Pilates, HIIT classes, lifting and spending hours on the StairMaster — all popular forms of exercise that come with grand promises to transform your health. But it comes at a cost — both in the literal and figurative sense. Classes and gym memberships can run up to $300 a month, and going to the gym can be inconvenient at times. Nowadays, the internet can provide all the information we need, so who says you can’t bring the gym home instead?
Whether you don’t have the money or time for a conventional gym workout, it’s perfectly plausible to get a good workout from the comfort of your own home. Aside from being more convenient, home workouts, which are typically completed alongside some form of video, can provide a more targeted approach to exercise.
No longer do workouts have to be completely full body, incorporating cardio, weights and machines. Instead, with a simple search, you can find targeted workouts that work for you in an instant. Whether it focuses on a specific muscle group or a piece of equipment you have at home, there is bound to be something for you.
We tend to associate hard workouts with seeing results. However, working out doesn’t have to be some dreaded activity where you leave dripping with sweat, smelling like a dead rat and eager to hop in the shower as soon as you finish up. Instead, change your frame of mind out of that “all-or-nothing” mindset.
“I try to personalize the workouts to my clients,” said Miami-based personal trainer Karen Cano about her own workouts. “Everybody is different and has different goals so that is definitely something to remember.”
Unfortunately, workout videos aren’t always as personalized as paid services from a certified trainer, but you are able to pick and choose what you want to do and, most importantly, do it at our own pace. When it comes to doing workouts at home, Cano suggests that people focus on strength training, as it is important to work with what you’ve got, especially because it is hard to do intense cardio sessions in your apartment living room while your roommate plays GTA.
When it comes to the actual exercises that she does with her clients, Cano tends to focus on full body movements, yet at the same time incorporating functional movements that are more targeted. If you don’t know where to start with home workouts, she also suggests that you start with something full-body, and then as you get to know your body, you can focus on weak points. As you progress in your workout journey, you should try and remain in tune with your body’s agility and strength, as well as listen to signs from your body that you may be pushing yourself a little too hard.
Cano tends to not isolate muscles, and instead focuses on multiple muscle groups at the same time through exercises such as deadlifting. In that vein, it is important to note that for certain sports, such as bodybuilding and more intense forms of training, home workouts probably aren’t going to cut it. However, home workouts are a good start for anyone interested in trying their hand at fitness.
She further suggests investing in low weight dumbbells such as eight- or 10-pound weights because with lower weights you can do more reps and achieve results. But these results will come within months, not weeks. Fitness isn’t an overnight transformation, and in the meantime, it is important to enjoy the short-term benefits, like endorphins. Switch your mindset to seeing your at-home exercise as a form of self-care, rather than a momentous activity you force yourself to complete to burn calories or build muscle.
For UM senior Mia Ornstein, she explains that she does “at home workouts if [she’s] feeling called to move [her] body.” She goes into further detail explaining that she tends to want to exercise to “quiet [her] mind.” When it comes to what specific exercises she does, she says that she does “a Pilates workout and [places] weights on either [her] wrists or ankles.”
“I use YouTube videos and sometimes add in a TikTok video if I want to try something new,” said Ornstein.
It is important to note that you don’t need to splurge on materials such as a mat and attachable weights right off the bat, but when you get more serious that might be a consideration.
Working out is about self-love and taking care of your body, and you don’t need to spend hours grinding in the gym to reach your goals. Simply showing up and being consistent is the most important. Do it for yourself, and don’t be afraid.
words_veronika valia. photo_ethan dosa. design_charlotte deangelis.
This article was published in Distraction’s Winter 2023 print issue.
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