May 25

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You Don’t Need to Go to the Gym to Live a Healthy, Fit Life


Covid has changed how we live, work and socialize. It has also changed how we work out and keep fit. Pre-Covid, it was part of most health-conscious people’s daily routine to hit the gym after work, or if you’re a morning person, head to the gym before work. 

With cities being in lockdown, most avid gym bunnies swapped working out at the gym for home workouts and have not looked back. Even when gyms began opening up, the benefits and convenience of working out at home far outweighed those of going to a commercial gym. Therefore,  many people chose to continue working out at home.

If you’re looking to start exercising and would like to get fit and healthy with out joining a gym, there are many options available. All you need to do is build a home gym and find an exercise type that you like.

Building a Home Gym

You might think that building out a home gym is expensive and requires a massive amount of space, but this isn’t the case. There are lots of options for building a home gym and a few things you must consider. 

Space

If you have an unused room or a garage, this is an ideal space. However,  you don’t need a whole room dedicated to a gym. You can set up a gym in an unused area of your home, like the corner of your living room or bedroom.

It’s advisable to find a space for your gym first before deciding on the equipment you need and the workout routine you will follow. There’s no point in selecting the gym equipment and workout routine if they are incompatible with your available space. 

Equipment

Once you’ve marked out your gym space, you can start to think about the equipment you need. It’s helpful to have at least one item for cardio, one for strength training, and one for recovery. These are some examples:

Cardio

  • Jump rope
  • Treadmill
  • Bike

If you have space and it’s within your budget, a treadmill or exercise bike is excellent for cardio. However, you can get a good cardio workout with a simple jump rope. If you’re looking to increase the intensity, you can buy a weighted jump rope. 

Strength Training

  • Dumbbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Cable machine
  • Bench

Like cardio machines, if you have space and extra cash for a cable machine and bench, these are fantastic for strength training. But a set of free weights like dumbbells can be just as effective if you have a tight budget. 

Recovery

  • Foam roller
  • Trigger point ball

Whether you’re into cardio or strength training, you must have something for recovery. Spending a few minutes on recovery exercises after your workout speeds up healing, reduces muscle pain, and enhances performance. 

    Get the latest exercise types, equipment reviews, fitness tips and exclusive offers to help you on your fitness journey.

    A yoga or fitness mat is beneficial. You can use it when doing high-impact exercises to protect your joints. It’s also great for doing floor work like crunches and stretches, especially if the floor is hard. 

    Types of Exercises You Can Do at Home

    Once you’ve got your dedicated space and equipment, you can choose what exercise you would like to do to help you achieve your fitness goals. There are loads of free exercise routines on Youtube to help you get started. Some of the most common training programs are:

    • HIIT
    • Strength training
    • yoga

    HIIT

    HIIT, High-Intensity Interval Training, has been gaining popularity among fitness enthusiasts for its effectiveness in making gains in a short timeframe. You can do a HIIT workout almost anywhere, with little to no equipment, and in a short space of time. It involves doing an intense exercise for a short time, alternating with a low-intensity activity.

    For example, the first exercise might involve cycling on a bike as fast as possible at a high resistance for 45 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of slow cycling at a low resistance. You would then move on to the next high-intensity exercise, followed by a low-intensity activity.

    You can choose a HIIT workout according to how much time you have, like a 15, 20, or 30 minutes HIIT workout, your fitness level, and whether or not you would like to use equipment like weights. 

    The number one benefit of HIIT workouts is that you can burn more calories in a short amount of time. It increases your metabolic rate, which remains high for hours after working out. It also helps you lose fat, gain muscle, and reduce blood pressure. 

    Strength Training

    Strength training, also called resistance or weight training, involves doing exercises to move your body against a type of resistance. You can use equipment like dumbbells or kettlebells and resistance machines, or if you don’t have any equipment, you can use your body weight. 

    Strength training builds muscle, reduces fat, increases energy levels, and boosts metabolism. Before starting a strength training workout, you must always warm up your muscles for about five to 10 minutes. Jog on the treadmill or on the spot, go for a brisk walk, or skip with your jump rope. 

    If you don’t have any equipment, an easy strength training routine can include lunges, pushups, planks, and squats. 

    Yoga

    If you’d like to do a low-impact workout that you can do at home, give yoga a try. There is no minimum number of poses or time that you need to dedicate, so if you’re an absolute beginner, start slow with three to five poses that should take five to 10 minutes. 

    Do each move slowly, taking care of your breathing. It’d help if you did yoga on an empty belly, so make sure you don’t plan to work out soon after a meal.

    Yoga benefits the mind, body, and soul. It improves balance, strength, and flexibility, relieves neck and back pain, and reduces stress. It’s also excellent at helping you relax and improving the quality of your sleep. 

    There are tons of free yoga classes online for different goals, so choose one that suits you, such as a nighttime yoga routine before going to bed,  to help you fall asleep quickly.