I was inhibiting my weight loss. Now that I’ve overcome it, I have been analysing how I can help move things along to successfully lose some more weight.
Whilst I love the idea of going to a gym as a way to motivate me to lose some more baby weight, I can’t justify the amount of money I would need to spend on it. Even a casual, off-peak session at my local gym is $15 a session. That’s $45 a week if I go 3 times a week, and over $2,000 a year. Not to mention that my children would need to be in some sort of care to allow me the time to visit the gym.
So rather than fork out money on a membership, casual class visits and child-care, I looked at what a gym offered and how I could replicate that in my own home.
Gyms are a nice place to work out because:
- They provide a light, upbeat atmosphere and a comfortable climate.
- Things you need are at hand: clean towels, fresh water, exercise equipment.
- They create an energetic atmosphere through music and entertainment to immerse yourself in whilst you work out.
- The fact that other people can see you may mean you make an extra effort (even so much as to what you wear to the gym, how you do your hair, etc.).
So in order to attain the same effects at home, I decided I would match ‘like for like’ what the gym could offer, but in a budget-conscious way in my own home.
1. Dress the Part
For a start, I “dress the part”. If I know I am going to exercise that day, I wear appropriate attire (comfortable yet practical, and with good trainers). I pull my hair up high and wear a sweat-band on my wrist. Just doing this gives me an air of energy and makes me feel switched on to exercise.
2. Create Uninterruptible Surroundings
I always try and commence when the children are napping (or, at the very least, when the toddler is napping and the baby is content with all her needs met). I switch off my mobile, take the house phone off the hook, and try and create an uninterruptible environment as much as possible.
3. Simulate the Gym Environment
Try and simulate the “gym” environment. I open up the blinds to let the natural light stream in. I have a pedestal fan in the lounge room, which I have out in case I need it. I pre-prepare 2 sports water bottles ahead of time – one with refrigerated water and one with room-temperature water. I ensure I drink some water before commencing, and don’t start until about an hour after lunch.
I make sure I have some hand towels within easy reach, and that the area I will be working out in is free of toys and household clutter. I have music I find motivating at the ready – something high energy I can play – and I always ensure my playlist will last the entire duration of the session so I don’t have to stop part-way through to change the music over.
I then bring out my fitness tub. It’s one of those clear plastic storage containers with a lid, and contains various items I can use at home for working out. Improvisation is the key. If you don’t want to spend extra money on things like a workout mat, a thick bath towel will do the trick. Small dumbbell weights can be replaced with tins of crushed tomatoes or baked beans. A skipping rope is inexpensive but effective. If I’m following a self-led workout, I will write down on a notepad in thick texts what I intend to do that session. “X amount of skips”, or crunches, star jumps, you name it.
4. Watch Workout Videos
I’ll alternate self-led sessions with a guided DVD. My biggest failure from staying motivated comes from a lack of fun, or variety
So, I choose only DVDs that I know I will enjoy. For me, it’s dance-based workouts, or yoga/pilates-at-home DVDs. There are a good selection of these on the market with fun twists on them (think zumba, Carmen Electra’s series, or even the Pussy Cat Dolls). However, I’ll seldom purchase a DVD.
I speak to friends to find out what they have and we alternate using them between us. Also, my local library stocked a surprising selection of fitness and workout DVDs that can be borrowed for no charge. Some video rental stores even have ones that can be borrowed for a fraction of the cost of purchasing them outright. YouTube can also be a good source for fitness workouts at home, and doing a basic internet search on “working out at home” will provide many resources also.
5. Stick to a Schedule
My final motivator is I tell people I will be working out that afternoon. If I convince others, I find it easier to convince myself. If I feel like I’m working to a schedule, I’m more likely to stick to it. I discuss with my friends who are like-minded what DVD I did that afternoon, what my opinion of it was, whether I’d be doing it again. That way, it becomes more of a concrete “activity” rather than a “good intention”.
Exercise need not be expensive, and by being prepared and by implementing these motivating strategies, the same effects you would obtain from a gym can be made at home. You might not have all the same high-tech equipment and technology that a gym can provide, but you can improvise. Doing anything is better than doing nothing at all, and to me, doing it at a fraction of the cost is even better.
Give it a try – you might find it easier to integrate into your daily routine than you think! I’ve lost an additional 5 kilograms this month since commencing my at-home routines, and I’ve effectively saved myself $90 I would have spent at the gym from doing so.
I hope some readers find these post-pregnancy exercise strategies motivating as well.