Training at home...
Training at home with the Corona Virus, COVID-19 outbreak is now even more important to stay mentally and physically healthy. People need to keep themselves active and it has never been so important in light of the current pandemic. However with social distancing it can make exercise seemingly a little more difficult or at the very least requires a little more thought. Training at home has huge benefits but there are some downsides. So lets take a look into the ins and outs of training at home and let's help you stay active and healthy.
Training at home can be an absolute blessing offering convenience and comfort. There's usually some level of commute to an external venue to train, so training at home saves you time or even gives you more time to train. In most cases when you've planned your exercise well, you can even roll straight out of bed and straight into your workout and then straight into the shower! Additionally the downside to an external venue is the shared space, so training at home ensures there's no waiting for equipment, no sweaty equipment or at least the equipment that's been sweated on is yours and yours only and when your done their may even be a comfy sofa to crash on.
Music is an important factor when exercising it , helps with motivation and pacing of the workout and being at home you have full control of the choice and the volume. Working out in the convenience of your home with music you love, with the shower and post workout coffee near by. Winning.
A big factor to training at home is the environment, this can be a large downside as exercise and training well does require an appropriate environment that's geared towards exercise and activity. If you use a room to train and exercise in this can been difficult to get the most out of sessions if the environment is usually one that you relax in as opposed to being one that motivates and brings energy. Lot's of people lack motivation even when the environment is perfectly geared towards exercising and this motivation an drop considerably when they attempt training at home and in the end they end up doing... well not much. Lots of people require the social of gyms and studios a better motivator and need the environment to be positive and motivating towards exercise. Most people that train at home find they get better consistency if they are able to convert a room and make it specifically for exercise. Unfortunately most homes aren't designed with exercise in mind, however with a little bit of thought about the main considerations, you turn a room, a garden or a space at home into the ultimate training environment.
Before we delve into the considerations it is important to understand what exercise, activity and needs do our at home training environment need to provide. What type of exercise or you using in the space? weight lifting? low impact? jumping? aerobics? Some considerations we look at are general and should be applied overall, others maybe influenced by what type of exercise you are doing and what equipment you are using.
The Flooring. - the flooring is a vital component to think about as it can literally make or break the workout, or the floor. Most studios and gyms have specialist 'anti fatigue' flooring which offers protection to both the user and equipment. Now ideally we need to think about the flooring in the area we are going to train. Most floors aren't designed with impact in mind, therefore jumping and any plyometric movement needs to be approached sensibly. The floors aren't designed for dropping weights and we must be careful, that our free workout at home isn't going to cost a new floor. Many individuals use their garages and turn them into a mini gym as the space is ideal, however the flooring is generally concrete and would increase the chance of injury for anybody that is using it for jumping or bounding movements or exercises. If you have a solid concrete floor it would be an idea to invest in some anti fatigue flooring such as interlocking gym matts to increase the cushion as you land from any high energy exercise.
Now whether we are training on carpet or hard floor needs to be taken into consideration. Carpets offer a soft base for floor based exercise but there is issues with friction burns and holding sweat as we train. We will need to clean the carpet a little more often if we are training. Hard floors can become slippy with sweat and aren't the most comfortable for floor based exercise, however they are easier to clean and wipe down and the disadvantages can be solved with a small purchase of grippy yoga or exercise mat. Finally your flooring should be clean as well as dust and sweat free.
The Ceiling. Importantly how low is your ceiling? Being 6ft and in a low ceiling means I'm either going to smash my head as I jump up and ram some weights through the ceiling as I press them above my head. Again have a think about the exercise you intend to do, you don't always need floor space, sometimes you need overhead space.
Obstacles and Furniture. As we get tired through exercise our focus, concentration, coordination and balance can decrease this can be extremely hazardous if we trip, fall, smash ourselves on our coffee table, shelves, TV or whatever else we left in the way. So move everything you can out of harms way and make your space safe and free from obstacles as possible. The extra few minutes moving furniture will save you money buying replacements smashed and/or a trip to A&E and make sure your workout is as safe as possible.
Temperature. Most studios and gyms are temperature controlled with air con and fans for an optimal workout temperature, usually around 16 degrees. Too hot, we sweat too much and run the risk of dehydration and even fatigue and fainting. Too cool, there's a greater chance of strains and sprains. Most homes are generally too warm for exercise, so ensure the room you are using has an air flow by opening a window and you've turned off/down the heating and iven the room you are working out in a chance to warm up or cool down. Finally insure your body is able to regulate your temperature by ensuring you consume small regular amounts of fluids during your workout.
Clothing and Footwear. All because you're at home and you can train in your pants doesn't mean you should. Firstly hygiene, even in your own home sweating and working out can effect the cleanliness of the environment. Secondly safety, appropriate clothing and footwear can offer to keep you cool, offer grip and support and ensure nothing is restricting your movement, increasing the safety of the exercise. If your working out, wear specific exercise clothing and footwear. Appropriate clothing and footwear are big advantages to safe training especially in areas of the home that may not be designed for exercise. If we go back to the solid concrete flooring in your garage gym, appropriate exercise footwear will over your feet much needed support and cushioning to your exercise.
"All because you're at home and you can train in your pants doesn't mean you should".
Equipment. Lot's of people invest in fitness equipment to use in the home most of which in the end turns into a glorified clothes hanging. Small portable equipment such as resistance bands, small barbells, steps, suspension straps, steps and even bigger items as such as treadmills and squat racks are used within the home which overall improves exercise variety and effectiveness in a relatively affordable manner. Now ensure you do your homework and understand what it is your buying to use at home. You need to invest wisely to get the most out of the equipment and your workout. Let's take a treadmill... takes a lot of room up, is expensive to buy and run and the only thing you can do with it is run on it or hang your coat off. An appropriately selected kettlebell is small, portable, doesn't take up much room, is very cheap when compared with a treadmill and in the right hands there are tons of exercises you can do with it and different ways you can use it to build towards different goals and outcomes. For the price of a treadmill, you may as well purchase a set of kettlebells and run outside. So do your homework before you purchase to ensure the equipment you buy to use at home gives you value for money and offers the user variety to their workout.
Training Alone. Let me start this final consideration with a scenario... You're young and some might say foolish, you're in your kitchen working out lifting some weights. You load up your somewhat heavy bar and are bench pressing away. You're struggling but get a good pump... oooo your getting tired and just need one. final. rep. Ok, that sets done and now you haven't got the strength to lift the bar off your chest. You give it a minute, whilst this somewhat heavy bar is simply sitting onto your chest and slightly crushing you. Nope, cant shift it. So it leaves you with no choice... 'dad...dad....dad.. DAD'. Your father walks into the kitchen sees you stuck under the bar and tuts at you, replying 'you F-ing idiot' takes the bar of you and walks calmly back to watch TV in the living room.
If you haven't realised during the scenario... that was me when I first started training as teenager... If it wasn't for my dad, I may have still been crushed under that bar even now. So the moral of the story is try to ensure somebody is around just in case and don't take needless risks if you are alone. Whilst appropriate exercise is safe and effective there is always a risk of injury or illness so ensure your not alone in the house if you can help it.
So there you have it, with a little bit of thought and if you follow the considerations outlined above you will workout and train in your home in the most safe and effective possible, maximising the advantages of training at home and getting the most from your workout. Exercise at home is truly the most convenient.
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