It’s an obvious fact: you’re more likely to make healthy choices when those choices are easier to make. This isn’t true just for food — it applies to exercise, too. So in the same way that you try to keep healthy snacks front and centre at home, it’s also smart to surround yourself with opportunities to be active. We all know that exercise can lower your risk of heart disease, strengthen muscles, joints and bones and improve self-confidence and sleep. But moving more delivers even more benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing, including, of course, helping you lose weight and keep it off. Yet, knowing all those good things isn’t quite enough to get us out of the house and into the gym. The solution? Make the gym come to you!
Make your home a fitness-friendly space
With a little imagination and planning (and at little or no cost), it’s easy to sneak in a full workout right at home. Even if you prefer to use fitness resources beyond your front door, like a gym membership or aerobics class, there are simple strategies you can implement at home to make your exercise routine practically excuse-proof.
- Swap your sofa for a yoga mat and your desk chair for a stability ball. Do sit-ups or other exercises on the mat while you watch TV, and add some core-strengthening moves to break up your computer-screen time.
- Keep dumbbells and resistance bands (or even heavy cans) handy. You can do a couple sets of strength training exercises whenever you have a few minutes to spare.
- Leave a fitness DVD in the player. When it’s cued up and ready, you’re just one click away from a workout.
- Add some extra squats when you’re tidying up. You can do these wherever you’re standing. Squat, pick up a toy, put it away, repeat. Work some in while you’re folding laundry, too (in between garments).
- Have a dance party! Blast your favourite tunes and show off your most wild, energetic moves. Get the whole family involved for a fun “they won’t know it’s exercise” workout.
- Jump rope or climb steps for 10 minutes. If you’re a beginner, do as much or as little as you’re comfortable with to start, and build from there.
- Store outside-the-house workout gear in plain sight. You’re more likely to actually use these items — think sneakers, bike helmet, soccer ball — if they’re visible enough to be a constant reminder and easy to grab and go. Tip: Make sneakers more inviting to put back on by untying the laces completely when you take them off. It’s a small thing, but it’s one fewer thing you need to do!
- Wear an activity monitor. If you take yours off at night, stash it where you can’t overlook it in the morning, like next to your toothbrush, keys or cell phone; that way putting it on will become automatic.