Many of us are looking forward to getting back into the fitness studio or gym. However, even when these places resume business, it won’t look quite the same. Like it or not, exercise-at-home may remain your main option for a while as we deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. I’m hearing from many that you do not enjoy exercising at home. It may be that you don’t have adequate space or equipment. Or that you don't feel motivated without the group fitness atmosphere or a trainer there with you in-person. However, if you want to maintain or improve your fitness level and receive all the wonderful benefits of exercise, you can find ways around these barriers if you are willing to experiment. At-home exercise may not be your favorite but it can be effective and surprisingly satisfying!
It happens. Health stuff. Family stuff. Work stuff. Life stuff. Most of us will face changes or difficulties at some point resulting in consistent exercise falling down or completely off the priority list. For some, it’s forced rest due to surgery, injury, or a medical condition. For others, it’s a matter of planning or mindset due to changes in life circumstances. Whatever the reason, if you’ve found yourself without fitness on your priority list for months or years, this post is for you.
The doctor said, “You have healed well and you’re free to do what you want.“
It’s been over nine weeks since surgery. I've had very little physical activity during those weeks, not even walking, because I was instructed to restrict even that. The challenge now is building slowly while challenging my body appropriately.
Prior to surgery I was teaching up to seven Jazzercise classes per week and a lot of that was cardio. I was lifting moderately heavy weights. I've lost cardiovascular endurance and strength. Cardiovascular conditioning declines more quickly than muscular conditioning but both areas will require a re-building phase. No matter what fitness levels were prior to surgery, we all share several important considerations as we start to exercise post-hysterectomy.
I'm often asked for advice about at-home workouts. Several women have used a modified Reuna Fitness Starter Package for that purpose: to learn how to develop at-home workouts that support goals using simple equipment. For those looking to add some new elements to your at-home workout space this year, I've got a few recommendations. These are all products I've used and feel they are worth the money and space but feel free to shop around for similar equipment if you've got a favorite brand. I'm not getting paid for any of this ;)
I love rubber mini-bands because they are inexpensive and versatile for both lower and upper body exercises. They travel well and can be stashed almost anywhere if space is an issue at home. Last year, I bought a few of the wide Fabric Booty Bands and found that they are more robust and they don’t slip or roll when performing lateral walks or other lower body exercises. A variety of fabric bands can be found on Amazon even though I don’t necessarily agree with marketing that contains phrases like “beach booty” and “perfect bottom”. My bottom is always a beach booty, thankyouverymuch!
My knees are relatively healthy and happy but they aren’t so happy on hard surfaces! When I want to do kneeling exercises and or spend some time stretching and moving on the floor, I get out my thick purple yoga mat. I watch for sales and got mine for $15.19 online.
In addition to dumbbells, consider adding a few kettlebells to your at-home workout space. They add a new element to strength training and cardio exercises without taking up a lot of room. For beginner/intermediate exercisers, the weights available are plenty challenging.
Your at-home self-care collection could use a foam roller or two. I prefer the 36 x 6 plain one. I use it regularly on my calves, quads, and upper back. If you are unfamiliar with foam-rolling, e-mail me and I’ll send you some information or join the Reuna Fitness Circle on Facebook to find a video demonstration.
The Basic Amazon Bench is a fantastic simple bench. Inexpensive and sturdy!
All the balls: medicine balls, soft medicine balls, slam balls and stability balls. Each require relatively little space and add variety to strength, core, or cardio sessions. You don't have to have all the types like I do.
Last but not least, a planner! I personally enjoy using The Happy Planner (found mine at Michael’s). Although my phone is always with me, my preference is still to write it all down: appointments, client sessions, to-do lists, and my own workouts. Maybe someday I'll switch to an app of some sort but for now, I love my paper planner! "The discipline of writing something down is the first step towards making it happen." -Lee Iacocca I'm sure it applies to typing it out too! The key is getting the tasks at-hand somewhere you can see them and track them.
So that's a small list of some of my favorite fitness things for at-home exercisers. If you are an at-home exerciser that's become bored or you aren't quite sure how to put together workouts with all of your fitness stuff, the Starter Package or other coaching options may be for you! Let's talk about where you need guidance; the initial consultation is always free.
Join me in the Reuna Fitness Circle on Facebook for exercise and motivational videos and posts and a small community of women working towards improved fitness and wellness.