Home Body: Simple Steps for Creating a Successful At Home Workout Program
Let’s face it, for the majority of people, exercise isn’t always our first choice for filling our time. The most common excuse is, “I just don’t have time.” With our current state of affairs, it’s important to do all we can to boost our immune systems and to stay active while sheltering at home—so there should be more time than ever to exercise. The key is to be intentional with our time. Exercise will not only help keep you physically healthy, but also mentally. Who doesn’t love that euphoric feeling after a workout? During the workout may not always feel so amazing, but I can say with certainty that you will feel much better once you get in a satisfying sweat session!
A great way to start is by engaging in at-home workouts. It may become overwhelming figuring out what pieces of equipment you need and where to start for your body. I’m here to help! As a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, I’ve had to transition a lot of my in-person training sessions to virtual sessions and have adapted their workout programs with little to no equipment.
Success starts with a plan! I will provide you with a few tips for getting started, in addition to including this 30-minute Cardio Dance Fitness Video that I filmed for the studio that I work for so that you can begin right away. Don’t let the word "dance" scare you away, this is a great beginner class meant for everyone!
TIP #1: Carve Out an Exercise Time - Create an appointment on your calendar for exercise like you would for a meeting. Next, decide whether exercising in the morning or later in the day is more accommodating to your schedule. Setting this time for yourself is important so that it helps to prevent excuses. If blocking out an hour is too much time, start with 20-30 minutes. Keep in mind, it is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. It is also important to incorporate strength training for all major muscle groups at least two times per week.
TIP #2: Gather Some Basic Equipment - To be honest, you can get a great workout with no equipment at all, but if you want to increase the intensity of your workout, you can add resistance. Get creative with what you have around your house such as water bottles/jugs or soup cans for dumbbells or paper plates/towels for gliders. If your budget allows, I recommend purchasing a set of resistance bands or loops with light, medium, and heavy resistance. You can complete several exercises that target the whole body using resistance bands and they take up virtually no space. A few items that aren’t required but are an added bonus would be a yoga mat (but a carpet, towel, or rug will be just fine) and a foam roller, which will aid in massaging sore muscles.
TIP #3: Set Up a Workout Space - Ensure you have a safe and designated space to exercise in your home. If you don’t have a separate room, you may need to set up a spot in the living room or bedroom where you can store minor equipment. Knowing where you will workout when your scheduled time arrives is especially helpful if you are sharing the space with other family members.
TIP #4: Get Creative Outside - Think back to those field day activities in grade school—chalk out a hopscotch board or create an obstacle course using what you have at home. In addition, get in a bike ride or a brisk walk for at least 20-30 minutes. You can increase the intensity of the walk by incorporating an interval of walking lunges or increase the pace every minute for a duration of time.
TIP #5: Hydrating and Pre and Post Workout Nutrition - Remember to properly hydrate before, during, and after your workouts. It’s important to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day, e.g. 150lbs = 75 ounces. In addition, think of food as fuel for your body. In order to get the most out of your workouts, feed your body with nutritious food as much as possible. I recommend eating a small snack like a banana or trail mix about 30-45 minutes before your workout. Approximately 45 minutes to an hour after your workout, be sure to include a protein and carbohydrate to replenish your body, like cottage cheese and fruit or tuna fish sandwich with whole grain bread.
TIP #6: Use your Resources - There are several ways to access workouts online. Find something that interests you and that fits into your scheduled block of time to workout. You can find anything your heart desires—dance, kickboxing, yoga, barre, pilates, strength training, aerobics, etc. You can also research small businesses in your area that are offering virtual classes via platforms like Zoom or Skype.
TIP #7: Stay Accountable - Tell a friend or family member that you are trying to create a fitness routine. This may inspire them to also begin working out and eating healthier as well!
No one is perfect, so do the best that you can. Humans thrive on routine and successful habits, so my hope for you is that these simple tips will help empower you to take control of your health and fitness especially during this unprecedented time.
—Sarah Remmert '02
Workout: 30-minute Cardio Dance Fitness Video
About the author: Sarah Remmert graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications and a double minor in Public Relations and Music Industry. She is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor who is passionate about building relationships with each of her clients and believes that accountability is key to success along with the willingness to invest in themselves. She is married to her husband, Paul '02, and together they recently moved from San Antonio, TX to Williamsburg, VA and have two amazing children ages thirteen and ten.