The benefits of exercise are pretty well known. They include a healthier heart, fortified immune system, lower body fat, greater lean muscle mass, and the list goes on.
But between work, kids, and everything else that real-life entails, it can be hard to make room for working out!
The Mayo Clinic has set a recommendation for the amount of exercise you should be getting each week to promote optimal health and wellness. Are you reaching these minimums? If so, awesome! If not, it’s never too late to start.
A few big reasons that many women don’t work out as much as they’d like to include not wanting to deal with the costs, crowds, or time commitment of joining a gym or fitness class. If these reasons sound familiar, an at-home workout is a perfect solution!
Working out at home can break down many of the barriers keeping you from exercising as often as you’d like, and let you start reaping the benefits of physical fitness.
Benefits of At-Home Workouts
- Save Time
Going to the gym can be a major time commitment. Between driving back and forth and waiting for the equipment you need, the minutes can really start to add up. Not to mention those talkative acquaintances we only know from the gym. Not that chatting with them isn’t fun, but some days you just don’t have the time to get caught up in a conversation. When you work out at home you don’t have to deal with these things! It may not sound like a huge time saving, but if you conserve just 10 minutes a day 5 days a week, it adds up to over 43 hours each year. That’s almost 2 whole days! Just think of all the things you can get done with that extra time.
- Save Money
Paying for a membership to a gym or fitness center can be expensive. Even those gyms that advertise a low monthly rate usually have a yearly charge that they don’t advertise. These annual fees can be as much as $50 or more! On the other hand, an at-home workout is free. You can save the money you would have spent on a membership and use it to buy some personal exercise equipment. Although it might be a pricey expense, it’s a one-time buy that you’ll get to enjoy for years to come.
- Don’t Deal With Gym Crowds
Gym crowds tend to fluctuate based on the month of the year and even the hour of the day. But at the wrong time, the gym can be one crowded place. How annoying is it to show up ready to crush it only to spend half your workout waiting in line for the equipment you want. Who needs the frustration? Not you! Working out at home completely eliminates this problem. You’re the only one there, so no waiting for equipment or dealing with crowds.
- Child Care
Something you don’t think about if you don’t have kids is just how drastically they can impact your fitness routine. Some days it can feel downright impossible to get to the gym with kids in tow. You either have to arrange for a babysitter, hope your husband has free-time at some point, or pay those expensive childcare fees at your gym. Take out all the hassle by working out at home! Those kiddos may not let you work out in peace, but a box of toys and a movie might just keep them entertained long enough for a solid training session.
A Sample At-Home Workout
Perform 10 reps of the first 3 exercises with as little rest as possible. When you’ve completed 10 reps of each exercise once, rest as needed, and start over. Once you’ve completed these 3 rounds, perform 3 sets of 60 seconds for the final exercise.
- Burpee Tuck Jump – Begin in a push-up position. Perform a push-up, and on the upward phase, jump your legs up toward your torso and jump upward with your hands in the air. When you land, go back into a push-up position. Repeat.
- Alternating Bodyweight Lunges – Standing upright and keeping your torso in a vertical position, step forward with one leg. Lower your body until the knee of your forward leg is bent to about a 90° angle, then push off to return to the starting position. Immediately perform the same movement with the opposite leg.
- Pop Squat – With your feet slightly farther than shoulder-width apart, lower yourself into a squat and go down past 90°. As you raise up out of the squat, explode upward and jump as high as you can into the air. As you land, go back down into a squat. Repeat.
- Forearm Plank – Balance on your toes and forearms, keeping your body up off of the floor. Tense your core muscles to keep your body as rigid as possible. Hold this position for 60 seconds and release.
Whether you get your workout in at home or at the gym, one thing you can’t afford to overlook is your post-workout nutrition. In order to get the most out of your workouts, you need to eat right soon after you finish.
When you workout, you break down muscle fibers that grow back a little bit stronger each time. But in order to effectively recover, you need to feed your muscles the right things.
You’ll need some quick digesting carbs to help replenish your depleted glycogen stores. Think bread, rice, fruit, or other simple carbohydrates.
Try to avoid fats right after your workout, since they’re broken down slowly. Fats aren’t bad, in fact, healthy fats are an important part of a well-balanced diet. But quick-digesting foods are important right after your workout, and fats don’t qualify.
The most important part of your post-workout nutrition is protein. Protein helps kickstart your recovery and gives your muscles the building blocks they need to regrow. And when it comes to post-workout protein, the best source you can reach for is whey isolate.
It has a high bioavailability, meaning that your body is able to use most of what you consume. It’s also broken down and digested quickly so that it can rush to your hungry muscles in a hurry.
Don’t let the hassle or expense of a gym keep you from improving your health.
You can experience all the benefits of working out right from the comfort of your home!