Life can be very unpredictable and hectic. This is one reason why many people don’t find much time to join a gym. And like that one, there are a ton of situations that prevent anyone from starting their fitness journey.  One thing that everybody should know is that exercising at home is perfectly possible and can even make dreams of being in excellent shape possible. We contacted some experts on home fitness for tips on how to get there. Here are their answers:

What can someone do at home that complements running or helps improve it?

One of the secrets to becoming a better runner is to warm up before you run. It’s a simple way to improve your workouts and help avoid injury. When you warm up you’re signaling to your body and mind that it’s time to work. It helps get you ‘in the zone’ to run your best. Before you run – take some time to warm up your major muscle groups from head to toe. Start with gentle movements, moving your body slowly to get the blood flowing and loosen up. This is extra important if you run after sitting or laying down for a while. As you’re warming up think about your planned run workout… What’s the goal of this run? How hard do you want to push? Is your body telling you it’s ready to crush it? Do you need to take it a little easy today? After a few minutes, you’ll feel physically and mentally ready and more confident to run.

– Monica Olivas, Run Eat Repeat

How can someone keep themselves motivated while exercising at home?

Try this three-step plan:
  1. Be intentional – have a plan! 
You can’t just wish your way fit; you must make it happen!! Intentionally design the life (i.e. the habits) you want! Create habits by design vs default!! If you don’t consciously create a plan of action and schedule in your workouts, chances are, you will take the path of least resistance — a path likely filled with Netflix and wine!

Schedule in your workouts! Decide — in advance — the “WWWH” of your workouts:

  • What will you do?
  • When will you do it?
  • Where will you do it?
  • How will you make it happen?
  1. Create an environment that serves your goals

Prime your environment so that it “nudges” you to move!! Layout workout clothing before bed. Don’t have unhealthy food in the house. Put a mantra on the fridge that will motivate you to move. Something like. Print out your workout program so that it reminds you to work out. It is way too easy to “forget” to move!! Create a home gym. Invest in a few interesting pieces of equipment so you don’t get bored. The equipment doesn’t need to be expensive, just varied enough to ward off boredom.

  1. Find things you enjoy — or at least that you don’t hate 
Put on some music and dance around! Play semi-active games with your kids such as hide and seek — these types of games may not be a workout, but they require more activity than watching TV. and will help everyone stay fit. Remember, all motion adds up!
Final note, say “fork it” to perfectionism!!  Think “done is better than perfect”. Aim for CONSISTENT DAILY motion!! Consistency is what matters.
Kathleen Trotter

When it comes to big machines like treadmills, which type is the best option to purchase for a home gym?

Investing in any major workout equipment for your home can be great. Treadmills are a popular option of workout machinery to invest in. However, because of the many models and varying prices that exist, it is important to keep several considerations in mind if you are looking to buy one.

What is Your Budget?

Equipment like treadmills are big, expensive pieces of machinery. If you are going to be spending a large amount of money on this kind of machine, you should put it into one that is going to be of the best quality. However, you also need to find a price that is still within reason for you. One of the best tips to keep in mind is to choose the highest-quality treadmill you can afford. This way you will receive one that will be of high quality but will not break your bank account.

Look at the Horsepower

Horsepower is a general measurement of power for any engine. However, there are two measurements of horsepower that some manufacturers fail to point out. These are peak duty horsepower and continuous duty horsepower. The peak duty horsepower is the highest power a motor can run at. Unfortunately, this measurement is useless since the treadmill can not sustain this power and would eventually overheat. So, whatever you do, do not choose your treadmill based on this detail. Continuous duty horsepower is what you want to look at. This measurement is the power that the treadmill can continually and steadily operate at over a 24-hour period without beginning to slow down. This is important, as the horsepower that comes from the drive motor will directly affect the treadmill’s quality and how your workout feels.

Basic Function Specifications

There are several small specifications you want to look for in a treadmill. One of the first to consider is the belt size. If you are planning to run on the treadmill, you will need a belt that’s at least 48 inches long and 18 inches wide. Belt size can also be affected by height. Someone who is six-feet will need a belt at 52 inches, at least for walking, and 54 inches for running. The control panel should be well within reach and practical to use. Check the cushioning of the running bed beneath the belt. Make sure that it absorbs shock when your feet come down, as this is imperative for your joints. Incline ability is another detail to check. Incline creates resistance so you can vary the challenge of your workouts. You should get a treadmill with an incline that can reach up to 10 percent or higher. Next, look at the maximum weight for the model you’re interested in. This needs to be considered especially if you’re a larger person. Speed is another important detail to check if you are planning on running. You are best off with a model that goes up to 10mph or higher. Also, see if you can test it out to check its stability. The best way is to see if the frame shakes while walking or running on it.

Check Your Storage Space

Treadmills tend to look much smaller in the store since they are in a large building. Once in your house, you might find it’s much larger than previously expected. Before looking at any treadmills, take proper measurements of the area you are considering. If you plan on moving or storing your treadmill somewhere else, you should measure that area as well.

– Rich Peck, American Home Fitness

How important is the right meal plan for when you start working out?

Your diet and meal plan are paramount when starting a workout routine. Working out alone, won’t help you reach your fitness goals, and your results are a direct reflection of your eating habits. While many would suggest the keto diet for quick weight loss, it can be extreme and restricting when you’re first starting out. I recommend starting with realistic changes, like swapping out processed sugars from sodas and sweets to natural sugars like those found in fruits. Staying away from fast-food restaurants, and meal prepping at home. And making sure to stay hydrated–drinking water throughout the day can help with hunger and satiation.

– Talaia, WholeYum

When training at home, should one stick to a single routine or change it up frequently?

Changing up your workout routine is a way to drive progress, however, there’s a fine line on how often you should change it! Constantly switching up your routine will make it hard for your body to adapt to the challenges you’re putting it through which can actually slow down your progress – this is true for training at home or at the gym! So, instead of switching from one routine to the next, focus on making incremental progress in your workout before changing things up. We suggest changing up your entire routine at least every 4-6 weeks.

This means switching out exercises for new/harder ones, or for those focusing on cardio, change the type of cardio you’re doing. If you’ve been running consistently, change it up by doing HIIT training for 4 weeks instead. For example, Fit With Iulia’s Tone Up At Home program features a training split so you target different muscle groups every day, so the exercises are different every day, but you’re practicing the same (or similar) exercises for a particular muscle group for weeks at a time. This will help bust workout boredom and help you drive better progress!

– Iulia Danilova, Fit With Iulia

What would be some must-have training items for a beginner at home?

My must-have recommendations for beginners training at home would be a yoga mat–or comfy floor–resistance bands, a pair of adjustable dumbbells, or a few sets of dumbbells with varying weights (nothing heavy needed) and a door pull up bar if they have a place for one. You can accomplish a ton of full-body workouts with just these pieces and add on as you progress!

– Miljo Dragutinovic, Gym Ventures

What would you consider to be the first machine anyone should invest in for their home?

We actually do not recommend that anyone get any machines for their home gym. They simply don’t provide a fantastic return on investment in both your workout time and your money.  What we recommend is that people spend the money and purchase a weight rack. From there of course you’re going to need a bar and some weights which you can often find both secondhand. If not, you can get all the equipment you need to start off with the primary lifts for around $500-$800.
As far as the type of rack we recommend for those with a lot of space we would recommend a full-size one. For those where space is a premium, we recommend something more like a half-rack. If space is really at a premium we recommend squat stands or a folding rack. Once you have the bare-bones equipment you need you don’t need to start learning how to do the primary lifts. Those are:
  • The Squat
  • The deadlift
  • Press
  • Bench Press
  • Pull Up
– Brian, Home Gym Strength

Regardless of the type of exercise to pick up, or how much equipment can be afforded. The most important part of achieving anyone’s home fitness goals is perseverance. Managing to find a mindset to follow the schedule will transform not only the physique but the general lifestyle of anyone for the better. It might be difficult at first, but with a little consistency, anything can be achieved.