The Only Way to Find Your Fitness Groove At Home
By Jessica Bowser Nelson, Special guest to Natural Blaze
So you decide to workout at home. You buy some equipment, find a workout video, and write your goals down. But after a week or two of your routing, you start losing steam. After all, there are children tugging at your leggings, a pile of work tempting you from your home office, and dishes in the sink calling your name.
Who would know if you skipped—just this once?
And before you know it, you and your leggings are relaxing on the couch with Netflix and the kids. Or wrapped up in your work and chores, while your free-weights collect dust in the corner. For some of us, the real challenge of working out at home is finding our groove. In fact, the groove may be the most important part.
Dilbert creator Scott Adams writes that our goals often mislead, which is why we should focus on the system we put in place to achieve our goals: “With a system, you are less likely to miss one opportunity because you were too focused on another. With a system, you are always scanning for any opportunity.”
Although the living room might not have the neon colored equipment and the muscled instructors of your local gym, you can still find your own individual fitness motivation by setting you.
Get Your Space in Shape First.
It is difficult to feel motivated in a space that doesn’t encourage fitness. And that follows for any activity. In the late 20th century Rachel and Steven Kaplan investigated how our immediate environment affects well-being. Stephen Kaplan told the APA, “If you can find an environment where the attention is automatic, you allow directed attention to rest. And that means an environment that’s strong on fascination.”
Which is why you want to set up your workout in its own room or area of your house. There, you can comfortably layout your equipment and other stations. The idea is to create a motivational space that exists for fitness. Doing so will help you focus and move easily into a mindset that says, “I’m here to work out.”
You might also want to post your own inspirational quotes on the wall or get a large mirror so that you can view your progress and form. A designated space will help you focus mentally and move easily into a fitness mindset daily.
Dress to Impress Yourself.
Sometimes, dressing the part can help get us motivated. The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University showed that “clothes systematically influence wearers’ psychological processes.” Dressing prompts our minds to do whatever it is we’re about to do. Whether that be teaching students, administering a medical exam, or working out.
How we dress dictates how we feel. It’s why Judith Rasband wrote, “The way we dress affects the way we think, the way we feel, the way we act, and the way others react to us.” Clothing matters. It can make the difference between sitting on the couch or moving. So, find the workout wardrobe that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Don’t believe that just because you are pumping iron at home you don’t have to dress the part.
Keep it simple.
You don’t need to buy an entire gym to get a gym-level workout. When it comes to fitness at home, stick to simple workouts that need little or no equipment. Start small, and then you can add-on as you move forward.
The advice holds true for any goal we set. NASA didn’t start by shooting for the moon—though it was certainly entertained in the back of their mind. “Anything new triggers the amygdala—it doesn’t distinguish between stepping into a busy street or wanting to lose weight,” writes Maurer in his book. One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way. “And when the amygdala is on alert, your brain starts working against you.”
You have to ease yourself into fitness at home. That means At-home workouts should be fun, do-able, and not too complex or fussy. If you frequently feel that you don’t have the time or energy for your workout, start cutting back. Start simple.
It is easy to fall out of a routine when you workout at home; the same can be said for any task we’re trying to accomplish at home. Between at-home distractions and lack of accountability, consistency can be your greatest struggle. You’re not alone.
Dr. Sharon Melnick suggests segmenting your day into manageable chunks. That way you turn your attention to smaller tasks. Because what consistency comes down to is avoiding distractions, i.e. honing our attention.
Starting with a tactic in mind to stay focused helps us stay consistent. Otherwise, you risk falling out of the routine. And once you do it’s much harder to get back on track.
Getting healthy at home requires a mindset, one that’s cultivated by conscious attention. Knowing how to set yourself up for success. And these lessons apply to any task we pursue, especially fitness. Once you create a fitness space, routine, and mindset that fits your needs, you’ll find that working out at home provides the same benefits as the traditional gym scene, in some ways even more.
Jessica Bowser Nelson is a fitness enthusiast, coach, and writer, from Jacksonville, Florida, who enjoys helping people achieve their goals along their journey. She blogs about fitness, motivation, daring to dream and realizing what you are capable of at jessicabowsernelson.com.
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