There’s nothing quite like the start of the new year to give you a reason to get fitter and healthier. If working out and starting a new exercise routine is one of your goals for 2019, but you don’t fancy pounding the pavements or joining the gym just yet, creating a workout space at home could be the perfect solution.
While some people love exercising alongside others and enjoy the social aspect of fitness classes, others can feel intimidated by the gym environment – especially if they haven’t been to one before. In fact, a recent study by Sport England revealed that 75 percent of women want to exercise more, but one of the main factors holding them back was a fear of being judged. That research was part of the inspiration behind the organisation’s This Girl Can marketing campaign.
If you’re just starting out on a new fitness regime, you might prefer a little more privacy while you learn the ropes. Exercising at home is a great alternative to working out at the gym – and there aren’t any membership fees. Let’s look at how you can create the perfect workout space in your own home to kick start your new fitness regime.
Making the space
To start with, you need to create the space to exercise in. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a spare room in your home that can be easily converted to a gym, this means choosing a room for exercise. For practical reasons, the living room is probably the most suitable. Move the furniture around to give yourself the floor space to move freely, ensuring there’s enough room for jumping on the spot (look out for the light), crouching, stretching and so on; test it out to make sure nothing is within reach.
If you have a sofa in the middle of the room, it’s best move it to the side, against a wall. You’re looking to make as much open space as you can.
If you’re in the process of decorating a living room and changing the furniture – or you’ve just moved in and are deciding how to the style the room, it might be worth thinking about the kind of sofa that you buy. A fabric sofa like the Demure, Rosie or Brighton will be easy to move around – and ideal for crashing out on after your workout.
If you can, try to position your designated workout area near the natural light too for some extra vitamin D to ensure you feel great after your workout.
Essential home workout equipment
Once you’ve defined your workout space, you can now think about the equipment you’ll need. This will vary depending on your budget. If you have a designated home gym area you might want to splash out on your equipment with a treadmill, cross trainer, an exercise bike or a weights bench. But, to create more of an entry level workout space, you’ll only need a few essentials.
Choose items that are relatively small, so they don’t take up too much space, but will help to cover lots of different types of workout activities and different areas of the body. You can add more equipment as you go, but these are great starting points to give you a full body workout.
Exercising in your own living room requires a lot of determination, so it’s important to get the mood right. You want to create an inspiring and motivating atmosphere. Pick some high-tempo music to give you a boost – in fact, in a Runners World survey, 75 percent of respondents said music was beneficial.
Working out on your own can be a challenge so it’s a good idea to get your own digital personal trainer. One of the most popular is Joe Wicks, who’s known for his High Intensity Interval Training – or HIIT – home workouts.
There are lots of online personal training programmes and fitness apps you can use to help bridge the gap between training in the gym under the supervision of a pro, and home training on your own. Some websites provide free, live-streamed fitness classes, so you ‘join’ a class without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Yoga and pilates
Of course, home workouts don’t always have to be high-intensity cardio sessions that leave you drenched in sweat. In fact, it’s great to have a mix of exercises. Yoga and pilates are gentler in pace, but no less rewarding. You’ll need the mat we mentioned earlier in your essential items checklist, the guidance of an instructional video, and a calming, soothing soundtrack to relax both your mind and body.
Exercising from the sofa
For the times you really don’t want to make the effort, the good news is you can still do a workout from the comfort of your luxurious, fabric sofa. We’re not talking about a cardio workout here, but a variety of stretching exercises to reduce tension, improve blood flow and give you a chance for quiet meditation. It’s also a good way to start a workout session, or for those days when you just need some gentle recovery time.
So, who needs a gym when the gym can come to you? And don’t forget, the best thing about having a workout space at home is that you’re only a few steps away from that tempting, comforting oh-so-soft fabric sofa when you want to relax and rehydrate after burning all those calories.