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Physical fitness, working-out, going to the gym – these can invoke a myriad of thoughts, feelings, and ideas in all of us. For me, embracing and integrating an active lifestyle has been an ongoing goal. I have made a firm commitment to exercise regularly, and to consciously integrate physical activity into my day.
Don’t get me wrong – I definitely have my bad days…or weeks, when I feel just too tired or unmotivated to work out. However, I strive to not let this go on for more than 3-4 days.
Once you start exercising, its only a matter of time before you realize the benefits. And no, I don’t just mean the differences you’ll notice in your body shape and size. I’m talking about the overall changes to your whole self.
Read until the end to find out my two best tips for working out at home, and my weekly exercise routine!
Here is what I love and value most about physical activity:
- You see what your body is capable of: There is nothing more exhilarating than feeling the aliveness of your body. When you engage in physical activity – in whatever way is best for you based on your abilities and fitness level – you will instantly feel your heart beat, your breathing get heavy, and your muscles ache! There is an indescribable mind-body connection from simply feeling your body WORK! And that muscle soreness the next day, I love it! It reminds you that you are ALIVE.
- Feeling stronger: Absolutely. Working out conditions your body, strengthens your cardiovascular system, and tones your muscles. Doesn’t it feel amazing when you can connect to your strength? Once you start making gains and you realize that everyday activities start becoming easier – you no longer are huffing and puffing after climbing one flight of stairs, carrying the grocery bags isn’t so straining anymore, vacuuming doesn’t tire you out like it used to – these are the practical benefits you’ll realize when you get stronger, and your energy increases.
- Boosts your energy and mood: So many times I have gone into a workout after a stressful day, and instantly after working out, I feel so much better. Blame it on all those feel-good hormones that are released! Not only that, but when you are engaged in a workout, often you’ll notice that all your thoughts, worries, and things to do, slip out of your mind. Working out actually requires so much focus from us, that we can at least temporarily forget the stresses of daily life, and focus on ourselves – in the moment!
11 reasons why I ditched the gym
For years I used to be a gym rat, spending anywhere from 1 -2 hours in the gym! No doubt, I absolutely loved it. Going to the gym was my favorite part of the day. I just couldn’t wait! It because an integral part of who I was.
As time went on though, with working a demanding full-time job, having a long commute every day, and other increasing responsibilities, I started struggling with hitting the gym like I used to.
All of a sudden, I was not as motivated. I didn’t want to spend so much time there. I didn’t want to have to wait to use the machines. I didn’t want to use the public showers. I didn’t want to be in a crowd. I knew I couldn’t keep going on like this. I was going to the gym less and less, and no longer feeling as good in myself. I started feeling more sluggish, weak, and out of shape.
I knew I had to find a way to integrate fitness back into my life. So, I made a shift to work out at home, and I have never gone back! If you are finding yourself in a similar situation, perhaps some of my reasons below for ditching the gym, and embracing working out at home instead, can help you decide what is best for YOU! For YOUR NATURE!
One of the most precious things we have is TIME! I didn’t have a gym that was close by. So after doing a full day of work, getting through the long commute home, it simply was taking a huge toll on my time to then drive to and from a gym. It was just hugely unmotivating to try and squeeze in some gym time in my already long and busy days.
Working out at home has been incredible when it comes to saving time! My normal routine consists of coming home from work, and then right away doing my workout. No need to drive to and from anywhere! On most days, I am getting in an effective workout in just 30 minutes. I don’t have to wait to use any particular exercise machine, I don’t have to search for a locker to use in the gym, and I don’t have to waste time awkwardly trying to change in the change-room.
2) I can be alone
For me, since I was going to the gym in the evenings, right after work, I’d be hitting the gym at its peak busy time. It because frustrating for me – and a waste of time – to have to wait for a machine, and just having to deal with a crowd, and so many busy bodies around. For me especially after a long day of work, I really just wanted that ME time. A time where I could just focus on my workout, not worry about others around me, and push myself harder in a private space at home.
3) No need to share dirty machines
I’m sure many of us have had the pleasure of accidently sitting into an exercise machine, only to notice that its damp. Or, waiting to use a machine, and realizing that the sweaty half-naked person who just used it before you, did not wipe off their sweat! This was a huge pet peeve for me. Fortunately, at home, I no longer have to worry about this.
4) More money in my pocket
While there are cheaper gym options out there these days, it’ s still a regularly recurring cost. Working out at home doesn’t cost you much, if anything at all!
5) Plenty of amazing workouts online
Some days I make up my own exercise routines. Other times, I enjoy having a workout pre-planned for me that I can follow along with. A simple search online will connect you with hundreds of fun and effective workouts – for your own fitness level and fitness goals.
You can also purchase effective workout DVDs including:
6) Minimal equipment required
I got myself a mat, and a few dumbbells, and sometimes I just use my body weight alone! While I used to be a big user of all the machines at the gym, I realized that those machines were not necessary. I can get a good functional work out from just having a mat and a free weights.
I have been using a Gaiam yoga mat for over 3 years now – and its still in excellent shape with excellent grip!
You can also check out this free weights set. It comes with a rack, too:
7) Breathing-in the fresh scents of nature rather than smelly sweat
Instead of running away on the treadmill, I have embraced jogging out doors! It has been amazing! I try jogging in local parks so I can get my nature in as well. A big bonus is that it also helps you soak in some vitamin D especially if you spend a lot of your time indoors. There are incredible benefits from spending time in nature – and combining that with your work out is a major bonus!
8) I can also just buy an elliptical
If you’re tight on space or live in an apartment building and don’t want to be jumping around and disrupting your neighbours, and on days that the weather outside is not agreeing with you for a jog, you can invest in a good quality elliptical. Overall, its still cheaper than going to the gym.
Personally, due to a shortage of space, and not wanting to job outdoors when its cold, I had been looking for an elliptical that is compact, lightweight, is simple (not super high-tech), and wouldn’t take a huge hit to my bank account. So after doing a lot of research, I got myself a Schwinn 411 Elliptical. Compact, simple, affordable, and effective! Its just what I was looking for!
9) I can shower in my own tub
I have never been comfortable using public showers. With working out at home, I can quickly and easily pop into my own shower and be COMFORTABLE. No worrying about other people around, no need to wait or rush, and no need to worry about forgetting your clean underwear or natural shampoo at home!
10) Its just as effective
A really pleasant surprise for me was that I didn’t need to use the gym equipment or spend copious amount of time in the gym. I have been able to maintain my level of fitness – if not even improve it – from switching to shorter and more effective workouts at home.
11) I can be more free!
Being in the privacy of your own home means you don’t have to feel awkward trying out a new exercise, you won’t have strangers staring at you, AND if you’re like me and like to listen to tunes while exercising, you can break into a dance when your favourite song plays! Its just been a lot more fun.
Ditching the gym has been rewarding for me! It works well for my time, my lifestyle, and my personality. As I strive to become Well Natured, working out at home has been a definite step in the right direction for me.
How about you? Have you considered working out at home? If so, I recommend giving it a try. Perhaps try it and see if you also find the same benefits that I did, or if my tips work for you!
Also, if you are new to working out and have never been to the gym, perhaps working out at home is the best way to kick-start your own fitness goals!
Live Well Natured.
BONUS: My 2 best tips for working out at home
It may be hard to get into a routine of working out at home. Ill share 2 tips from my personal experience that have been helpful:
1) Have a routine: I have found that its best to have a structure when it comes to my work out. I pre-plan the type of workouts that I will be doing during a week, including the body areas I will be targeting, and rest days.
I recommend being very strategic with the way you plan your workout, in a way that works for your nature. For example: Mondays are always low-energy days for me, so I tend to schedule a lighter workout. Sundays on the other hand, I usually feel well-rested and full of energy, so I schedule my most intense workout for this day.
I’ll share what my typical weekly routine looks like. This is just as a reference! Make sure you choose a routine that aligns best with your fitness level and fitness goals!
- Sunday: lower body and cardio
- Monday: light cardio (jogging outdoors, or elliptical)
- Tuesday: upper body and cardio
- Wednesday: trunk (abs/back) and cardio
- Thursday: something light – either a light cardio, a Pilates or yoga routine, or stretching
- Friday: rest day!
- Saturday: mixed bag! Depending on how busy I am and how I am feeling, I freestyle it. Some days I just hit up the elliptical, other days I do light weights and a jog, other days I just do stretching, some days I just got for a walk outside, and sometimes I just skip my workout altogether!
REMEMBER: always warm up before your workout, and cool down after your work-out. For a warm up, I usually do a jog and dynamic movements. For a cool down, this is where I focus on stretching out my muscles. I try to hold each stretch for about 20 seconds.
Oh and I am a big believer in ‘quality over quantity’ – I rarely workout for more than 30 minutes! That’s right! I also feel that by working out at home, my workouts are more on point and efficient (pre-planned, no need to wait for equipment, I am more focused). As long as I push myself as much as possible (while ensuring good form!), I am able to keep my workouts short, intense, and effective.
2) Its OK if you break your routine: Listen to your body! So my two tips may sound contradictory, but rest assured, they are not! I tend to be the type of person who makes some sort of a plan before heading into something, hence, my 1st tip!
However, I also RESPECT MY NATURE, and of course we recommend that you do too! I am not strictly bound by my plan. I use it more as a guide, and if amendments are needed, then so be it. Sometimes I’ll switch around my rest days, or some weeks I just won’t do one of my workouts. Its OK. Along as we continue to move in the right direction.
Please note: I am not a personal trainer, and you should seek appropriate professional advice. This is just what works for me!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, at no cost to you. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission. Read our full disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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