There’s nothing like rolling out of bed and onto your yoga mat for an early morning yoga class. Morning yoga in your pajamas is like experiencing a full-body smile that can only occur when you have the freedom to work out wherever you are. Working out at home is a frugal option that saves money and time and makes fitness accessible.
Quarantine lockdowns provided many of us time and the opportunity to stay fit even on a shoestring budget. With inflation hiking up the prices for everything, gym memberships, yoga classes, and personal training may not be an affordable option for folks on a strict budget. Home workouts allow us the freedom to work out on our own terms wherever we call home.
First, consult your doctor before taking on any physical activity. Your doctor can help you determine your health goals and help you figure out where to focus your workouts. Once you’ve gotten clearance, do a simple fitness self-assessment to ascertain your baseline levels of strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility.
Completing a Fitness Self-Assessment
Use the notes section of your phone or an old journal with blank pages to record your fitness assessment results. To assess flexibility, do a simple sit and reach test. Sit on the floor with your feet flexed against a wall. Keep legs as straight as possible, bend at the hips towards the feet with arms outstretched hands reaching, for the feet. Relax and breathe deeply into the stretch and track how close to touching your feet with your legs outstretched you can go. Hold the position for fifteen seconds.
Next, set a timer for two minutes, and track how many full or knees on the floor pushups you can complete. Write it down. Reset the timer and see how many sit-ups you can finish in one minute.
Next, test your core strength by taking a forearm plank position. Set a timer and hold your forearm plank for sixty seconds. Once sixty seconds is complete, lift the right arm for fifteen seconds and place it down. Then lift the left arm for fifteen seconds and place it down. Then raise the right arm and left leg for fifteen seconds, place them down, and lift the left arm and right leg for fifteen seconds and place them down.
End the core assessment with one last thirty-second forearm plank. If you can complete this progression you’ve got good core strength and stability. For the last exercise, set a timer for five minutes and go for a run. Track how long you can jog within that time. Do you have to stop to walk or take a break? Could you only stand running for thirty seconds? That’s okay, just write it down.
Setting Your Fitness Goals.
Once the assessment is complete, set your fitness goals. Create goals specific, realistic, achievable, easy to define, and realistic. Next, take time to inventory all the fitness equipment you have.
Remember that old treadmill or stationary bike, dust it off, plug it in and get everything ready to utilize what you have ready at home to workout on. If you don’t have access to any workout equipment or hand weights at home, don’t despair. you can find full-body workouts using only your body weight for free online with a quick google search.
Crafting Your Workout.
Diverse workouts bring flavor to your fitness plan that works out your entire body in a balanced fashion. Social media and YouTube are surprisingly effective tools. You can find a wide range of free classes to keep the mind activated and the body challenged. During the COVID-19 quarantine, many fitness professionals started teaching full classes on their social media pages. They have created free virtual workout libraries on their social media accounts so that people can take them at their convenience.
Another creative way to get free access to workout classes is subscription app promotions. Subscription apps with workout programs like Peloton and Daily Burn have a variety of workouts from barre to boxing and offer free trial periods for as many as 30 days. You can sign up for the trial period moving from program to program before deciding which one to invest in if you choose to do so. Remember to write down on a calendar when the subscription expires and cancel if you don’t want to be charged for the app.
YouTube Yoga classes are fantastic for restorative rest days. Strala yoga has tons of fantastic free yoga classes. Kukuwa Fitness West African Dance is a one-stop channel for cardio, body-weight, core, and HITT classes that work well for days when you want to do strength and agility training, and Kukuwa fitness has an extensive YouTube library of free workouts. When weight training at home, it’s vital to start with low weights and progress slowly to build strength gradually.
Assemble your workout focused on the areas where your body is weakest. Do a little research and figure out a weekly schedule that fits your time frame and fitness goals. When the weather is right, walking, running, and biking outside are always fun and add flavor to the workout schedule.
Fueling Your Workout.
The final and most important aspect of building in-home workouts is nutrition. It’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor for a physical exam and blood panel to gauge what your body needs nutritionally before choosing what style of eating will give you the best form of energy to fuel your workout.
It’s easy to get caught up in expensive diet fads that make promises that are never attainable. Food is not just fuel. It can represent pleasure, pain, status, community, and so much more. If you’re having challenges connected to diet and exercise there are free mental health professionals in your area who specialize in supporting folks dealing with eating disorders.
A general rule for nutrition is to avoid consuming highly processed foods as much as possible and eat real food mostly plants in small portions and drink a lot of water. When we can build in-home workouts we give ourselves the gift of accessible wellness for a lifetime. Doesn’t that sound incredible? You can do it.
Good luck on your journey.
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Jeanine is a Writer, Actor, member SAG/AFTRA, AEA, Podcast host, Producer, CEO VisAbleBlackWoman Productions, Certified Health Coach and Conscious Dance facilitator. Jeanine's mission, centering Black women's stories to preserve our legacies.