Has the coronavirus pandemic derailed your fitness goals? Well, you’re not the only one. Millions of fitness enthusiasts around the world were left without the opportunity to squeeze in a workout at their favorite spot: the Gym.
For the last 3-4 months, gyms have taken a back seat. Health and fitness experts say that working out at home is the new normal and will be the smartest way to remain in shape during the months and years to come. The $94 billion fitness industry is still very much on thin ice and anxious about its future.
For now, as most of us get out workouts at home, let’s talk about how to make the best use of that time and that environment. Here are some of the worst home workout mistakes you can make when you’re exercising in your casa:
1. Pessimistic approach
It seems trivial, but this mistake might actually cost you a lot of fitness progress you can make at home. When we check out a new gym, we look at what all equipment the center has. The first step to home workouts is to change your approach from what you don’t have (dumbbells, weights, fancy equipment) to what you have (tables, stairs, not-so-fancy equipment, etc).
This, in fact, isn’t a fitness lesson only. This approach to thinking and perceiving the world around us keeps our physical and mental health in check. It’s just another form of gratitude and learning how to make the best of what you have.
2. Going overboard
The second mistake most of us make is over-exercise. Because of the lack of equipment and less control over how we work out, we do not get easily satisfied with the amount of workout at home. Experts strongly recommend stepping up gradually.
Focus on the quality of your workout. Since we normally do home workouts without supervision from experts and without monitoring our vitals, you have to know how to breathe, stop when necessary and limit yourself. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t push your limits as you would in the gym, but you need to be careful and mindful about how much you’re pushing yourself.
3. Boring routines
The third mistake we often do during home workouts is not focusing on variety and keeping things interesting. There could be various factors like lack of resources, creativity, etc. Focus on variety. Diversity will help you build your overall fitness and it’s necessary to cover different muscle groups. Inclusive fitness works well for all ages. If you lack new ideas on how to bring in a fresh approach to your workout routine, check out fitness YouTube channels that can give you ideas. The variety will also help you break the monotony and boredom of working out in the same space all the time.
The fourth mistake we do in-home workout session is lack consistency. Going to the gym is hard enough, but once you’re there, you get a surge of motivation to start and continue working out.
Hitting the gym floors comes with many motivations. Factors like a training partner waiting, a fixed routine or gym buddies make the gym routine consistent.
5. Choosing the wrong environment
This is the same issue that pops up for many people when they start working from home without a WFH office-ready. Simply put, all spots in the house are just designated for particular activities. The bedroom is for sleeping, which is why you can have a hard time working on your laptop in bed without drifting off.
If you don’t have a designated space for working out at home and you’re just setting up an impromptu gym, you’ll have to find the optimal space. Avoid the bedroom at all costs. Sweating out in open is the best thing you can do. You get fresh air. The environment keeps you alert. If you have the chance to work out outdoors, go for it!
6. Exercising without a plan
Every time we do something helter-skelter, when and where we feel like it without a plan, chances are that we’re not going to stick to that activity. Not having a plan just doesn’t work out.
In gyms, at least we have a time limit for how long our session is going to last and when we will head home. But what about working out at home? In gyms, we do have goals, on a lot of occasions our instructor gives us daily workout goals. When working out on our own, we have to do it ourselves, which can be incredibly difficult.
At home, we tend to get into a laid back mode. So, it’s crucial that you start creating a strong plan, an ambitious goal and a reasonable time limit.
7. Not listening to your body
At home, we often get that false sense of security that nothing can go wrong. We can’t go overboard with working out, can’t get injured – basically, in the worst-case scenario, you’ll just chill and lie down.
A lot of us are accustomed to ideal workout circumstances. At home, the air quality might be bad, you might have no options to air out your space, and many other difficulties. At home, you need to listen to your body when it says that something is not right. You have sole responsibility for your health.
8. Bad form
If you’re doing yoga or Pilates, it’s crucial that you nail the positions just right to get their maximum benefits. This is also important in all other sports and workouts. As you’re exercising, your instructor points out what you’re doing wrong and what you should improve. At home, you don’t have that, so you need to rely on your own knowledge. For beginners, this can mean many mistakes, which can sometimes even be dangerous.
9. Losing motivation because of no supervision
This is a common mistake we all make. It’s especially apparent if you’re trying to lose weight by working out at home. You have more free time, the stress levels are high and it’s hard to keep your hands off of tempting carbs and sweets.
In a gym, you have an instructor who helps you focus on a goal. If you constantly see your gym buddies progressing, you get motivated too. However, you don’t have those types of motivational resources at your disposal at home. Make sure you set up daily/weekly/monthly goals. Measure how far you’ve come towards your goal. This helps you push that extra mile when it seems impossible.
If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us regarding fitness, it’s that in times like these, workouts can still de-stress our minds and bodies, and it’s possible to do it all at home. However, it comes with no professional help, supervision and external motivation, so you have to be your own guide. We strongly recommend you set up a goal for your overall physical and mental fitness. Go slow and promise to stay consistent, even on hard days. Avoid risky workouts that might injure you. Create plans and routines that have variety. Lastly, keep a check on the environment you have around you during the workout.
Do you feel like you’re making some of these mistakes in your home workout routine? What would you like to change about it?
Daniela McVicker is a psychologist and family counselor. She is also a freelance writer and a contributor to Top Writers Review. Her passion is writing about leading a healthy family life and helping people enjoy their lives to the fullest.