Recently I was contacted by Carpetright and asked to share a few tips on keeping fit at home as part of the promotion campaign for their new range with House Beautiful.
I ummed and ahhed, because it sounds like an odd combination, fitness and carpets, but really it isn’t. I’m self employed and I work largely from home. I don’t belong to a gym and my workouts are done either outside or at home. My home space, and how I decorate and organise it, is influenced by how I’m going to use it, and making space to exercise is part of that.
Working out from home can require quite a lot of discipline, there are so many other things to distract you and reasons not to get started. It is a great option, however. Whether you stick to equipment free DVDs, have the space to install a full home gym, or like me are somewhere in the middle where you have limited amounts of workout equipment and space it means you can fit your workouts around your lifestyle, and save time without having to travel to and from a gym.
Today I thought I would share some advice on keeping fit if you can’t afford to, or don’t have time to go to a gym.
Make space for exercise in your home. If you don’t have to move furniture and equipment before you start you’re less likely to make excuses
If you have limited time and you have to spend 20 minutes making space on the floor to do your workout you’re not using your time effectively. Try and set aside a space in your home that is dedicated as a workout space. It doesn’t have to ONLY be dedicated to that, we don’t all have enough room for a home gym, but it’s the space where you have everything to hand and room to move. In my house it’s what’s technically the dining room, except we don’t have a dining table set up in there most of the time. It has a largeish open floor space and it’s where I keep equipment like hand weights, resistance bands and yoga mats close at hand so I can just grab them. I don’t need to move the dining table to one side, push chairs against the wall or anything, the space is just there, ready to get going.
Schedule your exercise like you would an appointment. Making a date with your dumbells makes it harder to put off till it’s too late
Whether you work from home all day like I do, or have to squeeze in a workout before you head off to work in the morning, scheduling it in your diary is the best way to ensure it actually happens. I’m a terrible one for saying “right, I’ll definitely do my workout on Wednesday” then I sit down to work for a few minutes in the morning, and then it’s lunch time, and then before I know it’s time for dinner, so I have to let my dinner go down first, right, and now it’s 9pm, I don’t want to get too hyped up before bed. A more specific appointment, like a lunch time work out at 12pm before you eat lunch, or a 6pm workout as soon as you get home and before you eat dinner will help keep you on track.
If you’re exercising at home, pick an activity that works for you and your space. Trying to find the space for lots of equipment in a studio flat could mean it ends up as a clothes dryer, try yoga or pilates instead
Considering your space is very important in keeping motivated. As with the first tip, if you have to move drying clothes off of the exercise bike every time you use it then it’s harder to find the time or inclination. If you’re trying to do a kettle bell workout but every time you swing it you knock over a priceless ornament then you’re probably going to give up pretty quick. If you’re dealing with a small space to workout in then consider workouts using hand weights or something like Yoga or Pilates where the movements are controlled and slow. If you’re in an upstairs flat you might want to steer clear of doing plyometrics at home, or anything with too much jumping up and down.
Consider how spaces in your home can work double duty as exercise equipment.
The back of a sofa or a low mantelpiece can be very handy to use as a barre for balance and stretches, if your stairs are spacious they can be handy to use for step work outs. Infrequently used door ways are perfect for putting a chin up bar in (mine is at the bottom of the stairs) If you have the luxury of redecorating your workout space then think about easy access but attractive storage for your workout equipment that you don’t want on permanent view. You can consider your flooring an important part of that as well. Laminate flooring is a great choice for areas you might want to work out, it’s hardwearing but attractive enough for days that you don’t want your dining room to look like a part time gym. In larger spaces a lush deep pile rug could fill a corner of the room where you could do floor work without putting down a yoga mat, or just collapse on it for a bit of comfort after a tough workout.
Do you have any tips for keeping motivated to work out at home?
This post is in collaboration with Carpetright and the new House Beautiful Collection. All amazing motivational tips are my own.