Have you been living that sedentary lifestyle for the past couple of months at home? Being lazy around the house is not only hurting your productivity but is also causing mental health problems. That is why we put this easy guide to get fit at home so you can stay healthy and get in to shape.
No one could have guessed that this quarantine would go for so long. The fact that a pandemic has isolated citizens of the world with all the technological and scientific advancements we currently have is astounding to say at the least.
While this sedentary lifestyle seemed like a mid-year vacation, it is now turning into a highly frustrating period in recent human history. Our mental and physical health is taking a toll due to this. A study found that every additional hour of sedentary behavior causes a decline in immune function in young males. Not only this, but a more comprehensive study found that a sedentary lifestyle is proportional to cancer, diabetes, and an increase in heart diseases and risk of dying.
These are no laughing matters and chances are that you have started to feel drained, out of shape and lethargic throughout your day. The right amount of daily exercise can boost your energy level. But more importantly, it keep you in much needed shape and help your immune system flourish.
Before you make your first move to get fit at home, you need to keep these things in mind.
The Pre-requisites To Get Fit At Home
Set SMART Goals:
Tis’ the time to motivate yourself to do better. The best motivation is by setting goals for yourself that you know you can accomplish. Having vague goals like “get healthy” or “build a rock-solid body” won’t give you a sense of direction. Having specific goals like “working out for 20 minutes a day to complete a circuit that works out my chest” will make things a lot easier.
Give yourself a time frame as to when you see yourself full filling these goals. Research in neuroscience shows that once we are closer to fulfilling a goal, the dopamine signal gets stronger. Your brain literally lives for these surges in happy chemicals.
Dedicate a place to work out
Just like your bed is associated with sleeping and as soon as you lay down, your body is automatically triggered to go in to sleep mode. Likewise, you need a similar place in your house for workouts. The association you will now make with a place will help. Every time you enter that specific area, your brain will automatically know what it needs to do.
Our brain works on these associations, we have practically made association with everything in our life. It is the easiest way for our brain to automatically trigger a mood. To stay motivated for long bouts at home, every brain hack can help make it easier to get fit at home.
Balance your time
We have an ample amount of time on our hands. Majority of it is spent scrolling through one app to another or just passing time being as unproductive as possible. Forcing yourself to convert all of this time in to doing something productive will just make you crash sooner than later.
The trick is to assign a time when you feel comfortable working out, it could be in the early morning hours or in the evening. Don’t put an unnecessary burden upon yourself to accomplish a lot. This will just add to the number of reasons as to why you should just chill out.
Resist the laziness
Anytime you want to do something good in your life or make a positive change, your brain will list down a list of reasons as to why you shouldn’t. Fact is, it is more rewarding in the short term to take the easy route in life. Missing workouts, sleeping in, procrastinating at work, doing the bare minimum is easy and requires less mental energy and focus.
Years and years of taking the easy way out has caused laziness to be our number one response to worthwhile things. This is where you really have to give yourself pep talk through almost every set. Convince yourself that hard work now will have you reaping pleasures that you can never attain by being lazy, it’s all just a game of thoughts.
Reward yourself for permanent changes
Give yourself a treat, raise your self-esteem by positively talking to yourself, show off your growth to the right people and make a record of your improvements. Also, treat yourself to your favorite meal, buy yourself a new shirt or just binge watch your favorite movie. Do some of these every time you reach one of your measurable goals that you have outlined for yourself.
These treats will make your hard work worthwhile, it will also reprogram your brain to associate this hard work with not pain but pleasure. The end goal is to get fit at home and to make sure that these changes last even after quarantine ends.
How To Get Fit At Home
Start with simple exercises
Before you start working out to put on mass or tone your muscles, you need to get rid of the side effects of this sedentary lifestyle. This is easily accomplished by doing a mixture of basic movements to get your muscles pumping again.
Start by doing a circuit of three sets consisting of push-ups, planks, squats, high knees and crunches. Each set should consist of around 5 to 7 reps and you should do this circuit for 4 days a week with a resting day in between.
This will greatly help you get back in to form and it will count as your first successful baby step on the journey to get fit at home.
Workout with just body weight
Working with just your body weight to make drastic changes to your body is a concept that has been around for decades. With the advent of gyms and equipment, no one really gave calisthenics (the art of bodybuilding without equipment) much importance. However, with Coronavirus shutting down gyms, working out at home with just our body weight is quickly garnering importance again.
We have a collection of workouts that use only your body weight to build mass. We customized each circuit to work on a specific muscle group and a few full body workouts too. You don’t need any equipment to get started on these.
Workout with make shift equipment
Stuff a backpack with a bunch of weight and strap it on for your next set of squats for an increased burn or you can do push-ups with it. Better yet, fill two backpacks and put them at the end of each shower rod for a makeshift barbell. You can even fill up a water bottle and place it on your abs to help strengthen your core. This legs and thighs workout uses this make shift equipment to help you tone your lower body from the comfort of your home.
However, the best piece of affordable equipment you can gift yourself is a resistance band. With a resistance band you can do thousands of different movements and workout your entire body or specific muscles group. Resistance bands can help add extra pressure to your body so you get similar effects of using equipment in the gym. However, they are much cheaper the perfect investment for to get fit at home.
Stairs can be your best friend in this time of isolation. Doing 20-second stair climbs quickly up and down for just 3 sets can help you improve your fitness in just six weeks. And we all have accesses to stair either in our house or around our apartments. You can do a little bit of brisk walking around the house or whip out a skipping rope for something more face paced.
Kind of falls in to cardio, but dancing is an art of its own. Ever since social isolation started, social media has seen an increase of live streaming concerts. You can use these tunes to literally dance like no one is watching, if you aren’t living with the family that is.
Dancing, when it reaches a vigorous intensity, can have positive effects on the heart and can help establish fruitful mental health.
Just because we are all under quarantine, doesn’t mean you can eat snacks and junk food all the time. The first half of the equation to getting fit is working out. The other half of the equation is eating healthy to support the gains.
A healthy diet can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like diabetes, obesity, depression and numerous heart related diseases. Foods with vitamin B are important for the production of happy chemicals like dopamine.
You need a healthy mix of proteins and carbohydrates to keep you energized throughout the day and to help build back stronger muscles.
Sleep on time
Sleep is of the utmost importance when it comes to cell and muscle regeneration. Having a deep and sound sleep helps us enter in to REM, a state of sleep that helps with muscle recovery. Again, have a proper sleep schedule reduces the numerous risks like diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.
Trying to get fit at home during quarantine doesn’t not have to be a painstaking task. It is about simply rewiring your brain. Many times we start with the motivation to get in to shape. But not only does the motivation vanish after 3 days, our new routine goes down the drain too. That is why we focused a lot on how to make these changes permanent during this blog.
Once we get down the steps to make this new routine a lasting one, we can then focus on how to start. Bring your body back in to the groove by doing easy circuits of exercises before upping your game. Once your muscles are back in flow, follow anyone of the numerous workouts we have customized for your home. Majority of them don’t even require any weights. Yet, the ones that do can be made at home with objects you already have.
Hopefully this guide should help you get started to get fit at home during the Coronavirus.