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Looking for exercise equipment for the home, and don’t really know where to start? The key to creating a home exercise routine that’s going to work for you, and is most likely to deliver the results you want, is first to get really clear on what your fitness goal is.
What Is Your Fitness Goal?
If you’re relatively new to the health and fitness scene, you may have a very broad goal like ‘to lose weight’ or ‘to get toned.’ These are perfectly fine and a great place to start! But how will you measure your success? It’s really important when it comes to setting long-term goals that we are able to mark and measure our improvement as we work towards the end goal, so you may want to refine your goal further.
If you want to lose weight, how much do you want to lose, and by when? How much weight will you need to lose each month, to achieve this goal? Similarly, if you want to to work on toning your body, what you’re really looking to do is probably a combination of fat loss and muscle gain. So it might be that measuring increases in your strength each month are a great way for you to track this. Perhaps you could set a goal to increase a particular exercise rep count by a certain amount each month, as you work towards your target.
The Benefits of Exercising at Home
Of course, for some of us, the goal might be even simpler than building muscle or burning fat. given the year we’ve had, a lot of just want to feel better. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These interact with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain, but they also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that caused by morphine. Physical exercise also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which play an important part in regulating your mood, as well as keeping stress hormones like adrenaline in check. To put it simply, exercise is an incredible (and natural!) way to manage your state of mind and wellbeing.
If it’s not your mood you’re worried about, perhaps it’s your general fitness level. Has a year of staying home left you feeling tired by the simplest of activities? Would you like to be able to run up the stairs without feeling out of breath at the end? Perhaps you might choose to focus on building your cardiovascular fitness over the year ahead, and measure your progress by keeping track of your heart rate during a control exercise you could repeat once a month.
The important thing to remember is, whatever your goal, you can achieve it if you stay focused, and build exercise into your routine as a habit, rather than something that’s out of the norm.
‘Why should I buy a treadmill – can’t I just go and run outside?’ is a common response to the concept of investing in a treadmill for the home gym. However, for those of us who are new to the world of fitness training, the idea of going for a run outside can be off-putting enough to keep you from exercising at all. Whilst it can be lovely in the spring and summer months, running through cold winters takes dedication, and sometimes just isn’t possible at all due to dangerous ground conditions.
The benefits of owning your own treadmill include being able to exercise whenever it best fits into your routine – this could be 5am in the morning when it might be too dark to venture outside, or even 7:30pm at night when you can jog your way through your favourite TV show, instead of sitting sedentary on the sofa. Fitting exercise into your life at the easiest time means you’re less likely to find an excuse to resist doing it, and you’re more likely to turn it into a habit.
Walking, jogging and running are fantastic for building cardiovascular health, and a great way to ease yourself into the world of exercise at your own pace. Start with 30 minutes of walking 3 times per week, and go from there. It doesn’t matter how you begin… as long as you begin!
A fantastic way to build strength, increase muscle mass and help you achieve a more toned figure, it’s easy to see why working out with weights is a popular choice among many looking to exercise at home. The initial investment can be small, weights are easy to store, and you do not need a large amount of space to work out. The key to ensuring you are able to stick to your new home exercise plan, is finding a system that works for you. Whilst cardio can be ideal for some, others hate it, and instead embrace strength training to improve their overall health and fitness.
The important thing to remember about working with weights, is that it’s not just for bodybuilders! It helps to keep your bones strong and healthy, boosts metabolism and fat loss, and can even help to improve your posture, your sleeping, and your energy levels, too.
A lot of people are unsure as to exactly how vibration training works – to put it simply, vibration training involves you sitting or standing on a vibrating platform. The vibrations from the piece of exercise equipment stimulate the muscles in your body, which forces them to contract and relax dozens of times each second. Advocates say that as little as 15 minutes a day on a vibration plate can bring fantastic health benefits, and leave you feeling as though you’ve exerted yourself, just as you would after a traditional workout.
Vibration plates can also be used to add intensity to your existing workout routine. Take your squats from the carpet to the plate to make your body work even harder, and reap the benefits. Vibration plates are accessible in the vast majority of gyms, and the good news is you can invest in one for your home exercise routine too. Use it as a warm up, to intensify your usual workout or to aid your post-workout recovery. Providing a low impact form of exercise makes these devices a great investment for all ages and fitness abilities.
Don’t forget, if you’re not yet ready to invest in any exercise equipment for the home, but still want to invest a little time and energy into building your fitness, you can check out our YouTube channel for home exercise videos you can participate in with no equipment! Our Mr Motivator Playlist is a great place to start.
Always remember to speak with your doctor before deciding on investing in new exercise equipment for the home and starting a new exercise routine, and ensure you are well enough to participate in your chosen regimen without causing yourself illness or injury.
For more top tips on boosting your wellbeing, check out the rest of our articles right here.