Cold weather is one of the most common excuses people have for not going to the gym in the winter months. We tend to develop the winter blues and lack the motivation to leave the house and get moving.
While a cozy bed may be enticing during a polar vortex, winter weather is no excuse to forget about your workout routine. Here are some tips for making your at-home workout just as effective as your gym or group fitness workout.
- Choose the right fitness DVD. While there are exercises you can do at home without a DVD, having an expert guide you through a workout will help to keep you motivated, safe, and in-the- zone. Decide what type of workout you want to do, whether it is cardio, strength, dance, yoga or a combination. Before choosing a DVD, be sure to read online reviews to see what works for other people.
- Have gym equipment ready. You do not need to go crazy and purchase a treadmill, but small equipment like dumbbells, a yoga mat, or kettlebells are always helpful to have at home. If a DVD requires dumbbells and you do not own any, get creative. There are plenty ways to substitute weights such as soup cans or books.
- Create an open space. Move furniture out of the way to create a space big enough to dance around the room, do push-ups, or lift weights. Creating an atmosphere as close to a gym studio as possible will help you to forget that you are home (and near a warm bed).
- Get rid of any distractions. If you have a pet, lock them out of your room for an hour. Keep your phone far away, and turn off the ringer to keep you tempted from checking it mid-way through your workout. If you have a roommate or significant other, let them know that you are working out for an hour (and to leave you alone or to join in!)
- Time your workout. It is very easy to quit halfway through an at-home work out when there are no fitness instructors watching you. Commit to working out for a certain period of time, and set an alarm for your end time. It may be helpful to purchase a fitness DVD which splits workouts into twenty-minute segments so you can decide how many parts of the video you will complete at once.
- Use your own music. The music in the background of fitness DVDs is usually not exciting or motivating. When thinking about a group fitness class at a gym, music plays a huge factor in how good (or boring the class is). Turn the volume down on the DVD so that you can still hear the instructor’s directions, and enjoy your own, loud music at the same time. You may even get some extra cardio in when you start dancing on your own to your favorite jam.
- Move, any chance you get. Even if you are not a fitness DVD type of person, there are many ways to stay active in the comfort of your own home. Do push-ups or hold a plank during commercial breaks while watching your favorite television show. Try squats and lunges while brushing your teeth. Throw in some jumping jacks or sprints while you are in the kitchen cooking dinner. Remember, every step counts.