Setting up a home gym

It’s not always easy to fit in some exercise between work, the kids and the chores. It’s the modern dilemma: the busier your life is, the more important it is to find balance with exercise and sleep, but there’s just no time. Have you ever considered working out in the comfort of your own home? It could change your life, because a home gym has never been so easy to set up – meaning no more excuses! Now’s the time to get in shape.

 What is a home workout?

 You hear doctors say it all the time: it’s important to get regular exercise. It gets you into shape and into harmony with your body and mind. With the hectic pace of modern life, more and more people are turning to working out at home. It saves them time, travel and gym membership fees.

Today, it’s no longer necessary to have a big dedicated room to get in your regular workout. Whatever your objective is, you can meet it without having a lot of gear and equipment.

 Benefits and advantages of working out at home

 A home workout can accomplish almost all of your fitness objectives (as long as you complement it with a stroll outside or other fresh-air exercise).

 Home workout buffs emphasize the absolute freedom it gives them: just a few items of equipment – or none at all! - and you can sweat it out where and when you want. No need for a gym, a personal trainer or even a schedule.

Furthermore, working out at home is often less costly than the price of a gym membership. Nowadays, there’s a huge choice of products for home gyms: equipment that’s easy to store or pack, and plenty of accessories, like simple weights that you can do an endless variety of exercices with.

 Getting the gear: 6 products you want to know

 Skipping rope is a complete exercise for the lower body that also tones your abdominals, arms and shoulders. You’ve known how to use one since you were a kid. Now you know that it’s ideal for burning calories and building endurance.

You can begin with five minutes of skipping, then increase it progressively to a 30-minute sweat.

The stationary bicycle has long been the lonely symbol of home workouts. But today, all you need is a cycle trainer: it’s a base that takes up very little room, which you put your bicycle wheel in.

One of the great advantages of cycling is that it builds muscle without risking damage to your joints, all while it slims your silhouette. And of course, it’s an amazing cardio workout.

 With a mat and dumbbells, you can do an incalculable number of exercises for your entire body: work out the arms, glutes, legs and abs, then store them away in the closet.

If you want to work your abs, the key exercise is the plank: support yourself on your mat with your elbows and feet, contract your abs and maintain the position for between 30 seconds and a minute.

Follow your heartbeat to set your pace with a sports watch. They help you listen to your body so that you can optimize your workout, and every year they offer more and kinds of information on what’s going on in your body

 An exercise ball lets you more gently work out while strengthening your deep muscles. Its first benefit is for the abs (a very effective way to get a flat belly), plus it also builds muscle in the glutes and thighs.

 Exercise balls come in different sizes, so there’s an ideal one for you. Note that the softer, less inflated the ball is, the easier the exercises are to do. Therefore, it’s best to gradually inflate it as your fitness improves.

Affordable and multi-purpose, resistance bands add resistance that amps up almost any exercise. Whatever your shape, no matter your age, they help tone your body. Like a skipping rope, a resistance band couldn’t be easier to pack, and it’s simple to use.

Working out without gear or equipment: is it possible?

With a little imagination, many exercises are totally doable just using the weight of your body wherever you happen to be. These include the classic squats, push-ups, planks and sit-ups, but there are many more exercises that work out specific muscles of the body.

 Your home workout plan

 Here are some effective exercise ideas that you can do in the comfort of your home:

  1. The warm-up: an essential step before you begin your exercises. You can do a light stationary run, lifting the knees high for a little extra. Now that you’re warmed up, the workout can begin.
  2. One set of squats
  3. One set of jump squats
  4. One set of push-ups
  5. The plank for 1 minute (start with 15 seconds, then progressively increase);
  6. One set of sit-ups
  7. Back extensions
  8. Stretches: take a few minutes to stretch all the muscles of your body and cool off.

Three guidelines to boost your workout

1.     Make exercise a habit: they say it takes 21 days to take on any habit, including getting regular exercise. So don’t give up if it seems tough at the beginning. Once you make exercise a habit, you no longer question yourself, or decide that you just don’t feel like it. Once a habit, you just do it.

2.     Reconsider your eating habits: sports and good eating go hand in hand when it comes to life hygiene. Take a look at both your diet and your workout.

3.     Be consistent: when you wake up in the morning, during your lunch break or to decompress in the evening, it’s important to respect your schedule and your commitment to yourself. 

You don’t have the time? That’s no longer an acceptable excuse when you’ve set up a convenient workout space at home! Stay at home, and go for it!