Updated: Jan 31
Over the past few months, most gyms in the United States have been closed due to the global pandemic and social distancing policies. But if we're being totally honest some of us had gym memberships before the pandemic that we weren't really using anyway. Finding the time and the motivation to go to the gym, especially after a busy day at work, took a lot of will power and self-motivation. Some people actually enjoy going to the gym; kudos to you if you fall in that category! Others, like me need a little bit more motivation to get ourselves to the gym and exercising. While I do appreciate the benefits of working-out and how it makes me feel both physically and mentally, that does not always translate into action. I have always believed that even if you are unable to get the gym, doing a little bit of physical activity/exercise at home is better than doing nothing.
The benefits of exercising are undeniable. Exercising is about developing healthy habits for improved cardiovascular health, disease prevention and stress reduction but other benefits (i.e., burning calories and fat, maintaining lean muscle mass, and fitting into that dress for a special occasion or just feeling great about yourself) can serve as great motivations as well. Exercising is not only about losing weight and being any particular size, but it's about being your best healthy self. Yet, despite all of the known benefits of exercising it’s hard to stay motivated. I always feel great after a workout; I have more energy and reduced stress so the choice should be easy, but why is it still so hard to get to the gym? How do I stay motivated about this part of my wellness journey? I am constantly looking for ways to keep myself motivated about working-out and staying fit and healthy.
While I have been working from home over the last few months, and not going to the gym, snacking and baking more, I realized I needed to do something quick to get back on track with my fitness goals. I decided to invest in my health and purchased an exercise bike last month. I went with a recumbent bike because I love the comfy seat so I can do my cardio workout while reading or flipping through a magazine. The next question was where are we going to set-up the bike? I knew I wanted the bike somewhere easily accessible and in a comfortable space that I would want to spend time in. We thought about the basement, but until we do a full and complete renovation down there I knew I wouldn't have the desire to work-out in the basement. We decided to set-up the bike on corner-side of the home office. So far, I think it was a good decision to put it there.
For now, my home gym consists of the bike, set of dumbbells (8 and 3 pounds), resistance band and a yoga mat, and I feel this is enough to keep me motivated on my fitness goals. In thinking about creating a home gym, it's all about having a comfortable designated space for you to stretch, work-up a sweat and burn a few calories. You don't need a ton of equipment and some exercises you can do using your own bodyweight and a mat. It's nice that the office has two large windows which brings in a lot of sun light, and I can open up the windows for some fresh air during my early morning workouts---which I found has worked better for me rather than waiting to workout at the end of the work-day. If you have a bonus room in your house great, but if not, you don't need a ton of space to create a workout worthy atmosphere that will inspire you to achieve your wellness and fitness goals. You can pretty much use your living room if you don't have a designated space in your home. And when I need a little bit more structure and guidance, I follow-along one of those quick work-out routines on YouTube. Recently, I discovered MadFit on YouTube, and I love her exercise routines--even if I struggle at times to keep up. There are so many inspiring fitness trainers and influencers out there so find one you love and follow-along their workouts based on the type of exercise or body part you want to work on. Sharing some pics of my home workout space below.
I have already started feeling better by getting on the bike a few times a week for at least a
30 minutes cardio workout session. I am not a fitness expert, but I recognize the value of exercising to maintain a healthy lifestyle and good health so I am very excited about this aspect of my wellness journey. What are you doing to stay active and get some exercise these days? Do you have a home gym and can share design tips and home exercise ideas? I don't know if I am going back to the gym any time soon so I am grateful for my little cozy home workout space.