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    On the spectrum of people actively avoiding breaking a sweat to hardcore fitness lovers that endlessly post about Tough Mudder, enjoying a work out from home probably sits close to the first. Yet the results it can produce is high up on the scale. When I talk to my girlfriends about working out, the top reason for wasting that £80 a month London gym membership is that they feel judged or intimidated. Sometimes, it’s a matter of motivation – they’d rather join a class where people are pressurising them to participate. Wherever you place yourself, this is the sign you’ve been looking for: none of those factors exist at home. Three fitness experts have shared their tips on how to workout at home and how to fall in love with it.


    1. Equipment (not essential)

    You don’t need to buy anything new to keep up your physical health but Phoebe Greenacre, a yogi and co-CEO of Silou activewear suggests a yoga mat and some hand weights (if not, use tinned food) for most at-home exercise. Georgie Spurling, known for bringing the gym to your living room recommends a resistance band and a small pilates ball for her classes, although there are plenty that uses your body weight alone. They’re “designed for anyone who wants to get results in an effective way without needing loads of time or space – or increasing the stress chemicals in the body. It uses exercises that contract local muscles deep within the body to strengthen from the inside out”. The best part is that these are ‘feel good’ exercises that have a positive impact on your mental health too. 





    2. Set the mood

    Wellness guru Phoebe suggests “opening a window, lighting a candle and getting a playlist ready. A lot of home workout videos don’t have music, so prepare your own”. Cue spending 30 minutes finessing my workout playlist, how many Lizzo songs are too many? And don’t beat yourself up if you’re not feeling it, Jenna Nicholls is the co-owner of Grand Union Crossfit and as a gym owner, she understands that “any movement at all is positive. You may be going from being on your feet all day [to sitting around at home] and that’s going to have a big impact on your mental health”. This includes anything from gentle stretching to setting yourself small goals, like learning how to do a press-up.


    3. Get dressed

    Phoebe says: “Put on activewear… when I do it in pyjamas I don’t feel as inspired or motivated”, and I have to agree with her. The last time I tried a routine from the Daily Yoga app (£66.99 for a year subscription), I wore lounge clothing and felt resentful that I wasn’t watching Netflix instead. Swap it out for all the times I pull on my leggings and scrape my hair back… I actually started to notice small wins.


    4. Schedule your workouts

    Personal trainer Georgie tells us that, “Instagram is a hot spot for ‘fitness athletes’ telling you how you ‘should’ exercise. [But] we should move the way we enjoy and the way that suits our lifestyle”. You may be using a calendar to prompt you book that boxing class and the same goes for your sweat time at home. Keeping it around the same time of day, whenever you decide to do it will help establish a routine.

    You may notice also that your most successful weeks of working out was embedded within a schedule that made you happy, like arranging a catch up coffee with a friend or treating yourself to a protein shake afterwards. There’s no reason not to mimic that from home. My favourite reward snack is wine. Don’t tell the experts.

    5. Find the right kind of workout for you

    The downside to the vast amount of free resources online is that you may be following someone unqualified. Jenna warns, “be careful of fitness bloggers who just do the workouts and expect you to know how. Technique is even more important when doing it from home (as there’s no one around to show you).”
    You wouldn’t head straight for the squat rack if you were new to the gym, the same goes for workouts at home. Plus, it’s important to actually do what you know and like. But if you’re totally reliant on Jessica from Soul Cycle blasting out Ariana Grande, admittedly, it’s much harder to tell what’s best suited to your needs and your fitness level. Georgie was diagnosed with chronic fatigue four years ago due to a health issue and had to relearn the way she exercised. “My GS Method workouts are immersive, meaning I do the entire thing with you and talk you through it, therefore providing more accountability”. 
    Then there’s the age old link between exercise and stress. Working out can reduce stress through releasing endorphins and you don’t even need to do 100 crunches to achieve it (thank God). Contrary to what you may think, going for a HIIT type of workout may be benefitting your heart health but not the rest of your body. Georgie explains that it “spikes adrenaline and cortisol [and when she was] incredibly stressed, high-intensity workouts caused a huge burnout and added stress. This is how I created the GS Method, I managed to gain muscle and strength by tiny movements which didn’t cause an imbalance in my hormones”.
    Image courtesy of Georgie Spurling
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    22nd March 2020
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