Before we get started, I want to clarify: this is not a post about how to burn the most calories at home or get in the most intense workout in your living room. It’s about how to enjoy a home workout and feel refreshed + energized, because that’s the main goal of joyful movement.
If there's one thing I love, it's home workouts where I can make crazy facial expressions without doing a double take to make sure no one saw that. If there's another thing I love, it's the $$$ that home workouts save this unpaid intern. Exercise has been a constant learning curve for me for the past 5 years as I left the world of structured sports and activities and had to actually, you know, do it on my own.
I'm a firm believer in finding exercise that you love and that you genuinely want to do and benefit from, but it took a lot of hitting and missing. I struggled through my friends' workouts and tried all the things before finding online barre classes that I loved, and tossing in the occasional home HIIT workout or job outside. And of course, now that I found a way of moving that I enjoy and actively pursue, it's still a learning process because working out at home is different than at the gym is different than outside etc... so in the spirit of always learning, today I'm sharing 3 tips that I've discovered that really help you get the most out of a home workout!
SET UP YOUR SPACE
Obviously, you want to move furniture out of your way and grab any weights, balls, etc. you may need. But one of my new favorite things to do is to create a visually distinct workout space by rolling out a yoga mat or towel. It truly helps get my mind in the mood and makes it feel like it's GO time, not just time for a few sit-ups next to my bed before getting bored.
PLUG IN...AND UNPLUG
Two words: wireless earbuds. Ohhh my goodness, these have been a game changer. I just got this pair after having a less sturdy pair that died, and for some reason just now made the mental connection that you can connect these to a computer and not just phones. So now, I mute the workout's music (this is a separate option than the instructor talking in B3, which is amazing) and I add in my Spotify workout playlist behind the teacher. Sure, I'm on a different beat than the fitness models in the video, but I'm on MY beat and there's nothing that will make me drop it like it's hot like some JT (and vintage JB...whatever works, right?).
BUT while technology is theee best for bringing you the latest in music during workouts, it's also distracting as all get out. One thing I'm really trying to commit to is turning off my phone or setting it aside during a workout and really dedicating that time to myself, however long it is. It helps me commit to the moves and pay more attention to my body, and once I'm done I feel much more satisfied.
EXPLORE THE MOVES
I will be the first to tell you I often fall prey to the "harder better faster stronger" mindset in all areas but this can be problematic in that A) that's just a lot of pressure to put on yourself in general, and B) you may push yourself past what your body is telling you is okay, and injure yourself. I used all of the turbo options in classes up until getting in a major car accident this January, and I've since been forced to modify a lot of things to be more gentle on my neck and upper body. I was a little scared to take modifications in in-person classes or at the gym because I was always concerned about what people think, but after needing to explore the mods out of medical necessity, I almost think that some of the moves get deeper in the muscles being worked while taking it easy on the injured ones. The moral of the story is, explore how you're moving and whether or not a slightly different version of your move would better serve you on that day.