Do we really need a gym membership to stay fit?

Miranda Stoner shares her top tips on how to stay healthy and fit at home without the added expenses of a gym. She talks about her favourite home workouts from 21 day pilates to cardiovascular training videos.

31st October 2017
Image Credit: Pixabay

Theoretically, there is no reason why exercising at home shouldn’t get you the results you want, whilst saving you time and money. However, in practise, this isn’t always the case, and it’s often down to a lack of motivation.

If you’re paying for a gym membership or playing for a sports team, then you are more likely to have a scheduled time and sense of obligation to exercise, whilst if you’re exercising at home, you aren’t going to feel as driven.

One of the best ways to stay on track when it comes to reaching your fitness goals is using YouTube or other workout videos. Although some of the instructors can be a bit irritating, there are so many out there that everyone is bound to find one that inspires them. It’s also important to pick a workout which targets the area of the body you’re hoping to improve, whether you’re looking for a flat stomach, toned arms, or a bum like Kim K. Try out a few different lengths and intensities to get a feel for your level. Always remember to read the description as well, as these sometimes suggest alterations or helpful hints for staying on track with your training. It’s really important that whichever work out you decide to do, it’s one you enjoy doing, otherwise you may lose motivation and give up.

It’s also a good idea to start small. If your main aim is weight loss, then try experimenting with a few 10-20 minute YouTube workout videos and pick one that you find challenging but not impossible. If you schedule this video every day, it will equate to between one and two hours of extra exercise a week, which burns around 350 calories. This may not sound like much, but if you stick to your plan you will notice a difference- every little helps!



Personally, I find exercise challenges are a great way to stay motivated. These offer a bit more variety so you don’t get bored doing the same routine every day, and they also provide a more holistic training. These often include rest days as well, which allow your body time to recuperate. My favourite is the Boho Beautiful 21 day Pilates Challenge. At the start I found it difficult, as it worked muscles I didn’t even know I had- but by the end it was so much easier and my flexibility improved.

For me, one of the main problems with working out at home is that I never know if I’m doing the exercises correctly. For example, I spent years of my life thinking squats were all about the bend and never tilted my hips back, until I was told at an exercise class that I was doing it wrong. It can also be hard with yoga workouts to tell whether your body is in line, but as a general rule, if you can feel the burn- it’s working. It’s really important to check that you are in the correct position for any exercise, as bending the wrong way or pushing yourself too hard can easily result in injury. Unfortunately, some videos don’t bother with a warm-up or cool-down, but these are key for peak results, so make sure to work in some sort of warm-up before hand, including stretching, and cool down correctly after a workout.

As well as workouts, the internet has a plethora of cardiovascular training videos. For the best results, it’s a good idea to include these in your schedule, or go for a run, as this will help you burn fat and release stress. Most importantly though, you need to make sure you enjoy yourself. One of the major benefits of working out at home is you have free reign on the speakers so you can blast out ‘Get Your Head in The Game’ and exercise like there’s no one watching- just watch out for the lampshade.

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