The second-wave induced lockdown has got us cooped up at home, yet again. And, with limited or no access to fitness centres, home workouts are fast-becoming the new norm.
However, it's no news that exercising at home isn't half as stimulating or challenging as doing so at a gym! Complacency and lack of motivation often begin to kick in after a few weeks—serving to be the primary obstacles getting in the way of you achieving your fitness goals.
Since the transition from a pumped-up gym workout to an at-home regime is nothing short of wearing—especially for health enthusiasts—we got a celebrity fitness expert to show you the ropes. Deanne Panday shares cardinal tips that will come in handy when setting up a structured home workout routine.
Establish a Designated Workout Space
A 'mini gym' in the corner of your room or in any other designated space is a great way to ensure that you make the most of your home workout. 'Consider training in your balcony, a terrace, or near a window. Your living room or any other closed space at home can easily feel stuffy in comparison to a gym, and ventilation is key to prevent you from over-heating. So, pick spots that are airy and provide optimal ventilation, while being safe and isolated too,' suggests Deanne.
Be Mindful While Purchasing Workout Gear and Equipment
Most effective exercises can be performed on a yoga mat, with the help of a few workout accessories such as bands, tubes, trx, medicine balls, dumbbells, swiss balls etc. When working out at home, ensure that you stick to buying only the necessary equipments; any bulky accessory wouldn't be ideal if there is a dearth of space.
Apart from add-on equipment, invest in some workout gear and clothing to help serve as a source of motivation. 'In case I can’t make it to the gym on a busy day and find it difficult to get out of my pyjamas, my trendy workout gear motivates me. Keep your gear ready the night before so it's staring back at you when you wake up in the morning!' adds Deanne.
Create an Upbeat Workout Playlist
The tempo and rhythm of the music you're listening to matter. Fast music with strong beats are ideal—think garage, house or hip-hop. According to Deanne, while exercising music works well in keeping you motivated and focused. If you forget to play music while working out at home, you may find that your mind wanders. Hence, curate a workout playlist that will pump you up and will help you burn more calories!
Time Your Workout Session
A workout at a medium intensity should be performed for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. 'My favorite workout is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT); 45 to 50 seconds of a high intensity burst followed by 10 to 15 seconds of rest recovery time, before you move on to the next exercise. Perform this workout non-stop for 10 to 20 minutes, in accordance with your fitness levels. Alternatively, a 30 to 45 minute body weight session works as well,' she informs.
Warm Up, Cool Down, and Recovery
Make sure that you're warming up before your workout, and cooling down after. 'Research suggests that priming your body for a workout boosts muscle strength and power. So, remember to engage in a brief warm-up before your session, which should include mobility exercises; and a cool down post the workout session that should include stretches,' explains Deanne.
Apart from this, recovery is just as important as the workout session, and scheduling one to two per week is fundamental when seeking progress—not to mention giving your body a break is crucial.
Focus on Body Weight Exercises
If you do not own weights, begin with body weight exercises including push-ups, planks, squats, bicycle crunches, lunges and bridges, for great gains. These exercises double as cardio! According to Deanne, form, technique, and injury prevention are extremely important aspects of a workout as well. Thereby, one must engage in form and breath-work before progressing to more intense workouts.
Compound Exercises > Isolation Exercises
Compound movements recruit several muscle groups at once, helping you become stronger and burn more calories than if you were performing isolation exercises. Therefore, shift focus to compound exercises—such as deadlifts, pull ups, parallel dips, barbell hip raises etc—rather than solely working on isolated movements.
Find a Workout Buddy
Commitment and consistency often suffer when it comes to training alone. Hence, getting yourself an exercise buddy will help you train harder, serving as a constant motivator. 'If possible, call a friend over and coincide your workout schedules. This will prevent you from getting lax and will keep you determined to meet your fitness goals, together,' informs Deanne. However, in the time of Covid-19, ensure that you follow all safety protocols and guidelines, when interacting with other people.
When you are short on time, you could do these quick and effective exercises for best results
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