Please don’t see the title and immediately close the browser! It’s not going to be as bad as you think I swear. To be honest, I think working out at home is the WORST but sometimes it just has to be done. I don’t really want to pay for two gym memberships for when I’m home from university, but I hate the thought of all my hard work going to waste over the holidays. So, I’ve gathered together my best thoughts about working out at home, without completely hating it. Whether you’re a complete newbie, just taking a break from the gym or want a little something extra, there’s loads you can do without a gym.
The other day, I had an epiphany. YOGA! I know half of Instagram has already discovered this but bare with me, it’s story time first. Now, I was in the living room in my pyjamas still, feeling zen af. I got to the end of my Yoga tutorial (more on that later) and I was instructed to close my eyes and breathe as I stood. So there I am, in the middle of my living room, standing tall, breathing deeply, eyes closed until the tutorial comes to an end. I open my eyes and there is the window cleaner. Oh yes. And obviously, he couldn’t hear my yoga tutorial so to him I was just stood in my pyjamas with my eyes closed in my living room for no reason. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even recover well, I just kept straight eye contact and slowly backed out of the room. So tip number 1: Close the curtains before you start.
Anyway, back to the point. There’s tonnes of yoga tutorials online but my favourite is Yoga With Adriene, who you can find on YouTube (or click the link I’ve made on her name). She has a 30 Days of Yoga series you can follow to introduce yourself to yoga, and plenty of videos varying in skill level. Adriene is really encouraging, and there’s always options to adapt the poses and movements to your ability. Her yoga videos are the first ones I’ve actually felt working my muscles properly whilst relaxing me. I didn’t think it was possible to work my abs that hard and relax at the same time but there you go. Bonus, as I said, you can do it in your pyjamas and no one is there to look at you funny (apart from maybe the window cleaner) so there’s nothing to feel silly about.
If you’re more of the strength building kind (not that yoga doesn’t do that, it certainly does) there’s all sorts of things you can do just on your living room floor. I don’t generally like those 30 Day Squat Challenge things that you see on Pinterest as a long term habit, however, when you don’t have a gym for a little while they can be quite beneficial for maintaining what you’ve already got. Planks, press-ups, wall-sits and most ab exercises can also be done in the comfort of your own home using just the timer on your phone.
However, with all this strength building, some cardio needs to be done. I’m not going to lie I hate jogging, although I doubt that’s a controversial opinion. However, at home I have no other means of cardio so I’ve had to learn to like it. It’s best to start with a reasonable goal, like if you’re just starting out a ten minute run followed by some yoga and/or squats/press-ups/sit-ups/whatever is more than enough. Don’t challenge yourself to run up a huge hill for twenty minutes knowing you’re going to hate every second of it. If you hate the idea of it, you wont do it. Generally, running outside feels much more pleasant than a treadmill, and more rewarding, but if you really hate it there are ways around it. Star jumps, squat jumps and HIIT work outs all incorporate cardio and strength work and can be done in your living room. Win.
I’ve also been doing loads of walking at home with my dog. I’m fortunate to live in quite a nice scenic area, so I have plenty of hills to walk up which really works your glutes. The best thing about walking is it’s great for fat burning and toning, and if the weather’s good there’s plenty of time to catch a tan as you go. That may sound optimistic for Britain, but even the fresh air is great for your skin and gives you a much brighter complexion. I used think my parents were mental for going “pebble spotting” (my snarky name for scenic walks from 14 year old me, my parents don’t actually take part in the hobby of pebble spotting, in case you were confused) but I think they’re actually on to something. Walking really gets a 10/10 from me.
I suppose the hardest part of all of this is getting yourself going. Once I’m out for my run I really do start to almost not hate it (although, that’s mostly on the down-hill parts, but still… progress.) A quick YouTube or Google search can find you some great at home work outs for all kinds of abilities, and if you’re walking you can always gather up some friends to join you and take a picnic for the top of the hills. See, no gym necessary. Just remember to close your curtains so the window cleaner doesn’t think you’re possessed as you do your deep breathing exercises.