Taking an active approach to achieving your wellness goals doesn’t need to be time-consuming or financially draining. As a personal holistic health coach and an instructor of yoga, barre and Pilates, I know my clients can attest to the effectiveness of an at-home fitness program. As a triathlete and full-time working mother of three, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be as competitive on the course or maintain some level of sanity without my at-home routine. Here are five fat- and calorie-burning, endurance-building tips to training in the comfort of your own living room.
Tip 1: Get Out Your Calendar
Whether it is on your phone or in your planner, get out your calendar every Sunday and block out time to exercise during upcoming week. During this time, you can also map out what activities you want to do. Aim to have one rest day, at least three high-impact cardio days, and time dedicated to flexibility, core strengthening and weight training.
Tip 2: Design Your Own HIIT Program
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is an excellent way to use readily available tools like your own body weight to create a big burn in a relatively short time. Some of the most effective movements include:
- Burpees: Begin by tanding with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower to a squat and then jump (or, to modify, step) back into a plank position. Complete a push-up (to modify, allow your knees to come to the floor) and then jump (or step) forward. Stand up, and then jump into the air while clapping your arms overhead.
- Plank pose: You can do this on your forearms with your hands clasped together — which is great for anyone with wrist issues — or with straight arms. Work your way toward holding the plank for 1 minute.
- Cardio: Whether you use a bike trainer (my personal favorite), a treadmill or have a short stretch of sprintable pavement just outside your door, you need to get your heart rate up. Strive for 10-20-30: pushing yourself 10 seconds at maximum capacity, 20 seconds at medium capacity and 30 seconds at an easy pace. Then repeat for several sets.
Tip 3: Eat Like an Athlete
We are not talking about calorie reduction here, but rather fueling your body properly. Two hours before a workout, eat a balanced meal with some energy-inducing carbohydrates like a poached egg with gluten-free bread. Within 30 minutes of your workout, eat a protein-rich mini-meal like a tablespoon of no-sugar-added almond butter and electrolytes (my favorite is Nuun).
Tip 4: Sleep Like a Champ
Sure, sometimes it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep, but developing a sleeping regiment can make or break your fitness routine. Implementing good sleeping habits like committing to a specific bedtime and wakeup time, turning off the electronics an hour before bedtime, or practicing a relaxing bedtime ritual like applying high-quality lavender essential oil to your pillow or in a diffuser is key to conking out.
Tips 5: Don’t Forget to Chill
Developing a consistent meditative practice — whether it’s moving meditation like yoga or seated/reclined breathing exercises — will reduce cortisol (the fight-or-flight hormone that is linked to belly fat) in the body and promote mental clarity. Reserve at least five minutes a day to get centered.
Becca Edwards is a wellness professional, freelance writer, and owner of b.e.WELL+b.e.CREATIVE (bewellbecreative.com).