Exercising at home: Workout tips from a fitness expert
Meditative, restorative, adrenaline-pumping or muscle-building — whatever type of fitness is your favourite is beside the point. When it comes down to it, we need to move to stay healthy. If you’re not keen to get locked into a gym membership, but need the motivation to start your own fitness plan at home, then we’ve got the expert tips to get you started.
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Personal trainer Nats Levi didn’t always feel like physical activity came naturally to her, but as a self-confessed shy introvert, she discovered the power of exercise to boost her confidence. Now fully qualified, she’s helping women achieve the benefits for themselves through her four-week personalised exercise programmes and online community. We picked Nats’ brain about how to start working out at home to the beat of your own drum.
What type of at-home exercise do you recommend for people who are just starting out?
Bodyweight training is highly effective and simple to add into your daily life. This could be any style of training, from yoga or conditioning circuits from an app or tailored programme, to going for a walk/jog/run outside. Try not to get too hung up on the type or style of training and just move.
What are some common mistakes people make when working out at home to apps or YouTube videos?
People often misjudge their capabilities and don’t understand the coordination that’s involved. Keep it simple. Work on the basics of human movement first — push, pull, press, lunge, squat, bend, twist and gait — and don’t try to do everything in one day. Take your time and work on creating a sustainable lifestyle, rather than cramming lots into a week when your energy and motivation is high. Motivation will fade, but a realistic schedule and an exercise habit will stick and bring the desired results.
How can you tell if you’re doing a workout wrong when there’s no trainer around?
Filming yourself and comparing your movement to the instructional footage is a great idea — providing the instructor has great technique, of course. Watch things like ankle, knee and hip movement; body posture and alignment; where your body is in space; and where you start and stop your motion. If a move causes pain, don’t do it. Burning muscles from fatigue and challenging exercise is okay, but anything beyond this is cause for concern.
What are your tips for staying motivated?
Set goals that are small and achievable, and celebrate small wins so you build positive momentum to keep driving towards your bigger goal. Most importantly, set a ‘why’. Why do you want to achieve your goal? What deep, burning, emotional desire is it attached to? When your ‘why’ is meaningful enough and you’re honest with yourself, you’ll stay driven to change your current level of health and fitness.
What keeps you motivated with your workouts? Share your tips in the comments below!