When the days are short and the nights are long is when most of us think of taking up an exercise regime. But dragging yourself from your warm home out to the gym or for a run in the park always seems like such a great idea until it rains, or you’ve had a tough day at work…and quick as you can say ‘get to the gym’ your fitness plans have disappeared into the abyss of forgotten good intentions.
So, is there an easy way to get fit that doesn’t involve leaving the house? Of course there is! With a little imagination you can turn your home into a hive of fitness activity and it doesn’t have to cost much, either.
The first place to start with a home fitness regime is with a little research. Get yourself online and find out about what’s out there and what interests you. Fitness could be weights and resistance based, aerobic, or gentle like Pilates and yoga.
Treat yourself to a few health and fitness magazines. These are often a really good place to start, as for around £3 you can get motivation, find out about new products, and even try out free fitness programmes. Some of them tell you how to turn walking into a workout, train to run 5km or more, or slim down and tone up specific areas. They’ll give you ideas about what you might like to try.
Online Personal Trainers
Personal training and fitness is big business and if you type ‘online personal training’ into Google you return over a million and a half results, even just in the UK. So take your time and see if any of the online plans attract you. Virtual personal trainers can range from interactive online fitness centres that guide you and motivate you, to just a list of exercises for your body type that you can do at home and a diet plan, so do shop around. Some of the interactive online trainers are very sophisticated and enable you to download tailor-made workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
You can also get free online personal training websites which are a good way to find out if working out at home suits you.
Home Fitness Equipment
Unless you have a lot of money to spare, you’re unlikely to have a home big enough or the funds to start kitting your home out with treadmills and the like. If you really do enjoy using the fitness equipment at the gym, and think you’ll get good use from it, you can buy full sized home versions of gym favourites. They are expensive though, and don’t be tempted into buying the cheapest versions as they are likely to be the ones that wear out or are exceptionally noisy. If you’re thinking of splashing out on a cross trainer, bike or treadmill for home use, pay as much as you can afford.
Less expensive options are a better idea for a first timer, so investigate the High Street sports shops or browse online for good prices on hand weights, resistance equipment, even mini steppers, hula hoops and skipping ropes. The more variety you incorporate into your daily workout, the more likely you are to keep up the good work. Invest in an instruction book too. Most fitness equipment comes with an instruction leaflet or DVD these days – make sure you understand what you’re doing before you try using anything to avoid injury and make your workout effective.
The ubiquitous post-Christmas workout DVD, usually featuring an ex-soap actress, is a best seller. But it’s a safe bet that the majority of them end up languishing in the DVD pile, used three times and never again. It’s essential to find a workout that you enjoy. If you have two left feet, a dance based workout will leave you frustrated and tripping over the furniture, for example. Some DVDs also require additional equipment like a mat, weights or similar. Usually it’s inexpensive. One good way to get free workouts on the TV is to find the fitness channel on satellite TV and see what’s available. If you have a satellite package, you can usually get this one for free with a basic set up, and it features everything from dance and hip hop routines to yoga and workouts for mums-to-be.
Fitness doesn’t need to cost a fortune and with a little imagination you can get fit in your living room at the fraction of the cost of a gym membership.