Tuesday, January 10, 2017

7 Ways to Create a Home Fitness Space


For most people, insert a loud, UGH.

For me, insert a loud, HELL YES!

I am fully aware that I am one of the people that make up the small percent who love exercise and cannot get enough of it. I am constantly thinking about when I can fit it in, how I can make it happen and what to do instead if I cannot for some reason do it make it happen. I do not run from it, avoid it or make excuses as to why it can't be done. For me, it is a part of life I cannot be without. It drives me, keeps me sane and I brings me incredible happiness.

Now the hard part....making you feel the same.

Try as I might, I know that each person needs to take this fitness loving journey in their own way in their own time. But, trust me when I say, the mind and body are a powerful thing to waste. If you really dedicate yourself, make the time and focus in on how you feel after....slowly but surely it will click in your brain: I need this.

Getting to the gym is the hardest thing to do and the easiest to blow off. I know from my own experiences that if I didn't go directly from work it would never happen. If I allowed those poisonous lazy thoughts to infiltrate my brain (Golly, I am soooo tired today. Man, today was horrible, I just want to go home and sit on the couch. Yikes, I have so much to do at home, I better go straight there and skip my workout....) then it was over.  I would quickly rationalize why I couldn't go, skip it and then hate myself for it every second following. So not worth it.

With a bit of planning and the constant reminder of the post-exercise effects, I very rarely miss my opportunity...especially now I have three little ones running around.

Some may say, "Three kids?! So young and close in age?! My, my, that must be a workout in itself"...and they are right. But for me, it isn't enough. I need to be able to mentally get in my zone, sweat like a beast while pushing my body to the limit. Chasing my kids around, doing squats with the baby and bench pressing my boys is just what I do for fun...

For me....
For guests...just a quick fold of that treadmill and a close of the curtain....no one would ever know!
I knew I needed to create a space at home for me to get in my exercise. All the preparation and travel time to and from the gym is not in the cards for me right now, so a quick trip downstairs was the only solution. I needed to create a space for my fitness equipment and where I could teach classes for well, one.

If you too feel the pressure of getting to and from an exercise location, then start small. You don't need too much, most of it is your mindset.

  • Make room. Whether you have an extra room do dedicate or you can designate a corner, do it. Even the living room is fine as long as no one will be around to distract you when it is game time. Locate a spot for your fitness fun and visualize yourself there each day doing an activity and of course...smiling. You need enough room to move, so make sure you remove all furniture/clutter that may get in your way.
  • Gather necessities. Your fitness space may not require anything more than just that...space to move. However I suggest somewhere to play/listen to music. If you have portable speakers, great. If you are more of a headphone person, get what you need. Make sure you have the proper beats to keep your mind busy and body motivated as you get through your workout. I would also suggest having access to a timer, even if only on your phone. My favorite workouts are fast and furious and most need a timer to signify it is time to switch the exercise.
  • Determine tech needs. Are you more of a TV person? Prefer home workout videos? Get organized. I have a TV in my fitness area to put on if I am doing a strength training session (I have gotta keep up on my Housewives of course) but stick mostly to music otherwise. However, I do love a good cardio/dance video every now and then. If you have a collection of your own, make sure you have a computer/TV to play them on. If not, you can easily subscribe to a number of different fitness programs these days. For example, the Daily Burn is only $14.95 a month and allows you to stream TONS of at home workouts...way cheaper than a gym membership and you won't get bored. Plus, you can try it free for 30 days. 

  • Decide on equipment. If you have some great, if you don't no big deal. If you are just starting out on your fitness journey you may want to hold off buying anything until you have adopted this new lifestyle and are consistently being active...unless you think it will motivate you, in that case, do it. The goal would be to have a set of heavy weights (anywhere between 5-10) and light weights (between 2-5). You can use these for all sorts of different activities and there endless workouts available to help you get started.  I also use hand wights that attach around my wrists when running or walking uphill with the baby on my treadmill. Bands are often more affordable and can achieve the same results using resistance rather than weight, it is up to you...just aim to add something to your space.
  • Keep it simple. There is no need to set up a serious at home gym like yours truly. I have the space, passion and desperate need for physical fitness. Not to mention I am a personal trainer and plan to train clients from my future home gym...so I gotta try it out first!  But I know that isn't everyone. So, start out small and make sure to set yourself up for success. Even if it is just a small area of your bedroom with a yoga mat and plug for your phone, that is a great start. There are so many workouts you can do that require no equipment at all, just your body and mind. Stick with the basics and take it one day at a time. 
  • Record it. Notebook, calendar, mirror, poster board, whatever works for your brain, use it. Note the date, the workout and the time interval you accomplished for the day. Nothing is more motivating than watching those entries pile up to keep a visual reminder of your progress. 
  • Enjoy it. Make the time to do you. 15 minutes is all you need to refresh your body and mind, so once you carve out that time, enjoy it. Remember it is all a mindset, so if you continually tell yourself you love it, you will. If you dread it, complain about it and are a full blow Negative Nancy, then guess what, you will hate it. So, teach yourself to accept it and learn to love it. The heavy breathing, the sweating, your playlist, the way your muscles are burning, the way your heart is beating pumping fresh oxygen to the body....oh man...so good.
If you need to tell yourself it is a new year to get motivated, go ahead. But the truth of the matter is, it is a new second and there is no better time to put your health and wellbeing first, starting now. So, go searching for your special space and let's get moving!

Strive to thrive, 

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