Train at Home: Gym & Workout ideas for the home.

Most savvy individuals & certainly anybody who takes care of their health know that regular exercise has many benefits. Cardiovascular health, stamina, mood & mental health can all improve with exercise, while the risk of a number of cancers, as well as diabetes & other serious medical conditions, are reduced in those who keep themselves physically fit.

 

The Exercise Dilemma 

While many fitness fans work out a few times a week in a professional gym, there may come a time when that is no longer enough. Some people grow bored with gym routines & look to add something else; such as a dance or a martial arts discipline to their weekly routine, but these are not always available at the gym. Some people might like to exercise more often but have a busy schedule that prevents them getting to the gym, while other individuals, such as shift workers or those with unpredictable or changeable schedules. People need the flexibility to exercise at odd times of the day or night, when most gyms aren’t open.

 

The Solution

 

Fortunately, it is reasonably easy to install a quality exercise space in most homes. To begin with, of course, you need a spare or unused room; in many cases, a garage or basement area will provide the perfect space. If there is no spare room available, building a small extension or addition onto your existing home for this purpose can be a great investment. However, in all cases, the primary consideration when it comes to having an exercise area in the home is that you have sufficient room to move around comfortably & safely.

The second consideration is the internal environment & in particular the heating & lighting arrangements in the exercise room. Additionally, make certain that you do not forget ventilation; excessive heat & condensation can not only damage your home, they can be dangerous to your health if you really work up a sweat in your home gym.

You will also want to think about the flooring in the exercise room. If the room is for light exercise use a normal flooring material should be fine, but for anything more strenuous, such as heavy cardio exercises or weight training, you might want to think about installing a sprung or other sport-optimised floor.

The equipment that you choose to install will depend on your own fitness interests. Many people & in particular dance & aerobics fans will want a generous amount of mirrored surface on at least one wall. A wall clock is another must-have for timing routines accurately & giving you that extra motivation to work faster, harder &  better. You will also need to remain hydrated, so a bottled water dispenser, or even just a tap, should be readily available.

 

A Great Investment

While building a home gym may seem excessive or indulgent to some, it is important to view it as an investment. If exercise is a big part of your life, it is something that you will be doing for many years to come. You need to ask yourself whether you would rather pay for that exercise with private gym fees, or with an investment in your own home which should increase its value.

Exercise is hugely beneficial to your health and, if you have a family, sharing that interest can be equally beneficial for them, too. Although a home gym may involve some initial financial outlay, the long term rewards may just make it one of the best investments you ever make.

Squats, Squats, Squats: Everything You Need to Know & Why They Are So Important

 

Say what you want, but there are few, if any, exercises that are better for your body than squats.

Sure, they target the lower body, but they require that a multitude of muscles work together to complete the movement, making squats a compound exercise. Plus, when it comes to the lower body, you really can’t argue with the benefits of making squats a regular part of your workout routine.

That’s why I decided to make today’s blog post all about squats. I’ll start with a few of the best benefits of the exercise & then give a brief explanation of how to do them the right way (to maximize their effectiveness & reduce the risk of injury).

Why Squats Are Important

 

If squats are not a part of your regular workout, then you need to make them a part of your regular workout. They simply have just so many benefits.

Here are a few reasons that squats are such a fantastic exercise:

  • Full Body Exercise: Squats are great because they help build muscle in your entire body. Naturally, they build up your legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, etc), but they also release testosterone & human growth hormone to improve muscle growth & muscle mass throughout your entire body. So, at the end of the day, they help promote lower & upper muscle growth.
  • Functional: Squats are one of the best functional exercises. These help make real-life activities easier instead of simply making you better at operating gym equipment.
  • Burn Fat: If you have done squats before, then you know that they are intense. In fact, they are one of the most time-effective ways to burn more calories & fat!
  • Mobility & Balance: Squatting is about more than just gaining muscle. The exercise also focuses on building/maintaining mobility & balance. In addition to increasing balance in your legs, they promote core strength & improve coordination between your brain & different muscle groups.

Proper Form for Squats

 

Using the proper form is essential when performing squats. If not done correctly, they can place undue stress on certain parts of your body (such as your knees). I’ve given you a few tips below that will help you perform squats right. However, there is no substitute to getting tips & advice from a Personal Trainer in person.

My best tips for the proper squat include:

  • Warm up before you start.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your back in a neutral position.
  • Keep your knees centered over your feet.
  • Bend your knees, hips, & ankles slowly until you reach a 90-degree angle.
  • Slowly return to your starting position.
  • Repeat.
  • Breathe in as you lower your body & out as you return to your starting position.

Start Doing Squats!

Now that you know the benefits of doing squats & how to do them what is stopping you from adding them to your workout routine? Nothing should be!

Fitness Fact Fridays

Friday Fact:

‘Your body continues to gain strength as you age.’

 

A lot of people question whether they should continue strength training as they grow older. But new studies show that both men & women can continue to gain strength well into their sixties (& beyond). The key is using exercises that promote recovery & don’t place to much strain on your muscles. So, what this means, is that no matter your age, you should be exercising if possible!