We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!
By Jenna Bergen, Prevention
Your home could be your biggest enemy when it comes to weight loss.
For the past few weeks, I promised myself I would squeeze in a few extra minutes of yoga when I got home from work to boost my flexibility and deepen my practice.
The number of times I’ve actually done this: zero. Every time I step across the threshold of my lovely little home, the comforts (couch, pajamas, warm dinner) and distractions (bills, laundry, a new episode of The Bachelor) win out. If you’ve found yourself in the same cycle of procrastination, take heart that you’re not alone. While working out at home is cheap, convenient, and private, your home is a harder place to exercise than you might think. Your home, according to experts, can actually be your biggest enemy in the battle of the bulge.
Here are four sneaky things that get in the way of at-home workouts — and what you can do about them.
1. Your Less-Than-Stellar Fitness Setup
"If your home gym is in the bowels of a dank, dark basement, chances are you won’t be inspired to spend a lot of time there," says Liz Neporent, fitness expert and coauthor of The Winner’s Brain. Same goes for a cluttered living room or a poorly lit bedroom. "A home gym that's bright, clean, and uncluttered will be much more inviting," says Neporent. You don’t have to break the bank, but investing in a can or two of cheery-colored paint and a new floor lamp can make a big difference in your desire to spend time in your at-home sweat space.
More reasons the home is a distracting place to exercise after the break!
2. Crappy Equipment You Don’t Use
"A lot of people will buy home fitness equipment they would never consider using at a gym on a whim," says Neporent. "Stationary cycles are a good example of this." (So are those goofy, too-good-to-be-true infomercial purchases that end up clogging up spare bedrooms and basements.) If you know you love the elliptical trainer or treadmill, for instance, save your money a little longer and buy something you know you will use. "Also, always get good quality equipment and accessories so they don't fall apart quickly," says Neporent, who prefers to buy through equipment specialty stores like the Gym Source. "You tend to get better quality and better service if something goes wrong."
3. Those Playful (But Distracting) Pets
Whether you’re hitting the carpet to knock out a few push-ups and sit-ups, getting your ohm on with a little yoga, or cutting up the carpet with your Zumba moves, dogs (and some cats) might think you’re simply ready for playtime. "Working out from home is awesome and superconvenient — until your dog starts licking your face during floor work," says personal trainer Jessica Smith, star of the 10 Minute Solution: Ultimate Boot Camp DVD. The fix: exercise in a room with a door or put up a gate. Better yet, take your dog for a run with you.
4. "No one will know if . . . "
You can be your own worst enemy when you’re alone and no one’s watching. "Research shows that people are more motivated to work out in a group setting and will go harder and longer when in the presence of their peers," says Jari Love, star of the Get Extremely Ripped: 1000 Hardcore DVD. Here are few ways around this: get a heart rate monitor. When you know how hard you’re working and how many — or how few — calories you’re burning, you’ll be motivated to push yourself harder. You could also sign up for a 5K, 10K, or full/half marathon. Having a training schedule with a race day looming in the near future can up your resolve. Finally, join an online support group like Prevention.com's Flat Belly Community. Use the free tracking tools and online community to hold yourself accountable.