Love it or hate it, this may be the year of home workouts.
This year, I started out with a big intention to actually invest in a membership to a local yoga studio instead of paying the pricier class-by-class option, but as you can guess, by mid-March my goal to catch a group class two or three times per week was no longer feasible.
Luckily, there are more online fitness classes, guides, and programs at our fingertips than ever before, and they come at every price point too. (I now switch between free classes on Youtube and paid Zoom classes through my favorite local studio). Given the variety available to us now, creating a home workout plan can actually be really fun -- but finding the motivation (and time) to squeeze in a good sweat sesh can be challenging, even if the commute is pretty much non-existent.
Just like any goal or routine you want to integrate into your daily life, making time and setting goals is important. Here’s how to get your home workout routine to stick.
Schedule it like any other important appointment
Just like a team meeting or deadline, planning a workout is crucial.
Fitness expert and creator of the L.E.A.N. Method Ariel Belgrave thinks so too. She often talks about the power of planning workouts ahead of time and fitting them in when you can so you’re more likely to get them done instead of constantly putting them off.
If you know your work schedule ahead of time, spend some time with your planner and see when you can best squeeze some exercise in, whether that be when you first wake up or when you have a half hour in between meetings during the middle of the day. It might take some time to find a good fit, but don’t worry about consistently hitting your workout at the same time every day. The glorious thing about home workouts is that you can jump into them pretty quickly, so they're a little easier to fit into a busy schedule.
The more you can plan the better! Include timing, duration of the workout, and any other details you need like a signup link, instructor, or required equipment (like hand weights or a jumprope). Having a plan ahead of time can be so helpful in keeping the motivation.
Set a measurable goal
Now that you’ve invested some time into committing to your workout, set a goal!
An easy way to tackle fitness goals is in your Ink+Volt Fitness Planner, which features a place specifically for weekly intentions.
While a weight-related goal can be an obvious choice with fitness, we suggest aiming for something that's focused more on things within your daily control, like hitting a certain number of workouts per week or incorporating a new type of exercise.
Micro-goals — like adding a half hour of stretching each week — can have great benefits and isn’t tied to a number on the scale, which can be discouraging and hinder your future routine if you don’t meet it, and it also doesn't speak to the many health benefits of consistent exercise no matter what you weigh.
Remember, fitness is more of a journey than a destination, so having new goals every week is natural! Be open to evolving with your routine.
While establishing a home workout routine, be flexible with yourself. It can be a lot to get used to if you've never done it before. Starting small, like adding one morning of yoga sequences to your weekly schedule, may not seem like a lot, but little wins can help you hang on to the routine, and that’s the whole goal.
Do what can help sustain your practice.
Make a playlist you love
There’s just something about the workout playlist that is so motivating, and keeping it updated can make workouts so much more enjoyable. Aim for songs that make you feel confident, powerful and energized.
Incorporate warm up and cool down songs to encourage stretching and recovery during your workout, too.
Pro tip: If your home gym is equipped with a treadmill or you’re out on a neighborhood run, download a playlist that is specifically made with songs that match your running tempo. This Spotify playlist is set at 180 beats per minute, helping keep your run steady the entire time.
Prepare in advance
Being prepared for a workout, even if it’s a yoga video in the middle of your living room, can be the difference between actually laying out your mat or finding a new show to binge.
If putting your workout in your schedule isn’t enough (and let’s be honest, even for the best of us some days it’s not), try preparing in other ways.
- Set out workout clothes. This may be the oldest trick in the book, but it always seems to work. If you’re working out in the morning, you can even sleep in a pair of leggings and a tank top. Getting dressed sometimes feels like half the battle.
- Set your alarm for an AM workout. It’s so easy to hit snooze and catch 15 more minutes, but you could be halfway done with your workout by then if you just got up! Set your phone across the room or set a backup alarm. You’ll thank yourself when you’re feeling energized after you’ve released all those endorphins.
- Pick a workout ahead of time. Don't get sucked into the endless scroll of workout options when it's time to exercise; pick your workout in advance so you can look forward to it and get right to work when it's time!
Prioritize having fun
Perhaps the best thing about home workouts is that there is an unlimited number of new things to try all the time. Going to a new workout class in person can feel a little intimidating, but there’s nothing to hold you back at home. Try a boxing class, new HIIT routine, or strength-building program if you get bored with your regular routine. When you mix in new things, you can return to your regular program with new skills and energy!
Free workout videos can give you a taste of the style before you decide to pay for a subscription or go all in. Explore the variety out there, all from home. It's actually a really exciting time to get into exercise.
What’s your favorite way to workout at home? We’re always looking for new, fresh ways to motivate our WFH workouts. Find us on Instagram at @inkandvolt and let us know!