should you set up your home gym in your garage? here's what you need to know
should you buy a peloton? here's how to decide
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I'm Mickie. I run One Strong Southern Girl from Small Town, TN. I love what I do. I want you to remember me because I helped changed your life.
Going to a gym is an experience.
The thing is, it’s not a helpful experience for everyone.
And unfortunately, it’s hard for women (and men) to admit they don’t like going to the gym. There’s a shame in saying it out loud because it feels like you’re giving voice to an excuse to get out of exercise when that might not be the case.
In reality, it’s no different than people who don’t like eating out. Or people who don’t like going to live concerts. It doesn’t mean you don’t like food or music. You just don’t enjoy food or music in those settings.
No one should feel any sort of guilt about never feeling a special connection with the gym experience or entering a new phase of your life and losing that connection you once had.
The important thing is that you recognize it’s not working for you anymore and you find out how to keep exercise a regular part of your life by exercising at home.
Don’t be one of the 67% of people who sign up for a gym membership and don’t use it.
This is how you get started with home exercise…
You don’t need to go beyond a month.
We’re not planning out a novel here—no need to overwhelm yourself. In fact, don’t do that.
Keep it simple. The idea is to make your goals small enough to see them all right there in front of you—ready to grab and check off.
A step made in the right direction. Yay!
Decide how many days you’re going to workout and pick a goal for each workout—cardio, strength training or both.
Pro tip—Girls, you need to have AT LEAST 1 workout with some strength training in it for every 2 workouts that are cardio focused.
Think about what styles of exercise you like.
You can find every style in the world online somewhere.
And I strongly suggest that you plan to mix those styles up.
Don’t be that guy with huge biceps and tiny calves. Your mission should always be to conquer total body fitness.
Your exercise goals need to be a buffet of every kind of cuisine.
You have to intentionally include a little bit of cardio, strength training (including core work) and some attention to your flexibility throughout the week.
Trust me. In a few years you’ll thank me for telling you to stretch now.
And guess what, you’re at home now. Nobody can see how uncoordinated you are or how you can’t balance for even a second on one foot. Or that you’re a really awkward dancer.
So, when you’re just getting started make things fun.
Pick out a few workout styles that are different and see what you love.
Plan to try Hiit (high intensity interval training) routines, low impact workouts, dance, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, step aerobics, long workouts, short power workouts, different tempos and instructors…all of it. (Not all on the same day, please.)
Here’s how you’re going to start off. Pick one (or 2) styles and instructors and, over the course of a few weeks, do all the workouts in one of their programs.
Then analyze it. Did you love it? Hate it? Do you feel like a Rockstar? (You should.)
You need to ask yourself this (very important) question…
Am I willing to buy some equipment to workout at home?
PAY ATTENTION FOR THIS REALITY CHECK: If you quit the gym because you thought you could create a bangin’ home workout program without spending a dime on exercise ever again then you’re not gonna like anything else I have to say.
You MUST spend some money on your home exercise routine to make it good.
First of all, you need some equipment.
Second of all, studies show that we’re more likely to commit to something and follow through with it if we invest financially in it. *that’s fancy talk for spend some money on it*
So, do yourself a GIANT favor and forget about your dream of never spending another dime on exercise. That’s nuts.
Wrap your head around the fact that you have to spend some money on your home exercise routine. But it’ll be worth it, my friend. Remember that purse you paid $150 for? A set of dumbbells will get you so much more ROI.
So, now that we’ve determined that you’re ready to invest some money on making the best home exercise program you can, you need to go back to those home workouts you’ve started researching and pick some out that use equipment.
Don’t get scared off by a stability ball or dumbbells. Yes, you’ll have to store that stuff.
But, let’s be honest here, you and I both know you’ve thought (long and hard) about buying a treadmill (or rowing machine or Bowflex…or whatever giant piece of equipment you’ve come very close to throwing down a credit card for) and that thing would take up SO MUCH MORE space than any of the exercise equipment I recommend (like dumbbells, an aerobic step, a yoga mat, exercise loops, etc).
And you can do one thing with a treadmill. Well, we’ll say 2 things…walk and run.
But you’ll be able to use those smaller pieces of exercise equipment over hundreds of different workouts and in as many different ways. It’s a much smarter way to spend your money. And who doesn’t want to be smart?
*ahem, a word about treadmills here…I’m definitely not bashing anyone who owns a treadmill. I have one. I use it. I love it. But if you’re trying to decide what equipment to buy to start home exercise don’t start with a treadmill as your first piece of home exercise equipment, just sayin’.
Are you buying physical videos? (Yes, this is still a thing. Not everyone has good internet, ya’ll.)
Are you going to sign up for an exercise on demand service?
Or just rely on You Tube and infographics on Pinterest?
These are all (not equally good) options. But they’re all a place to start.
And if you’re just getting started then the most important thing is that you start. You show up. You check off that box on your workout calendar. Done. Check. *pat on the back and a low-fat yogurt headed your way*
I recommend you pay money for an exercise on demand service. It’s better than wading through YouTube.
Because you and I both know you’ll sit down to spend 10 minutes looking for a workout video and look up 6 hours later and realize you fell into the YouTube vortex and watched 1000 cat videos instead of what you sat down to do. It happens to all of us.
Avoid that scenario by signing up for a membership to an exercise on demand service.
You’ll have a whole bunch of workouts right at your fingertips. Easy peasy. It’s worth the money.
Pro Tip—Don’t stumble on to the silly notion that you’ll buy ONE exercise on demand service or ONE workout series and you’ll be good to go for the rest of eternity. That’s not how this works, friends.
Your fitness needs, desires and tastes are going to change with your life.
Plan to try a new exercise on demand service every 6 months or annually. And if you buy workout programs, plan to invest in a new one at least every quarter. PLUS, that’s how you see results. You have to have variety in your workout program.
*Yes, I realize steps 2 and 4 are similar…step 2 is more about selecting specific exercise styles and step 4 is about the logistics of getting those workouts into your house…I could’ve made these 2 things one step…but I didn’t. It’s ok.
Make sure all your equipment has its own place to be stored nicely and make a special place to leave your phone outside the door (or out of your visual field) of your workout area.
I saw someone somewhere (my brain is very vague and unhelpful sometimes) talk about how they made a phone box that they had on a table outside the room where they exercise. I like that idea. But I guess you could also just put your phone on the table…you don’t really have to have a box. Whatever, it seemed like a really cute idea at the time.
You get the picture. Make sure your cell phone has a nice little place to wait for you (where you can’t see it) while you’re in beast mode.
And yes, you need to organize your exercise tools. Your exercise routine is an official part of your life now. Put some effort into keeping things neat and tidy and ready for you to use.
Trust me on this. You’ll start to resent your new home exercise program if your fitness tools are in the way all the time.
Plus, the kids don’t need to be climbing on them or using them as part of their playground.
I promise you that there’s not a kid alive who can keep their hands off your stability ball if you leave it sitting in the middle of the room. And a bouncing stability ball will knock every picture off your wall and candle or lamp from whatever thing you’ve got it sitting on.
And I’d like to say a word about your exercise uniform.
I know it’s really convenient to exercise at home. BUT that doesn’t give you permission to wear your pj’s to do your next workout.
You have to take your exercise seriously. And, for some people, that might take a little more self-discipline.
You have to wear the same workout clothes you’d wear at the gym. You still have to invest in good workout clothes and good shoes to exercise in.
I can’t stress to you enough how important these small actions are towards having a home workout program that works and sticks for you.
Nice workout clothes will go a LONG way towards keeping a girl motivated. I’m not saying you have to spend $100 on a pair of tights. BUT you’re not allowed to wear the yoga pants you got from cheer camp in 1988.
Go make an investment in you and your health. You have permission. It’s worth it.
Remember that statistic about how people are more likely to commit and follow through with a goal when they spend money on it? Well, buying workout clothes is part of you committing to your home workout program.
Step six is a biggie. It’s all about mindset. And, let’s face it, it’s the hardest step.
But guess what, you commit to stuff every day and you follow through with it.
You know that job that you may (or may not) love? You show up every day, don’t you? That’s commitment. You know you have to because—bills, responsibility, adulting…all that boring stuff.
What about your kid’s piano lessons or soccer practice? They get there because of you, right? You’ve committed to making sure they get to do those things.
This is really no different. We just make it seem like it is.
You and I have the same number of hours in the day. And we make time to do the things we feel are important.
So, you’ve got to get your head around how important this is. It’s your health and happiness I’m talking about here.
Exercise has the power to change your life. Taking care of your body is one of the most important ingredients to living your best life.
You’re a leader in your life in some capacity. As a mom, friend, boss, wife, whatever it is. You’re a leader in your life and to bring your talents and gifts to those who need you, you must show up as your best self. And you can’t do that if you’re not taking care of your body.
Did you know that 50% of people who start an exercise program (of any kind) won’t be able to sustain it? The way to increase those odds in your favor is to focus on your why.
Why are you exercising?
Because someone said you needed to? Because you want to please another person or conform to the way you think you should look? To reach a number on the scale?
Those reasons aren’t sustainable.
You need to strive for other reasons to exercise.
Studies show that if you exercise because of internal motivators you’re much more likely to create a sustainable exercise program.
So, focus on that feeling of satisfaction and pride that comes from finishing a workout.
Take in the natural high that comes from the endorphins and energy you experience from exercise.
Fall in love with the way exercise makes you feel more alive mentally.
If you learn to workout because of motivations that come from inside of you, then you’ll start to see a transformation on the outside.
Committing to something you love—something that feeds your soul—isn’t hard at all. In fact, it’s more like going on vacation than going to work.
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Don't waste another minute trying to piece together all the right workouts and equipment for the 'perfect' plan. Download a blueprint with all the steps in one place.