10 Ways to Optimize Your At-Home Workouts

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Sometimes we don’t have the time to make it to the gym. We live busy lives, and it can be hard to find the time to get away for an hour or so (sometimes more if you count the time it takes to drive and shower). This means that a lot of us end up exercising at home. Working out at home comes with its own set of challenges, though. Lack of motivation, distractions, and limited or no access to equipment are just some of the reasons that exercising at home can be difficult.

Here are some tips and tricks to conquer these obstacles and make your home workouts a success:

#1: Pencil it in. The first thing you’ll need to do if you’re going to work out at home is find the right time. Schedule a time for your workout and add it to your calendar or daily schedule. This will help to keep yourself accountable and allow you to plan your day or week around your workouts. Do you live with a spouse or have a roommate? Tell them that you plan to workout and they can help hold you accountable (at the very least, telling someone can increase your guilt-factor if you skip a day).

#2: Download the right music. You have to first set up an environment that you will be most likely to complete your workout. Music is a great motivator when it comes to exercising, so turn it up and start pumping!

#3: Get rid of distractions. Deal with things that might distract you before you even start a workout at home. Think about it this way: if you wouldn’t be distracted by it at the gym, don’t allow it to distract you at home. Leave your phone in another room, have someone watch the kids, and put your dog outside before you begin.

#4: Create a designated fitness space. Having your own mini gym is a great way to feel like you’re in control of your workouts. If everything is organized and in one place, it’s more efficient and makes working out sound like less of a chore. Don’t have enough room? Find a space that works for you and prep the space (move the couch, get your mat or towel in place before you start, etc).

#5: Have a few go-to workouts. Commit some of your favorite routines from magazines or fitness web sites to memory. If you know a few of favorite strength workouts by heart, you can rely on them every time.

#6: Snack early. Exercising on an empty stomach can make you want to stop before you start, while sweating it out on a full one can also dampen workout goals. Eat something with simple carbs and a little protein before you change into your workout clothes so your stomach will have a few minutes to digest before you begin.

#7: Know what you’re going to do. Don’t waste precious time deliberating about your workout for the day. Queue up the DVD, bookmark the website, or plan out your circuit before the morning so you don’t have to spend minutes you could be exercising trying to figure out how to do it.

#8: Get the right equipment. Start with the basics. An exercise ball is great for many different reasons: it can be used as a bench when doing chest exercises, it can be used as a chair when doing shoulder exercises, or it can be used for several different abdominal exercises. An exercise ball allows you to do many different things, never getting bored with your at home workout. Also, set yourself up with resistance bands. Resistance bands are a very inexpensive, space-friendly product to add to your home gym. They provide different levels of resistance, allowing you to move up as particular exercises become easier.

#9: Dress for success. Just because you aren’t going to the gym doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dress for success. One study suggests that simply wearing workout clothes can help motivate you to exercise. Working out when you get home from work? Change into your clothes right away so you can keep your motivation level, even if you get distracted.

#10: Go public with it. Share your success! After completing a workout, share the details with friends or family. Sweaty selfies and encouragement from your loved ones can keep you feeling motivated and accountable.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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