No gym? No problem… workout at home

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WELCOME TO the first of our regular RTN fitness column, aimed at giving tips and advice on the right and wrong ways to stay in shape this Summer.

Most people when they plan to get fitter, often think the only option is to join a gym, which is a good idea in theory, but very often, after the initial couple of visits, the novelty wears thin and the gym membership card sits in the wallet or purse unused, or worse still gathering dust in a drawer.

Well, the good news is, you don’t need an expensive gym membership to get into shape this summer, you can work out from the comfort and convenience of your own home, and you have a lot of options other than jumping on an exercise bike or treadmill.

Here are a few useful and fairly simple tips to set up your home exercise routine without breaking the bank on equipment

CHOOSE A LOCATION

Designate and declutter a spot in your home for your workouts. Don’t automatically pick your basement or garage. If it’s not an appealing space, you won’t want to spend a lot of time there.

Look for an area near where you often sit, along the lines of an empty corner or a spot near your TV, for instance, could be perfect.

Seeing your exercise place may inspire you to get up and move. You don’t want it to be out of sight, out of mind.

BUY THE NECESSITIES

You don’t need a lot of fancy gear as for under €80, you can buy some basics, such as an exercise mat, stability ball, resistance bands, and a few dumb bells.

Or try to make your own list, based on what you want to do. What equipment do you need to support your goals?

ADD SOME COMFORTS

Whatever your favorite way to entertain yourself may be, get it ready to go, and then save it to enjoy during your workout.

Make a playlist with songs you love. Download an audiobook you’re excited about. Record a whole season of a great show on your DVR, or add it to your streaming queue.

LOOK FOR ONLINE TRAINING

Check the web for online fitness classes where you can find yoga, dance, strength training, and others that you watch from your iPad or computer.

Some are free, some are pay-as-you-go, others require memberships and a monthly fee, so try these ideas:

Curvy Yoga: Online classes or videos of yoga taught by, well, a curvy woman
DailyBurn: Various types of exercise at different challenge levels
Physique 57: Videos of a boutique fitness class that combines ballet, Pilates, and isometrics
Pound Rockout Workout: Online version of a popular fitness class at Crunch gyms — simulated drumming with lightly weighted drumsticks for cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, and plyometrics
YogaGlo: Videos to download

MAKE A RESERVATION

When you exercise at home, it’s easy to let life interfere. That’s why it’s especially important to have a set time to work out.

Find a time that feels best for you (in the morning, before dinner, in the evening) to ensure your success.

At the start of every week, look at your calendar and slot in your workouts. If your preferred time slot won’t work one day, find another time that will.

IMPROVISE

Once you start feeling energized and burning calories, you’ll be even more motivated to keep going. When you’re especially crunched for time, try this:

Throw on some music and have a dance party whilst watching TV, or maybe when ironing, walk on the spot.

When you’re cleaning or pottering around, maximize your steps and be less efficient by carrying one bag of groceries in at a time.

Make two trips up the stairs instead of one and you’ll burn twice as many calories.

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