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I can't help but notice all of the "lose weight fast" gimmicks with a new year in our midst. I can assure you that no skinny tea, collagen shot, or detox diet will give you the results you want. The diet industry makes money off of us by keeping us wanting more. If those quick tricks worked, they wouldn't try and sell you another one. I was in a great gym routine before the pandemic, and that quickly changed when gyms closed down. While my gym has re-opened, I haven't personally felt ready to return. I've spent the past several months trying to master the at-home workout schedule so I could keep up my progress. Working out at home is a great way to save time and money while bettering yourself. Here are my top tips and favorite workouts to follow at home.
1. Make It A Part Of Your Daily Routine
I will admit, I love the accountability of a gym. My gym friends would keep me in check by scheduling workouts together, and at my gym, you weren't allowed to show up to a group fitness class late - which left no room for last-minute procrastination. You HAD to be there on time. At home, schedules are a little more flexible, which leaves room for skipping your workout. My favorite time to work out is in the morning, so immediately after I drink my coffee, I change and go workout. It's easier for me to "just get it over with" and then start my workday. Keep yourself accountable with an accountability partner, or sign up for live workout classes on apps like Peloton or Tone It Up, or compete in step challenges with your friends for extra accountability.
2. Find What You Like
This might be easier said than done, but once you find a style of workouts you love, you're more likely to stick with it. Exercise should be fun and challenging, not torture. I personally love barre, walking, and resistance training. I would never force myself to run, bike, or power lift because I don't find those activities enjoyable. It might take a little trial and error, but I promise it's worth it.
3. Have The Right Equipment
Once you find what you love, ensure success with appropriate equipment. You don't have to install an entire home gym, but have a small area where you can either keep workout equipment or have room to work out - this can be in a garage or spare bedroom. I have a set of dumbbells ranging from 3-12 lbs., an exercise mat, ankle weights, and resistance bands. I store them all in a closet and pull them out each morning. You can find reasonably priced equipment from Amazon or Target.
4. Make It A No-Brainer
You're more likely to stick to something when it's easy and laid out for you. I will always order take-out when I don't have a meal or ingredients planned, and I will always skip my workout if I have to search through YouTube for 30 minutes to find a good workout. I suggest finding YouTube accounts or fitness apps you love and sticking to their programs. If you like mixing up your workouts, I suggest planning out a week's worth of workouts on Sunday, so you're prepared for the week. It could look like:
Monday: 45-minute walk
Tuesday: upper body weights + abs
Wednesday: leg day (weights)
Thursday: total body barre
5. Dress for Success
This might seem a little vain, but I'm 100% more excited to work out when I have on a cute outfit, even though no one will see me. It's easy to work out in old clothes or even your pajamas at home, but I know that I'm that much more motivated when I change into a cute workout set. On the other hand, leaving your exercise clothes out the night before or changing into them first thing in the morning is a push in the right motivated direction.
6. Don't Overthink It
I believe that things come easiest when they aren't stressful. I try to apply that to working out as well. Trying to do splits, which could be triceps/chest, hamstrings/abs, biceps/shoulders, is too much work for me to make sure I hit all the muscle groups. Sometimes I'm too busy to carve out an entire hour to workout, so I'll take the dog on a walk and make work calls simultaneously. Throw on a pair of ankle weights while you tidy the house, and boom… you have a quick workout.
Some Suggestions To Get Your Workout On
Here are some workout accounts or apps I've tried and loved for various reasons:
Couch to 5K: Perfect for beginners who are wanting to start running. You start by alternating running and walking over the course of several weeks until you can run over three miles straight. The app guides you through each run three times a week.
Caroline Girvan: I love her YouTube videos for weight training. You focus on lifting heavy for 30-45 seconds with breaks in-between. I've recently been doing her EPIC program. It's 10 weeks of workouts planned out for you. Easy peasy. The lifting part is another story.
Tone It Up App: They have a wide variety of workouts on-demand from barre, kickboxing, yoga, and toning workouts. They also have programs you can sign up for, and your workouts are planned out for you. You can also choose to join a live workout for extra accountability.
The Body Project: I love their YouTube videos for cardio. I am not a burpees person, and I love that most of their cardio workouts are all done standing, so it's low impact. I finish each workout dripping in sweat without compromising my joints. They also give advanced and modified versions of the moves shown. They have videos of varying lengths and for different skill levels, so there is something for everyone.