s still not safe enough to attend group fitness classes like we used to and for those in high-risk categories, it’s likely not safe to visit the gym at all.

There have been a number of challenges to contend with in keeping a regular workout routine. Despite having the time, it was hard for me to get motivated. I tried getting on the machines at the gym when they re-opened, but it just wasn’t the same as being in class with an instructor.

Even with masks being breathable, with all the out-of-shape huffing and puffing that I was doing, I could barely catch my breath while trying to do more than a minute of running on the treadmill. I knew I had to find a better way. 

Here are 10 tips to help stay consistent with home workouts:

1. Plan to reward yourself for exercising

You would think that the health benefits of regular exercise would be enough to maintain a consistent fitness routine, but they’re not. If exercise seems like a chore plan to reward yourself and grant yourself that reward only if you actually exercise. This should help with any trouble you’re having getting started because you can’t get to that inevitable reward if you don’t exercise first. 

The key is to think about your guilty pleasures, likely part of the reason you’re not exercising at home in the first place. Put these guilty pleasures in an if/then scenario. If I exercise for 30 minutes, 3 days this week, then I can binge-watch a Netflix series on Saturday.

The best thing about this reward is it can be anything you want. An extravagance of some kind, a shopping trip, or even something as simple as a midday nap. For me, it’s wine, a small charcuterie plate, and the aforementioned TV binge. Working to earn this kind of indulgence leaves me with a sense of accomplishment.

2. Keep a fitness journal

You will not see the results of consistent exercise instantly and that will make it easy to get discouraged or even give up. A fitness journal is where you’ll set and monitor goals. It allows you to keep track of what you are doing each day to gives you something to look back on to see how far you’ve come. That way, when you can’t yet see or feel the results of your physical efforts, you’ll know they haven’t been for naught. 

Figure out how you want to do it, whether it’s putting everything down on paper or using an app, and make your first note today. If you already use a daily calendar, you can also just write Exercise on every single day of the week and then log what you do or cross it off once it’s done for the day. You can keep it simple by tracking activity every day or more detailed with a daily weigh-in and calorie count.

If you’re working from your home and thus, spending the majority of your time there, it’s easy to lose track of your days. They all just seem to run together endlessly. A fitness journal is something you can check often to ensure you’re accomplishing what you set out to when you need to. 

3. Make exercise a daily priority

Knowing exercise should be part of your daily routine and making exercise part of your daily routine are two different things. Think about the first thing you do every morning as soon as you get up. At some point that thing became something you didn’t have to think about doing or plan to do, you just get up and get it done, day in and day out. With enough practice, exercise can become second nature like this too.

When trying to exercise at home, it’s very easy to get caught up in other things, and before you know it the entire day has passed. With this in mind, set a reminder on your phone, and don’t dismiss the reminder until you are about to start your sweat sesh.   

Remember that even a short workout is worth it. Eventually, you’ll be so used to exercising each day that it will seem as natural as that first thing you do every morning. Maybe it will even be that first thing you do every morning. 

4. Focus on the benefits that come from consistent exercise

There are so many benefits that come from working out on a regular basis. Of course, there are the obvious ones like controlling weight, combating disease, and lowering the risk of death. It can improve your mood, increase the amount of energy you have, and help you sleep. But did you know it can also boost your confidence? 

Attribute this to the look-good, feel-good mentality. And while you’re radiating confidence, take advantage of the boost that extra confidence can give your sex drive.

5. Get the equipment you need to work out at home

One of the barriers to exercising at home is not having the right equipment and space limitations do have to be considered. If larger, which also typically means more costly, equipment isn’t a real option, grab some smaller items instead. If you prefer to be on a machine and do have some money to splurge, fold-away gym equipment works great in small spaces.

Maybe you prefer a workout with some weights. Maybe you don’t have carpeted floors so getting down for yoga or a post-workout stretch doesn’t feel great. If you’ve come to find that you are the type of person whose will to exercise lies in having the right tools available, then gift yourself the things you need – weights, mat, resistance band, step platform – whatever it is that fits your workout style.

You may not need anything at all, but if you like the idea of having some of the amenities that you would get when attending a class, don’t hesitate to buy them. They may even increase the likelihood that you’ll exercise at home since you made an investment in the purchase.

6. Use YouYube Videos for an in-class fitness experience

The offerings of the internet are endless and some of us need that person-to-person motivation which makes taking a recorded class on YouTube a fantastic idea. Craving real-time encouragement is why things like Peloton and MIRROR home gym are so popular.

You’re getting that in-class experience from the comfort of your own home. However, these are pretty pricey options and if you don’t have the benefit of disposable income to cover the initial costs and the recurring monthly membership fees, then YouTube is a great place to meet this need.

The two classes I keep going back to right now are 30- Minute No-Equipment Cardio Kickboxing Workout from Eliza Shirazi and 30-Minute Dance and Cardio Kickboxing Workout with Joseph D. Each workout offers something different, but the end result is the same – sweat and a sense of triumph.

They offer lower intensity modifications as I build my stamina and even if I can’t keep up on a particular day, I still let the videos play while I do what I can or make my own modifications all while basking in the inspiration coming from the instructor on screen.

Instructor-led class, not your thing? When I’m not in the mood to follow along with an instructor-led video, I still prefer to exercise in front of the TV. This gives you the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – catch up on your shows and exercise at the same time. 

This method really pays off when you’re trying to hit certain goals with toning exercises. For example, if your target for the day is 100 squats and 100 crunches, put on your favorite show or a movie and get to work. TV not your thing? Listening to an audiobook or playing music videos could work to the same effect.

7. Make exercise fun at home

All too often we forget to enjoy ourselves. Even though working toward a consistent exercise routine can be daunting, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. One of the things I miss most about the class is the instructors who helped everybody have a good time. 

However, it can be hard to have fun at home alone. Luckily I have my dog to keep me company. Because we had an enormous amount of snow dumped on us last month, I shoveled some pathways in it for him to run through. The shoveling alone was enough to get me sweating and chasing each other through the paths was some pretty good cardio. There are lots of laughs too!

If you don’t live with someone who would be a good partner in building a consistent exercise regimen, look for a virtual buddy or buddies who share this goal. Try finding a friend whose also missing her fitness motivation or look into joining an online community.

Whichever you choose, it gives you the opportunity to set realistic goals and have someone to hold you accountable as well as send messages to check progress or share inspiration. You could even plan to play the same YouTube video at the same time so it’s like you’re in class together!  

8. Practice self-discipline by identifying your distractions

Being at home is a distraction in and of itself. There’s always something else to be done. It could be a regular chore like doing dishes or laundry. It could be a task like sorting through junk mail or finally cleaning out the medicine cabinet. It could be kids, big or small, who needed to be entertained or helped along with e-learning. 

Our homes are full of distractions. Think about those most likely to cause you to skip a workout. 

If your distraction is task-related, create a schedule for yourself. In a perfect world, maybe one day all of our chores and tasks will be done, but in reality, there is always going to be something else to do. There’s no point in stressing yourself to get to the bottom of the to-do list. 

If you’re helping a child with remote learning, plan to get exercise in before school starts for the day, even if it’s just 30 minutes or a walk around the block. After school works too as the release that comes from a good workout can help you decompress after a stressful day. 

 As for babies, check out the chart below for some great exercises you can do with them, literally. 

Exercises to do with your baby
Image Source: Nourish Move Love | Home Workouts

9. Avoid comparing yourself to others

Everybody’s bodies are different and everybody’s lives are different. Comparing yourself to anybody else is a dangerous game. The progress someone else makes compared to your own could be based on factors you know nothing about. 

Feeling like somebody else is doing better than you can leave you feeling dispirited. It can also cause you to give up because you feel like you’ll never be as good as the person to whom you are making the comparison. While having a workout buddy or group you check in with regularly can be good to keep you motivated, don’t get discouraged if someone else is reaching their goals faster than you reach yours. 

And don’t let yourself get caught up in what you see on social media. Posts are well crafted to give off whatever message the user chooses to convey. Remember, those things we see on social aren’t always what they seem so try not to get too lost in what others are sharing.

Stay focused on yourself and being better than you were the day before.

10. Don’t feel guilty about taking a break when you need it

The need for rest is one thing that is easy to neglect. It seems normal to never slow down. To “play through the pain”. Your body needs time to recover, especially as you increase the intensity of your workouts. Make sure you aren’t doing too much too fast. 

You’ll also want to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed trying to take on too many responsibilities. Make it a priority to find balance. Being at home, your list of things to do is probably endless so just the notion of adding daily exercise to your routine can seem challenging. There is only so much time in a day so prioritize what needs to be done and what can wait.

Prepare yourself. There will come a time or a day when you just aren’t going to get anything done. Whether it’s because you’ve been moving and doing non-stop or because the new season of Bridgerton is out and you need to binge, take the break and get back to exercising tomorrow.

I’ll be the first to admit that keeping up with regular exercise is a habit of mine that comes and goes. So many things happen that can throw us off routine and before we know it, it hurts just to bend over in a forward fold.

I remember a time when I couldn’t imaging not getting a few classes in each week. After almost a year in quarantine and a scant amount of workouts to show for that time, I had to get moving again even if exercising at home was my only option. Hopefully, this list helps you to be active at home too!

wellness . 12 min read
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Aspiring content marketer, writing to soothe my soul. Lover of dogs, fiction novels, and a good TV binge.

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