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Working out at home

I HAVE not been to the gym for a year already. And it shows. This morning, I had a hard time putting on my socks and my usual walk from the parking to the office has left me panting (a bit) and a bit lightheaded (or maybe it was the mask and shield). At any rate, as much as I would like to go to the gym, I am still anxious about the pandemic.

I bought a suspension weight training equipment and a pair of dumb bells but they have been left untouched and gathering dust somewhere in the house. I was reminded I bought them when I was cleaning house recently and looking for things to give away. It also made me think of re-starting a home workout routine I failed to consistently do a month after the lockdown. But with the way things are going with my waistline, a home workout seems to be the best option for the meantime.

Before starting any exercise routine, however, check in with your doctor to know which exercises are good for you and which ones to avoid. This is important even if you do not feel anything wrong. Chances are, being home-based and having limited physical activity for the past year might have changed your health. Go see your doctor before doing any strenuous exercise. Your doctor might even recommend an exercise routine that best suits your current health status.

Starting a home workout is fairly easy. The key is consistency and the will power to push through, which is always easier said than done. But when I think about it, a home workout is better than going to a gym. You are in the privacy of your own house and you can pace yourself and what you can do. You can even teleconsult with a physical fitness professional on what exercises work best for you and they can even monitor your form while you are doing the routine. This way, you do not need to go out unnecessarily where the chances of getting infected with the virus is high.

You will also have the flexibility in what you want to do—music you want to play, what you want to wear, even choose the equipment you want to use. No more waiting for an equipment to be available when you want to use it, and you do not need to wipe down used ones or even be surprised with funny smells from the equipment. Doing your workout at home will ensure you get to do your workouts your way.

One of the obvious advantages of home workouts is the savings you get from not having to pay a regular gym membership. This goes a long way when you consider how much you spend in a year for gym membership and sometimes burdensome lock-in periods. Not to mention the expenses in going to and from the gym which, when added up, can actually also be a significant amount.

There are several exercises which do not require any equipment—like lunges, squats, push-ups and planking, to name a few. Just make sure you are doing the proper form to maximize the effects of the exercise and avoid injury. You can either ask a family member to check your posture, or you can use a mirror. Using body weight can help you strengthen your muscles and develop balance and flexibility. But if you want to workout and have fun at the same time, you can try dancing with family members and just let the beat make you move however you want. Nobody is looking anyway.

Investing in exercise equipment is also cost-effective in the long run because you can always choose machines that fit your space and suit your needs.  You can use free weights like dumb bells, resistance bands, and multifunctional exercise machine. Of course, it will become financially difficult if you constantly want to upgrade your equipment, so plan carefully what exercise machine you will buy.

Doing home workouts also helps you save time—time going to and from the gym. When going to the gym, you need to prepare your bag and plan what you will wear after working out and the things you will need during workout. You also have to take shower and fix your things before going home and even spend some time doing small talk with other people. All of these things take time and, when added up, are also significant. Not to mention the added time in traffic and unexpected delays.

Another added benefit of doing home workouts is being able to fit your workout to your schedule. You do not need to file for a schedule in your gym and adjust to their schedule. You get to exercise when you can.

You can even do your exercise in between breaks. I came across a kinesthetic classroom where students have noiseless pedals attached to the footrest of their desks. They can then pedal silently while listening to the teacher. You can do the same if you have a stationary bike or free weights, especially during listening in sessions. You can also do your routine in between meetings or even block off a time where you can do your exercise without anybody interrupting.

One thing that you need to consider in home workouts is the need for variety and the need to change the routines to maintain and prolong interest in the exercises. If something is done repetitively, it has the tendency to become boring. You can try other exercise routines like yoga, Pilates, or any other workout that interests you. This will ensure you get to enjoy your workout and prevent monotony.

Doing home workouts is a great way to save time and money and at the same time ensure that you are safe, and you have the freedom to do the exercises you want in the privacy and security of your own home. I have yet to start my home workout routine. But I am pretty sure the suspension weight training equipment and the pair of dumb bells I saw the other week will be put to good use. 

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Article and Photo originally posted by Business Mirror last February 24, 2021 and written by Carlo Atienza.

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