This past Spring, as Summer was approaching, I decided I wanted a summer without having to get to the gym every morning with my kids. They’re older now and I don’t feel like they need the play time the same way they did when they were younger. They have play dates and friends over all the time and it just seemed like one more thing to have to juggle. I wanted my mornings back to go swim or meet up with friends. So, I dropped the gym. For the first time in 9 years I’ve been working out at home. And I LOVE it, but it definitely has it’s pro’s and con’s.
Here are a few of the pro’s and con’s of working out from home:
Positive: I’m not spending 2 hours of my day getting to the gym, dropping the kids, getting upstairs, warming up, getting an hour workout(unless I needed more for a longer run), waiting in line to pick up the kids from the kids club and getting back home. I just found (for me) the gym was a huge time suck and this has given some freedom back to my day’s. I can hop off my treadmill or finish a run/workout, walk right in my door or out of my bedroom and get back to life.
Negative: With school out I’m working out with little people around or really early in the morning. While I love the extra time at home and around the kids, it does make things a little tricky sometimes. There are a few more “distractions” if you will than there are at the gym where you can stick your head phones in and press on. Your kids are occupied while you workout so you aren’t having to stop to find paci’s or put out kid fight’s. And good grief, someone always needs a snack. And there always seems to be a giant pile of laundry right in front of my treadmill. But such is life.
Positive: We joined a country club in our neighborhood, which sounds more expensive but surprisingly, for a social membership it’s cheaper than our gym membership. They have a workout room should I need it but honestly, I have everything I need at home. We joined for the pool. Which me live at during the Summer. But as far as my workouts are concerned, I don’t use a gym.
Negative: Purchasing some equipment if you choose to can be a bit of a cost. I love that you really don’t have to have equipment to get a great workout or to get healthy, but it helps. For me, as a runner with a husband who trains a lot and travels, running only happens outside when he’s home. Which means for me to train for a marathon with no gym and Rob traveling and leaving some days at 5am for the gym, I needed a treadmill to fill in the gaps. It was a cost up front but I snagged one for $100 so that was a huge blessing. You just need to decide what you want to purchase and prioritize it. Get a few things here and there and collect over time.
Positive: Working out at home means I can walk out my front door and workout in my driveway or go for a run. I do speed work on my street because it’s a nice long flat stretch and I’m close to home. I love getting outdoors and always felt suffocated by the gym, so this is perfect for me.
Negative: Um. It’s hot. Really hot. And winter’s get cold. I can move my workout indoors just like at the gym but still, when my goal is to be outside as much as possible, you have to deal with the elements.
What I miss:
Working out at home means working out alone. I miss the energy in a gym and I think that’s part of why I LOVE my boot camp setting so much. I may be teaching but I feed off the girl’s energy and excitement. If you can’t afford a gym or don’t feel that’s right for you, joining a local boot camp might be a great option. Often times these are less expensive than a gym and you get a personal trainer along with it. Or, you could join a running club or just get a group of friends together to workout in your driveway or living room. I’ve tried to get out of my running solo comfort zone a few times to get some accountability and time with other runner’s.
What you need to workout at home:
Truly…nothing. I know that sounds crazy but you don’t have to have any equipment. Body weight workouts are calorie buster’s and a great place to start. But, if you are ready to move on to a little more challenge and start gathering some equipment for home, here are a few options for you:
Yep. That’s right. Get yourselves a Pinterest account. It’s awesome because it has workouts galore at your disposal. My warning however would be to use caution and common sense. Don’t try to tackle a 6 mile interval run workout in the middle of the day when you are on a beginner level as a runner. The same can be said for strength training. Don’t pin advanced workouts and moves if that isn’t where you are in your fitness journey. You’re only inviting injury, frustration and discouragement. That being said, Pinterest is an excellent resource and it’s completely free. Make sure to choose key words like beginner or advanced, no equipment or body weight and use it wisely.
2. Yoga Mat
A yoga mat really goes a long way. It allows you to get down and up especially if you are doing a lot of body weight movements without equipment. It helps protect your hands from hard surfaces and allows you to set weights down without scratching hardwood’s if working out indoors. It gives you a space for stretching and cooling down after a hard workout. It’s an easy purchase that you can grab at Target or Wal-Mart that you won’t regret.
Lila helping a client…..on my fave mat courtesy of Lululemon. It’s been through A LOT with me.
3. A set of dumb bells
This is not a must, however, it will help create some challenge and dumb bells are extremely versatile. You can use them for almost anything.
4. Kettle Bell
I LOVE my kettle bell. You can do an entire workout with one kettle bell and it’s fun and unique and puts a different spin on a typical strength workout. Love this little tool.
5. Stability Ball
Again, none of these are must have’s, but if I’m pointing you in the direction of some inexpensive gym equipment that goes a long way a stability ball has to be in the mix. It’s cheap and easy to use and is great for stability, balance, core and everything else in between, so…go get you one.
Hope this helps ya’ll. Working out and getting healthy doesn’t have to cost lots of money. You don’t have to have fancy equipment or a gym to get fit. Find yourself a park bench or one monster hill and go to work. I promise it’s worth every second.
Lots of you out there workout at home. What are your secrets? Favorite workout equipment?