Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Starting a Workout Program Part III: Working Out at Home

Part III of a series...

When I first started working out, I tried a gym. It didn't work for me at the time. So, I tried working out at home. I loved how convenient it was- I could do it when I wanted, I didn't have to drive anywhere, I didn't even have to brush my teeth.
One of the great things about working out at home is doing it 37 weeks pregnant..(in a very messy living room, apparently).

I've moved on to take (and teach) group fitness classes, running outside or with a group, but I still will always have a special place in my heart for my videos.

If you decide that working out at home is for you, here are some tips:

1. Find a support group

One of the first pieces of advice I hear when it comes to working out is to get support. You tend to be more successful if someone else is involved. Even if you're working out alone, there are ways to find support. You can join an online support group, such as Team Beachbody or a Facebook group. I like to participate in Facebook challenges, where we check in everyday and talk about what our activity was that day. However, you decide to do it, just involve someone else, and you can support each other.

2. Schedule a time

Before I had kids, I would start a Saturday thinking, "I'm going to work out sometime today". I might piddle around, and then eventually decide to start the workout. Even on weekdays, I would try to do my workout in the morning, and if I missed it, I could pick it up after work (even if I was tired). But, with 2 kids and a full time job, there is often only one choice for a time. I schedule my workouts on Google calender as if they were a meeting. I also put them on my daily to-do list, and love the feeling of crossing them off when I'm finished.

3. Find something you like

I mentioned that I used to go to the gym and do the stairclimber for hours. I was bored to tears. I thought exercise had to be boring. This applies to home workouts as well. No, every single workout you ever do is not going to be the best thing ever, but if you like something, you're going to want to do it more often. You may not like every second of it, but chances are, you'll find workouts that click with you.

I hardly ever buy a workout without checking the reviews on Videofitness. These are honest reviews by consumers and they really tell you *everything*. This is a great resource, and a great place to check out to get ideas, or to follow up on any of those infomercials you saw at 4:00 am...

4. Keep it varied

I love Turbofire. I bet if I did the same Turbofire workout every day for a few weeks, I would see great results. But, there are two problems with that. First, my results would slow because my body got used to the workout. This is often called The Plateau Effect. Second, I risk a repetitive use injury from using the same muscles every day. So, it's good to vary things. You can do different types of cardio (Hiit, Kickboxing, Step, Dance), strength (circuit, heavy, functional), yoga, core, pilates... there are a ton of different activities to choose from.

5. Keep it simple

I'm going to contradict myself here just a little. I just listed a bunch of options for your workouts, but I want to encourage you to keep it simple. You can get overwhelmed by choices.

Rather than doing the same video every day (which could get old fast), at least alternate between two. Many fitness programs (yes, including those from Beachbody) offer entire programs with a schedule to tell you when to do each workout. I love this because it takes the guesswork out. You just do it when you're supposed to.

If you're not up to a full program, like I said, just alternate a few. Many DVDs out there come in sets. Just look for variety.

I'll repost the links from the last post just to remind you what resources there are.

Please feel free to post questions or comments. I love talking about this, and would love to help you get started!

Be well!


Sites to check out:
My Beachbody Store - Beachbody is the company that creates workouts like P90X, Chalean Extreme, TurboFire, Hip Hop Abs, Slim in 6, Body Gospel... There's also online support and a community to help you stay accountable.

Collage video - Collage sells ONLY exercise videos. They also provide a short clip of every workout, so you can see what you're getting.

Videofitness - The video review site. You can search for reviews by instructor or workout type. Also, the forum is a great place to get information.


brooke said...

part of what I have liked about my personal February challenge was that I alternated between Leslie Sansone walks and Body Gospel workouts. This is great information! Thanks for sharing. :)

Sarah said...

What a great post! I'm starting to get back into a weight loss routine because I gained SO much weight after my break-up. I'm horrible at losing weight, so you definitely helped me a lot. I HAVE to start Turbofire now too :p My friends are so into in but now you've convinced me to do it!

Unknown said...

Love this post!!! You have such great ideas! I'm going to check out Facebook groups right now.

cakeologist said...

I prefer to workout at home, but I can never seem to make myself actually do it...

Hanizeyecandy said...

Hi! I'm stopping by from For The Love Of Blogs- Let's Get Fit!
Great Ideas.
I love Collage Video too. Always refer to it before I bought anything related to DVD workout.


TriGirl said...

Hi Sarah--stopping by from Let's Get Fit! I totally agree to find something you like and keep it interesting. Exercise *should* be fun!

Vanessa said...

I love my workout dvd's...I workout with a personal trainer & do taekwondo but it leaves me one or two days that I can do something on my own and it is nice to have a variety of things to choose from right in my own living room :)