After being closed for the past few months, businesses have finally reopened and depending on where you are, these establishments include gyms and fitness centres. While this is a great thing for fitness enthusiasts, it is understandable that some people are still hesitant about going back to the gym.
With that being said, here are a few things that you can do at home (or around your neighbourhood) to stay fit and healthy if you are not comfortable going back to your gym, at least not yet.
We understand that not everybody has a spare room in their homes that they can dedicate just for working out. But it is important that you set aside a specific area in your house where you can do your daily exercise.
It does not even have to be a huge space. You can set up your workout mat in your bedroom, facing a window, or your family room in front of the TV, the balcony - anywhere, really. Just make sure that you go to the same space every day so you condition your mind that when you are in that specific part of your house, it is time to exercise.
Believe it or not, you do not need gym equipment to get a good workout. Isometric exercises for example, can be done at home with little to no gym equipment required. You simply use your own bodyweight for resistance and to contract muscles. Oh and yes, these equipment-free workouts can make you feel as sore as you do after a regular day at the gym.
Some other workouts you can do at home that can burn serious calories include: burpees, jumping jacks and push ups. If you are more into stretching exercises, following a Yoga routine on YouTube is a great way to get your daily workout sans gym equipment.
The key to making home exercises actually work is to choose a fitness program that you like. Following a program that you enjoy helps you be more committed and excited to work out. And this is important, as many people actually find it difficult to get into the “workout” mindset when it comes to exercising at home.
You can follow exercise programs on YouTube, or download free fitness program apps on your phone. You keep track of your daily progress, which adds to the excitement and motivation.
Just because you are not in a gym does not mean you can’t workout with your friends or family. Using fitness apps on your phones or following a workout video, you can organise a weekly workout competition.
See who among your group gets the most number of steps in a week. Or who has completed three at-home HIIT workouts (with video proof that they really did it) for the week. You can decide amongst yourselves what the prize would be, or maybe the loser would buy everybody else’s post workout smoothies.
You can be as creative as you want with these competitions. The point is to keep you and your friends or family motivated enough to get up and exercise.
Since you are allowed to go out, take regular morning or afternoon runs around your neighbourhood. Cardiovascular exercises such as running releases endorphins in your system, which helps improve your mood and eases anxiety. And now more than ever, you need to look after your mental and emotional wellbeing, as much as your physical health.
If you are concerned about running into crowded areas, choose a new route or trail. Not only will you be able to social distance, the new sights and sounds will stimulate your brain, too. As to the question of whether or not you should wear a mask when running outdoors, doctors say that it depends on where you plan to go running.
So, if you live in a city where you cannot avoid weaving your way through crowded streets, face masks are a must. However, if you are going out for a run around your neighbourhood where you will come across the occasional jogger or someone out walking their dog, a mask is not necessary BUT you have to make sure that you maintain the recommended 6 feet distance from other people.
Like running, bike rides are great cardio exercises. You work out your glutes and leg muscles and help improve one’s mood. If you already have a regular bike route, you can change things up by going on the long route around your neighbourhood. The new environment is good for your mental health and you will burn more calories by biking for a longer period of time.
Do not forget to stay hydrated by bringing a water bottle and wearing the proper safety gear: glasses, helmet, gloves and cycling mask.
If you are not yet comfortable about going back to the gym, there are many ways you can stay physically and mentally fit at home. You can still continue to do many of the gym activities that you love. You just have to make some adjustments and be a little creative to make it work.
What are your thoughts about going back to the gym? Are you still a bit hesitant about working out in your gym again? How do you plan to get your daily workouts done at home? Let us know by leaving a comment.
When Jai Tadeo isn’t at work writing health and fitness articles for HYDRAGUN, she’s usually at home, running on her treadmill. When the weather’s great, she runs 5 kilometers outdoors after a day of writing. She’s also been unsuccessful at beating her husband at badminton every weekend for the past ten years.