With the gyms still closed and it being cold and dark, many of us may feel like we need a dose of serotonin. Working out regularly can help us feel happier because it can boost our serotonin levels (more info on that here). During the warmer, drier months, you may have found it easier to exercise regularly because we could do more recreational outdoor activities near home. However, many of those activities become less pleasant when it’s cold and rainy… I, for one, am probably not going to the lake to swim anytime soon. So How do we help ourselves feel good without going to the gym? Bring the gym home!
Making an in-home gym can be expensive and complicated, but you don’t necessarily need to spend a bunch of money on equipment to get yourself off to a good start.
Figure out what kind of exercise you’re interested in
Of course, if you want to learn how to lift weights, you will need the weights and all that goes along with them—lifting benches, squatting bars, etc. But if you want to do more HIIT workouts or bodyweight workouts, your biggest needs will be a couple of pieces of equipment and space! Once you figure out what direction you want to go in, you will decide on the items you absolutely need.
Gather your Equipment
Once you’ve decided what you want to do, it’s time to gather your equipment! I’ve been seeing a few people lately having luck getting exercise bikes from amazon. We all miss our spin classes, and you can always get a Pelaton, but sometimes people don’t want or aren’t able to spend that much money on an exercise bike. There are some great options out there for just a few hundred dollars.
I like exercising in front of a mirror to make sure my form is correct when making certain moves. You can order a large mirror for your space, or you can scour your local thrift shops like habitat for humanity for a large mirror to mount or prop up against the wall.
A few good things to have on hand are workout mats, yoga balls, kettlebells, a jump rope, and I have a few dumbbells for some arm workouts.
Get to it!
By far, the hardest thing about working out is just starting! Making it a priority in my life is always the hardest part when I’ve fallen out of the habit. I often think of so many things I could be doing instead. There is always something else to work on other than y health! But I have also found that I’ve never regretted taking even 15 to 20 minutes to stretch out and get a little sweaty! I feel so much better all day and find that my brain is clearer for me to focus on everything else I want to get done in a day.
Don’t Be Scared!
I used to think that I would have to do too much stuff to my garage to get it turned into a good gym space. I don’t have any fancy equipment, and my garage is not insulated AT ALL. But working out in the garage, rather than my house, helps me get out of my head, looking around at all the housework I have to do. (my husband typically keeps the garage pretty clean, so I don’t have to worry about it while I”m in there) and once I’ve been moving around and getting sweaty, I find that I don’t mind that my garage isn’t insulated. If it’s freezing and uncomfortable when I first begin, I bring a space heater in with me.
Good luck! I know that 2020 has been a difficult time for many of us. I hope you are finding good ways to keep your spirits up; remember, working out is a great way to do that! You can start anywhere you are at!