What I Do to Ensure I Actually Work Out at Home, Instead of Crashing on the Couch
I hate the gym with a burning, fiery passion. It's the birthplace of all my insecurities and frustrations with my body. There's nothing that shakes my confidence more than wandering around those shiny pieces of equipment, flustered and confused, while people with perfectly sculpted abs glide around the space like they own it. You know what I love, though? My home. My clean, lilac-scented, never-sticky, always-empty home.
But my love of at-home workouts isn't even about my hatred of the gym. It goes far beyond that. I love the solitude of working out at home, and it's also much easier to motivate myself to walk the 10 feet to my living room than it is to leave my house after a long day of work and classes. It's a small gripe, and maybe I could train myself to move past it, but the truth is, working out at home is simply more convenient for me.
That said, it took a long time to get to a place where this routine actually works for me. There are plenty of YouTube videos, apps, and streaming workouts to help keep your workouts fresh and challenging, but moving from your couch and getting into the fitness zone is an entirely different problem. Here are a few tips that have helped me get over that hurdle.
Carve Out a Comfortable Space in Your Home
Safety is important, so you'll want to make sure you have adequate space to do your workout without risking injury. Make sure you can have any equipment you need, too, and that it's a spot you actually want to spend time in. Do you need a couch, chair, or larger screen? Do you like having a window close by?
Once you find a space that accommodates all those requirements, make the effort to transform it into a workout zone when you need it. It sounds silly, but my routine changed immensely once I invested in a yoga mat. There's something about rolling out the mat on the floor that immediately puts me in the right mindset: OK, it's time to work out.
Find a Time That Works For You, and Stick to It
If you're not a morning person, chances are you're not going to be able to wake up at 6 a.m. and complete a 40-minute yoga routine before your morning coffee. Personally, I find that after dinner, I lose all motivation. So, find an hour of time that works for your schedule and your personality, and mark it on your calendar as nonnegotiable. If you can't book an entire hour, try 30 minutes twice a day, or do what I did for a while and work out in 15-minute segments.
Do Something Productive, If It Helps
When you're at home and there are dishes piled up in the sink, books to read, and shows to watch, working out can feel like a waste of an hour. At least, that's what it was like for me. To counter this, I started listening to NPR while I worked out, which made that time feel so much more productive. You could do the same with a podcast, an audiobook, or even episodes on Netflix.