While gyms across the UK might finally be re-opening, many Brits might prefer to stick at home to burn off those excess pounds we’ve piled on over lockdown. We might have invested in exercise equipment, which we’re keen to make the most of. Or, if we’re still working from home, we might prefer to avoid having to take time out to drive to the gym just to run on a treadmill and bust out a few squats.
Planning your regime
So, what makes a good at-home workout plan? The specifics depend on your goals, but there’s a common theme running through all of them: and that’s consistency. You might want to incorporate both anaerobic (where you’re exercising more intensely than you can sustain for long) and aerobic (where you’re exercising at the same level for a long period).
Generally speaking, walking is the best point of entry for the latter, and weightlifting is the best for the former. You might use bodyweight exercises like pull-ups, press-ups, dips and squats. Or, you might spend a bit of money on a heavy kettlebell, which you can swing around the living room. If this is a big lifestyle change for you, it is worth speaking to a doctor before you get going to help you prevent injury. If you ever feel you have received substandard care from a doctor you can speak to a medical negligence solicitor for their professional advice.
Don’t forget to stretch
Mobility work is going to aid your progress hugely. Follow a few of the online guides to full-body stretching, and make sure that you focus on areas that you’re weakest. If you spend large parts of your day sitting, then your shoulders, glutes and abs might be variously tight or weak – target them and you’ll correct the imbalance. A study by Bupa recently revealed that 36% of injuries sustained during lockdown were actually pulled muscles.
To get good results, you’ll need to be consistent. If you’re an organised person, you might just devote a given hour of your meticulously planned day to your workout. Once you’ve stopped working, you can simply head down to your converted garage-gym for a few sets. Or you might set reminders on your phone when the time comes to start moving. Perhaps you can walk on the treadmill whilst talking on the phone, or even do some laps around the garden?! Fitbits and other fitness watches often have built in alarms to alert you and give you a nudge when you haven’t moved in so long.
Keeping a record
Recording your progress will provide you with the encouragement you need to persist. If you’re trying to add to your shoulder-press, then you might write down your performance in a notepad, or a specialised training app. If you’re trying to lose weight, then you might do the same thing with the reading on the scale. Having a target is a great workout motivator.
Invest in the right equipment (or make use of what you already own)
Think about the equipment that you’ll need to get the best possible workout. This might mean the kettlebell mentioned above, but it might also mean the shoes and clothes that you need to feel supported and comfortable. You don’t have to spend huge amounts to get impressive results – kitchen chairs, staircases and beds can all be equipment. Even your own body is all you need to get started with plenty of workout videos available for free online. When it comes to clothes, your favourite pyjama shorts and a vest or t-shirt will get you started exercising in the comfort of your own home!