• Ash Radford

How to succeed against the odds by getting fit @ home

Updated: Jul 27

With Covid-19 making so many people housebound or at least very restricted, inevitably many are turning to exercising at home. I've noticed on my local community facebook pages several people are seeking cheap weights or unwanted (i.e. unused) exercise bikes and rowing machines. It makes sense- after all why would you pay full price for new home exercise gear when there's an abundance of near new gear out there that has been collecting dust? Particularly when in all probability you're also not going to use it for long either?! Forgive my cynicism, but we all really know what happens with most home exercise equipment: not much. Besides which, with a little knowledge you can do a surprising amount with very little, as you'll see in this 8 minute resistance workout video I put together which requires only 2 chairs and a broomstick. Despite the odds, getting fit at home IS possible and there's clearly some major advantages, such as reduced travel and cost. Making a success of the challenge means you need to be that bit more strategic, thoughtful and deliberate in how you go about it. Here's some tips that'll help:

* Have a regular space, where all gear is kept and accessible. If you have a regular space to workout in, you can be assured you can carry out the activities you want, unhindered. For instance, you'll know the ceiling is high enough to allow jumping and skipping or the floor isn't too slippery for anything that requires balance or dynamic movement. Not only that, using the same spot regularly will help with establishing the habit. This can help in a similar way to how we unconsciously associate the bed with sleep. By being able to convert your regular space to a temporary gym in minutes, as a result of having the necessary equipment all easily accessed, it'll make it easier to get started. That's certainly an advantage with on-going motivation and habit. The accessibility of the space within the house and property though is a slightly different story. This is mainly because the main parts of the house could well be full of distractions in the form of family members, electronic devices, food/drink and possibly physical hazards. A shed or garage isn't hard to get to, yet it could be nicely separated from the myriad of potential distractions. Some consideration though needs to be given to the nature of such a space because as Dr Catherine Sabiston, of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity says; “Most of the time gyms are relegated to the basement, which is usually the least inviting space in anyone’s house and the easiest place to forget it. The more natural light, the brighter your workout space is, the better,” Like for many things, a nice environment is typically helpful. *Involve others Humans are social creatures and exercising with others makes it more enjoyable. There are of course many who are exceptions, the majority of whom are male. Some company can not only make it more fun but also bring a level of accountability, put simply we don't like to let others down. If a friend is going to pop over for a resistance circuit in your garage at 9am, there's a much higher chance that'll happen than if you plan to do that workout alone. (Even if your workout buddy is distant at the moment, discussing your progress and fitness plans can still be really useful, you can still involve others with a bit of effort!) That is a big part of why Personal Training works, through committing to a time/day and having that accountability many more workouts simply take place. I actually offer a mobile personal training service. I visit people in their homes or local parks, through my presence (& a little equipment I bring) effective exercise in you home is assured. {If you live in Sydney's north I can come to Frenchs Forest, Forestville, Belrose, Killarney Heights, Davidson, Terrey Hills, St Ives, Seaforth, Roseville, East Lindfield and Mosman.} *Have a structured program

Knowing exactly what you are going to do and how long you're going to do it for, will increase focus and workout productivity. If you need to think about what to do next, it'll exhaust a surprising amount of mental energy, not to mention cause a loss of momentum. If there is 1 place above all else where you need that focus and momentum it's at home where potential distractions are in abundance. Those who succeed at getting and staying fit barely have to think about it. They're habitual and consistent with what they do and a well structured program goes a long way to enabling that. Follow along youtube workout videos (like this free 8 min cardio session I put together) are an effective way of doing this but what's even better is a personally tailored program. *Start small & considering staying small Imagine you're faced with the prospect of a 15 minute workout as opposed to a 1 hour session. The 15 minute option is going to be a lot easier to get motivated to do as it's a less overwhelming prospect to get started on. Making exercise easier to get started on becomes even more important when you are choosing to exercise at home because of all the potential distractions. As the habit becomes ingrained you can then gradually do more. That said, I think it's also probably a wise ongoing option when it comes to home exercise, particularly if you can mix it up with some longer sessions beyond the home on other days of the week. Even as you establish a home routine there's still often inevitable interruptions, so getting 10-20 minutes done can be a lot more practical than aiming for an hour. In the current restricted situation with Covoid-19 this could work well as you could alternate a day with a shorter home workout with a day on which you go for a longer walk, run or ride (if of course that's permitted in your area or circumstance) * Keep it real and consider your personality and your track record with fitness. There are exceptions to all the points and suggestions I've made but you need to be real about the challenge of working out at home. While great change is certainly possible, giving some thought to your own personal preferences, tendencies and past can optimise your chances of making a success of exercising at home. Consider what has worked for you in the past? What is most likely to work for you in the future? How can you apply such understanding of self to getting fit at home in the best possible way for you? Get in touch with any questions about that or with any other lingering questions you may have about any aspect of fitness and I'll be happy to email you back. Or for more on Mobile Personal Training in Frenchs Forest, Forestville, Belrose, Killarney Heights, Davidson, Terrey Hills, St Ives, Seaforth, Roseville, East Lindfield and Mosman.

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© 2018 by Ash Radford