First of all, we want to wish all of you and your families well during this difficult and exceptional time caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
With many of us now being encouraged to work from home we wanted to give you a few tips that will help you to stay fit and active if you haven’t got access to a gym. We can’t be certain about very much right now but we can be sure about the positive impact that staying active will have on your physical and mental heath. Here are a few simple things you can do to make that process a bit easier.
Plan your sessions in advance
We’d advise you to do this whether you’re working out at home or in a gym but it becomes even more important when you’re training at home. The crucial point here is that if you don’t plan your sessions in advance it’s all too easy to say “ah, I’ll do it tomorrow”. If, on the other hand, you work out out now when you’re going to exercise during the week ahead, you’ll be more committed to completing the sessions.
Treat home workouts like gym workouts
You wouldn’t walk out of the gym half way through a session, go across the street to a shop and buy a bar of chocolate, would you? At least, we hope you wouldn’t. Similarly, when you’re training at home we don’t want you to get sidetracked and start riffling through the biscuit tin after a few sets. Of course, it’s a lot easier to stay focused when you’re in the gym because there’s not much else to do other than lift weights and work up a sweat. Your home can be a lot more distracting because you’ve got instant access to the fridge and a bunch of devices. So block off some time to train and be disciplined about doing nothing else other than your workout during that time.
Put your headphones on
One of the easiest ways to stay focused is to create a great workout playlist and fire it up at the start of your session. It’ll block out background noise and distractions and studies have also shown that it can even improve workout performance.
Tell your family
If you’re planning on exercising at home it makes sense to let any family members know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. That way you can (politely) request that they don’t disturb you during your workout. You could even rope family members in to training with you. We do however, from experience, advise against trying to “coach” your partner. It never ends well.
Mobilise during rest periods
As you’ve probably already begun to realise, avoiding distractions is the name of the game when you’re working out at home. One of the most effective ways to do this during your rest periods is to do some intra-set stretching, which has actually been shown to increase muscle growth. So, for example, if you’re doing a set of biceps curls, gently stretching the biceps muscles between sets can have a positive impact on your workout performance.
Find some space
Now, this might not be an option for everyone but if you can find a bit of space away from everyone else in the house, that’s likely to give you a better workout. If you have a garage or a spare room, that’s ideal. If not, just try to use a room while it is empty. After all, it’s tricky to maintain perfect form when you’re being heckled by your kids or your other half while they’re eating biscuits on the couch.
We’ll be in touch again soon with more advice to help you stay fit and active at home. In the meantime, if you have any questions at all about home workouts or how to eat well, please do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the very best,
Jon and Joe
New Body Plan co-creators
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