Happy Sunday! Life has been very busy the past few weeks and of course, as I am typing this fitness article, I have just eaten a big brunch…but it was a veggie omelet, so I don’t feel too guilty. I’m writing this because my entire fitness journey has been without the use of a gym and I feel like a lot of people seem to think that if they don’t have a gym membership then it’s hard to look and feel good, but that absolutely is not true! The following article is a bit of my own experience and advice.
A little bit of a disclaimer- I do have two workout machines. One is a treadmill and the other is a combination machine for arms and legs, so I’m not equipment free. However, running on the treadmill can easily be replaced with running around the block and free weights usually do about the same job as a machine if you have variety in your workout.
I think working out at home has a few advantages. One, obviously, you aren’t paying gobs of money to maybe (but probably not) workout. There are good affordable options and my family has tried these, but the busier your schedule is the harder it is usually to commit to going to the gym on a regular basis. Another reason I like working out at home is because it’s more relaxing. I’m never fighting for a machine, watching the gym junkies do things I didn’t know possible (yes, sixteen pack I’m talking about you, haha), and I’m not afraid to try new things and mess up. Everyone’s level of comfort is different, but it’s safe to say that at some point everyone compares themselves to others and I’ve found working out at home as taken some pressure off of me and made it more of a fun time for me to be alone and burn off some steam. Especially when I first started getting into working out, doing it at home took away excuses for “not having time,” was easily worked into my nightly routine, and made it more rewarding for my mental space and confidence.
If you don’t have a gym membership then obviously the hundreds of different machines aren’t at your disposal, but if you buy yourself some free weights, a mat, and have a phone- you’re honestly good to go. My go-to workout is pretty much a run (distance varies, but usually about one/two miles), a HIIT video, and yoga either as a cool down or as an add on. I love HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts because they really get your heart rate up and are usually fairly quick which makes them easy to do even before work or school. There are tons of great videos to follow on YouTube. I try and have “leg day” or “arm day” and there are HIIT videos for that also, but no matter what I’ve been doing at least some sort of ab circuit every day to go along with whatever I decide. There are also HIIT running workouts, which is awesome if you’re building up endurance or just love to run! The combination of cardio and the circuit based workouts has made me see awesome changes in my body both inside and out.
My best piece of advice is to get creative! Try HIIT workouts, go for a jog or walk around the block, challenge yourself and try a dance workout, take advantage of the beautiful weather and swim some laps or go for a bike ride. Being healthy doesn’t have a price tag and whether you’re a gym fanatic or not, your fitness journey and your lifestyle are unique, so your workout routine (or lack thereof!) will and should reflect that.