Current exercise recommendations for good health – that’s for everyone, not just for athletes or those seeking the perfect body – are that we should participate in regular cardiovascular activity and weight training at least a couple of times a week, along with regular stretching. While many people join a gym to pursue such fitness goals, the cost can be prohibitive for those on a tight budget, especially given the recent explosion in living expenses. And the self-consciousness associated with crowded gyms deters many others from gym-going, too. So, what are the options for your at-home exercise regime?
Home-Based Exercise Equipment
You won’t have to look far if you think home-based exercise equipment might offer your personal fitness solution.
Then there are the perennial TV advertorials for endless versions of home exercise equipment, which target our emotions by boasting astonishing results in a short time-frame… but read the fine print! Here again, like most consumer products, we are faced with so much (mis) information that it can be overwhelming to make a considered choice.
Of course, one piece of equipment will not serve a lifetime of fitness, neither in terms of durability nor in its ability to keep your interest long term. So, check your neighbour’s spare wardrobe (or Ebay!).
Odds are, you’ll stumble across a dusty and disused piece of paraphernalia long since ditched – as good as our intentions are, boredom is a major issue when it comes to adhering to the newest gadget over time.
And that can be hard when apparatus such as treadmills and stationary bikes range from $200 to many thousands of dollars in price. In such cases, renting is an option that provides some flexibility for those more whimsical in their approach or needing to ease the pain of a major purchase.
Then, of course, some of the best home-based exercise options are free. Walking and jogging are highly effective when it comes to fulfilling the cardiovascular exercise recommendations for health and fitness. Biking is also a great option especially if a non-impact alternative is required.
And winter tends to dent even the best intentions to get out there after work, especially when air quality is an issue. So, don’t forget ‘exercise snacks’ – any activity is good, so gardening and vacuuming help notch up points as well.
Lifting Weights at Home
Resistance training at home poses a more vexing quandary, but remember that weights exercises don’t have to be equipment-dependent. In fact, if you have the right advice, a bit of cheap and basic kit, and a few stimulating ideas, you can create perfectly effective weights programs at home.
Cheap weights sets are readily available and serve the needs of the home exerciser more than adequately, but it’s crucial never to neglect correct technique in any weight training. Done properly, this is an extremely beneficial mode of exercise for anyone wanting to lose weight, tone up and be healthy in general, but weight training done poorly is risky. Good technique takes the right information and the right feedback from a trained eye.
You also need to know how to write yourself a safe and effective weights program and how to progress what you are doing over time, which can be perplexing. Weight training program should be progressively and incrementally changed to prevent physical and mental staleness, and knowing how to achieve this takes a degree of skill and experience.
Personal Trainers at Home
For this reason, home-based personal trainers are a great option for those choosing to eschew the gym in favour of the convenience and privacy of home , and a really cost-effective idea is to share the price. For example, find a good home-based PT who will charge you and three friends $80 per session. If you split that between four people, and have the trainer advise you once every six weeks, that’s about $170 per year each for personalised fitness advice and ongoing motivation, without the cost of a gym.
A good trainer will impart a great deal in one session. Also, exercising with a friend or in small groups is well proven to greatly enhance your chances of sticking to the habit of exercise at home. Have fun, motivated each other through the downs and keep each other accountable for turning up!
Long-term adherence to your own exercise regime takes considerable motivation and determination, particularly for home-based exercisers, who don’t feel the obligation to extract maximum use from a gym membership by actually attending! Expect some periods where you find yourself lacking the will to create and stick to your exercise plan. It’s not at all a bad thing to try and fall short now and then – it is certainly far better than giving up. Just get going again, or – as the well-worn cliché has it – “Get back on the horse!” Make your home and neighbourhood your gym!
Authour Resource: Suzannah Moss is a health and wellbeing journalist who writes regularly for the UK National Register of Personal Trainers. For More information please visit: http://www.nrpt.co.uk/become/introduction/index.htm