I've been working out at home for what seems like forever. I started working out at home when we moved to Arizona. Since I was new to the area, I didn't have a good lay of the land and the gym I was a member of didn't have any branches close to me… so I canceled my membership.
I didn't have as much discipline in my fitness or nutrition routine back then as I do now but working out at home quickly became much better than packing up and trekking to a gym every day, especially with a toddler in tow.
Over the years, I've found that there are a few things to you need to keep around to make sure that you have a successful home workout. Just because you're working out at home doesn't mean that you can slack off on the gear or equipment you'll need to perform your best.
The one thing that doesn't change whether your workout out at home or not, is the platform you work out on. The floor and your shoes are some of the most important pieces of workout equipment you'll own.
Of course, you're stuck with the floor that you already have in your house but you can make it more functional if it isn't already. Owning a workout mat or two should be a priority. Or if you are working out on a concrete floor in the basement, investing in some of those interlocking foam mats would be great.
A good floor mat will help absorb shock and improve the effectiveness of workouts while helping reduce your chances of injury.
Footwear is just as important as a mat for the floor, if not more so. Yes, you can strengthen your feet by working out barefoot but if you're doing a lot of plyometric or jerky movement workouts then it's easy to get injured.
Before you go shopping, consider the movements you'll be doing and then figure out what kind of shoe you'll need. Don't end up buying a running shoe if you're not going to be running. The best shoes for working out at home should combine both lateral and forward movements for all the explosive movements you might be doing.
Cross-trainers are the kind I usually stick with… but just make sure you do a little research before you go shopping. Also, don't be afraid to ask the shoe sales guy for recommendations based on the workout you'll be doing.
Yes, cotton socks are cheap and you probably already have 1,000 pair in your sock drawer now but they're not the best when it comes to working out. This is something I didn't realize until I started going out running and finding myself developing blisters and my feet would peel because of the abundance of sweat that the cotton socks kept on my feet.
I found a few great pair of workout specific socks at Target that are perfect and don't give me blisters or make my feet peel because of the sweat.
Just say no to cotton when it comes to workout clothing. The same rules apply to workout clothes and undergarments as it does for your workout socks. Just because you're working out at home does not mean that you won't sweat and cotton is not great at wicking the sweat away and keeping you cool and dry.
It's best to invest in some workout specific clothing instead of just a regular cotton t-shirt and shorts. Don't worry, you don't have to spend a ton of money on workout clothes either. You can find some great things at Target or TJ Maxx (two of my favorite stores to shop for workout clothing).
It's tempting when at home to just to think you'll grab a drink when you're thirsty…. But believe me, it's much easier to just keep a water bottle with you at all times to make sure you're drinking constantly throughout the day. Then make sure you fill it up before you start your workout.
Keeping yourself hydrated will help energize your workouts, enable you to push a little harder, keep your immune system running strong, and help curb cravings for junk during the day.
I usually head upstairs to get changed, then to the kitchen to fill my water bottle, make and drink my pre-workout formula, then down to the basement to put on my shoes and start my workout.
I think the best thing about working out at home is being able to take a nice, warm shower right after I finish – and I don't have to worry about dirty gym floors or people coming in and out (besides my kids) in a communal setting. I can also dry my hair and put on makeup, if I want to, or just jump into some PJs right after.
Also, your shower can help improve recovery by getting your blood to circulate more quickly.