The Good the Bad and the Ugly of home workouts

Written by Libby Norris

You may have made New Year's Resolutions - many times over - to get active and join a gym and perhaps even gone so far as to buy a membership. If you're like a lot of people, though, you may have wandered in a few times and been so uncertain of where to begin, felt intimidated or out of place, or perhaps your gym bag never made it out of your car! Even for people who do get started and on a roll, that first interruption - a business trip, vacation, or kids sick at home - throws their new routine off and it becomes far to easy to say "I'll start in again next week", but next week never comes.

Working out at home can be such an appealing option with the challenges of time and hectic schedules. It is certainly more convenient, considerable less expense and you never have to wait in line for equipment. Working out at home comes with it's own unique challenges.

First, decide exactly what you are going to do for your home workouts. You will need some kind of equipment for home training, even if it's just a good pair of shoes to head outside for a walk or jog.

When you're looking to set up for home workouts, consider the following to help narrow down your choices and ensure that you set yourself up for success!

Objectives. Do you want to work on your cardiovascular endurance, "tone" up your muscles or increase your flexibility? You really do want to shoot for a well-balanced program that incorporates all four components of fitness - cardio, strength, flexibility and balance. The key is getting motivated and started, though, so try to gear your program to the area that you enjoy most.

Preferences. Here is where you want to customize your program. Identify the specific exercises or activities you do enjoy, or at least don't hate! You'll certainly be more likely to hop on your treadmill or follow that DVD if it's something you like. Your motivation comes in to play here as well. If you know you don't have too much of it, you may want to have someone on a workout series guiding you along the way.

Space. Make sure that your workout comfortably fits your space and is convenient. Decide on one or two options for where you could workout and then measure the available space. Allow for a bit of set up shuffle, but if you have to rearrange your room or tuck your equipment under your bed or in a basement corner, your new equipment purchase just may end up being a very expensive laundry or magazine rack!

Budget. Give yourself a range so that you can consider various options from equipment to following home workout DVD's. Exercise equipment can get expensive and if you are opting for a larger piece, your motivation and commitment should match that investment.

*Try out equipment at a gym or a fitness equipment store. Get a week's pass to a club or go as a guest with a friend. 
*Ask around about infomercial products. No doubt you are not the only one tempted by late-night ads that have inspiring testimonials but perhaps exaggerated promises. Ask around to see what may have worked for friends or co-workers. 
*Be realistic. Regardless of the equipment or program you embark upon, it is going to take more than 5 minutes a day to get ultimate abs or long and lean limbs! 
*Create a schedule. Use a calendar, journal or a schedule you post on your fridge! Create a standing appointment with yourself each week for your workouts to help you stick with your good intentions. 
*Have a workout buddy. Invite someone over for workouts or at up an accountability partner you check in with during the week. It makes it more fun and helps you to keep on track.

Always consult your health care professional before making any significant changes in your dietary habits or your physical activity routines.

*©, 2013 Trademark of Kellogg Company used under license by Kellogg NA Co

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