Staying fit can be a challenge for anyone, what with the demands placed on our time and energy by work, family obligations, and the need to decompress with our favourite hobbies when we finally get a moment to take a breather.
For parents of young children, a whole new dimension gets added to the picture, and it can seem hard to find any free time at all, for any purpose at all.
As if all that wasn’t enough, getting into fitness for the first time, or after a long lapse, can be a stressful experience in and of itself, and many people find themselves feeling self conscious when trying to work up a sweat at the gym, surrounded by more experienced trainees.
One great solution to both the time-crunch and the potential confidence issue is to begin getting fit at home.
Here are some great ways to do just that.
Buy some stationary cardio equipment
Cardiovascular exercise is arguably the most fundamental for overall health and wellbeing, as well as general fitness performance, and weight loss as well.
That’s not to say that resistance training isn’t very important — essential, even. It just doesn’t hold quite the same lofty position in helping us to boost our moods, avoid disease, and prevent us from becoming winded when climbing up a long flight of stairs.
While everyone’s familiar with the high-tech treadmills and stationary bikes found in gyms across the lands, many people don’t realise that effective, affordable, and space-efficient versions of these exist for the home as well.
Buying the best recumbent exercise bike you can reasonably afford is a tremendously positive way of investing in your fitness and health. With one of these, you don’t have to worry about heading out into the rain, cycling around bad neighbourhoods, or driving down to the gym to get a proper workout.
Instead, you can simply set up the exercise bike in your living room, and do some gentle exercise whenever you have a free moment; for example, when you’re catching up on your favourite TV show. And when you feel inspired and energised, a high intensity “sprint” session can be had in 10 minutes or less.
Pick up some resistance bands
It’s an easy mistake to make to think that you need a full suite of dumbbells, barbells, and fancy exercise machines in order to get a good resistance workout done. Luckily, that’s not quite true.
While you do need access to free weights if you’re planning to build immense strength and compete in a powerlifting meet, you can begin building decent strength with just resistance bands alone.
Resistance bands are essentially large elastic bands designed for you to use for resistance training. They take up almost no space, come in different strengths, and can be used for everything from curls to rows and chest presses. The amount of tension you put in the band determines how intensely it will work your muscles.
Follow a bodyweight exercise program
Bodyweight exercises are incredible, ecause most of them require no equipment at all. Advanced variants and progressions, such as one-armed pushups or pistol squats, can help you to build strength and muscle, while explosive, high-rep exercises like jump squats can get your heart rate up like virtually nothing else and help you lose weight, while also improving your muscular endurance dramatically.
Many bodyweight exercise books and programs exist. Choosing one of these and sticking with it for at least a couple of months can have an enormous effect on your fitness all by itself.