My husband & I went through many attempts to exercise regularly. It only took a pandemic to finally stick to a workout routine.
Some of the things we’d tried — and failed.
Going to a gym. We’re introverted, so going to the gym where we felt people might judge us as newbies didn’t ring with us.
Buying a HUGE gym machine. It worked for a few days but then we lost interest. It didn’t take too long to become a clothes rack.
Having an elliptical at home. Similar experience. It worked for a few days but then we lost interest even quicker.
Working out in the morning, noon or night. This might have been a consequence of choosing an inadequate workout space. I’ll elaborate later in this article.
Biking / Running. We live in Florida, so working out outdoors during the summer is a challenge. And depending on time of day you could even risk getting heat stroke 🥵.
Factors that kept us from consistently working out #
Inadequate workout area #
We didn’t want to bring a huge gym machine inside our home. So we started working out in our garage. BIG MISTAKE! As I said, we live in Florida and our garage doesn’t have A/C. It felt like working out in a sauna.
We sold our big gym machine and bought a pair of adjustable dumbbells (you can quickly change the weight) and moved our gym area inside the house. The difference in motivation by just doing this was HUGE!
Choosing the wrong workout or difficulty level #
I started with HIIT workouts and tried to do the hardest version. I felt so tired, my body ached for days and I felt so disappointed in myself for not being able to finish the workouts. After 5 miserable workouts I stopped.
I started doing yoga to build some strength & confidence. Yoga isn’t just a good source of positive thinking & meditation but can also be physically challenging. With time you’ll have the tools to move to a more difficult workout.
I did Vinyasa yoga style from the basics, for about a month and a half. And I still do yoga once or twice per week.
Choose a workout that brings you joy. This is so important, because it’s something where you’ll spend a good amount of your time — at least 4 times per week for 30 mins.
If you like the outdoors, go for a walk and gradually, increase the intensity to joggling, running, running with weights. Be creative.
If you enjoy me time, choose a room in your house, put on your favorite music, tv show or audiobook and start doing cardio, yoga, pilates, zumba, HIIT, anything that makes you feel recharged at the end.
Expecting quick results #
Thinking I’d see big results after a month of working out. While you’ll see some results (depends on your consistency & effort) it’s not as much as you hoped. It takes time to see truly noticeable changes in your body.
Stay positive. I’m getting healthier, more flexible & stronger every day I exercise.
Not doing research about the do’s and don’ts #
Not giving enough importance to my body aches. My knees were hurting more than they should. Instead of immediately doing research, I just kept trying to power through the pain. By the end of the week, my knees couldn’t take it anymore.
I finally decided to do research and found that it could be due to weak hamstring muscles, incorrect posture, inadequate training shoes and lifting too heavy. I was doing all of those!
So I bought appropriate training shoes. I stopped doing squats, lunges, jumps and burpees for a month. I started doing gentle exercises to fortify my hamstrings (like banded clams, bridges and deadlifts). When I felt stronger I started lifting light weights again.
Now I can keep up without a problem with any workout.
Not warming-up / cooling-down enough #
I thought they were a waste of time.
I realized I was wrong. Warming-up and cooling-down have a big impact on how your body is going to feel the next day. It speeds up the recovery time, prevents injuries and unnecessary body aches.
Not eating enough #
Eating less to burn more fat. Turns out that only will leave you without enough energy during your workouts.
Eat a light snack before and after the workout (fruits, veggies and nuts are all good). Also drink enough water throughout the day, especially during and after the workout.
Wrong schedule #
I’m not morning person. So getting up very early to go workout had very little chance of actually happening.
Moving my workouts right after work, around 5 pm. I’ll admit this has been possible mostly thanks to the pandemic and quarantine life. We’ll see how I adjust this schedule once we normal life returns.🤞
Working out too much #
I personally haven’t gone through this but I’ve heard of people working out for more than an hour and even multiple times per day.
There’s no need. You’ll only tire yourself out & lose motivation.
Also, instead of working out longer, try to do it smart. For example, while doing squats you can do chest press. Or while doing shoulder press you can balance on one feet or do a lunge. Or while doing a bridge you can also do a tricep extension.
You’ll be working on different areas at the same time.
Wrapping Up #
It’s funny when friends & family ask
“How’d you lose weight?”
“Exercising 5 times per week.”
They’re expecting us to share some new miracle diet. No sorry. It takes time, sweat & effort.
Before we found our workout groove it seemed impossible to build & stick to a complete home workout schedule 5 days in a week. Now exercising is part of our day. And weirdly we actually look forward to it.
Be patient. And remember that it won’t happen overnight but you will see results. And you’ll feel great! 💪