If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that all the things we thought we had to do outside of the house can, in fact, be done from the comfort of home. One such activity is fitness pursuits — more and more, people are realizing that they don’t have to hit the gym to stay in shape — home is the new gym.
If you’re looking to start (or elevate) your home workout routine, here are some ideas.
Getting in your cardio is probably one of the easiest elements of home fitness to start with. A simple walk around your neighbourhood (at a brisk pace, if you can) is all it takes to start reaping health benefits. If you want to take things up a notch, you can pick up the pace and get running, or use shorter sprints as a way to incorporate interval training into your routine.
For days when the weather is less than ideal, or you just can’t get out of the house for whatever reason, there are several options for getting your cardio in at home. If you want to stick to a budget, activities such as stair climbs, burpees, skipping, or jumping jacks all fit the bill to get your heart pumping.
If you have some room in your budget for fitness equipment, or simply want to mix things up, you can invest in gear such as a Peloton trainer, which allows you to complete workouts live or on demand. It comes with 30-day of free class access for added value. The Hydrow rowing trainer lets you explore waterways around the world from the comfort of home — and also includes a 30-day free trial. Finally, the Mirror device lets you participate in cardio, boxing, and yoga classes without leaving the house. It too includes a 30-day free trial.
While the initial cost of some equipment might give you a bit of sticker shock, when you factor in the cost of a gym membership compared to the value of on-demand workouts from the comfort of home, it’s actually quite comparable.
Strength training is another important aspect of a fitness program that can be enjoyed from the comfort of home. As an added bonus, most strength training moves require very little in terms of space, making it an ideal workout for those with limited square footage.
Many bodyweight exercises offer enough of a challenge to help people progress in their fitness goals, but if you’re looking for more of a challenge, a set of free weights or exercise machines can help amp up the intensity.
If you have the space and your budget allows, an all-in-one trainer such as the Fit505 Rack or the Sportsman Single is a great option for targeting most muscle groups. A set of dumbbells from 5-50 pounds lets you achieve endless movements for increased strength, and can often be found for a steal on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji. If space is an issue, a product such as PowerBlocks lets you access a number of different weights, without sacrificing valuable square footage.
If you’re looking for a full-body workout with just one piece of equipment, a TRX Trainer or kettlebells are both popular options. Keep in mind that a TRX will require a bit more in terms of installation than a kettlebell, but both offer endless workout options with very little investment.
And if you want a challenge somewhere in between, mini bands or resistance bands allow you to amp up the intensity of your workout without taking up a ton of space or a high price tag. Most free weight exercises can be modified for use with bands. Bands are available from Amazon or any specialty fitness retailer, but even discount stores such as Dollarama carry them.
Mobility training is an often overlooked aspect of fitness, but it’s very important for achieving both cardio and strength goals. Without a full range of motion, your body is missing out on many of the benefits of any exercise you perform.
Luckily, mobility workouts are easy to do from home — all you need is a bit of space and a sequence of moves specific to your goals. If you want to up the ante or make your routine a bit more comfortable, equipment such as a yoga mat, blocks, and straps can help you achieve a deeper stretch.
Classes and Routines
If you’re someone who finds the energy, pace, and accountability of a fitness class more your pace, there are plenty of at-home options available. There are budget-friendly subscription options for moms and moms-to-be, apps geared specifically to men, and even complete workout series available on YouTube.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can achieve your health and fitness goals from home — and you don’t have to spend a ton of money to do so, either. With a bit of consistency, effort, and creativity, you can easily hack your space to become your very own home gym, and enjoy all the health benefits that regular exercise has to offer. No matter how fast-paced your lifestyle, you deserve a calm, quiet moment to give yourself a little daily nurturing, and exercise is one of the best ways to do so.