I grew up watching my mom workout to Jane Fonda’s aerobics routines via VHS tape in our living room. I’d sit on the couch with a snack and marvel at Jane’s snazzy leotards and agile moves, dreaming about the day I’d be old enough to get a perm.
By the time I reached adulthood, perms had gone out of style (thank God), but my fascination with fitness had only intensified. I got more serious about running, I got hooked on hot yoga, I joined a weekly boot camp, and completed my first triathlon. As my career became more demanding, though, and I eventually added a couple kids into the mix, finding time to get to the gym became more and more difficult. Even though I still love to make it to yoga and boot camp as often as possible, I’ve had to learn how to love working out at home as well, so I can get in enough weekly sweat sessions to feel my best. Here are five reasons that home workouts are a great component to any fitness regimen:
1. Fewer excuses. Only have 15 minutes? Can’t find your yoga mat? All your cute sports bras are dirty? There’s an at-home workout for that! Check out one of Fabletics’ #FIIT workouts, where you can get stronger in just four moves without any special gear. And hey, if you have to use a beach towel as a yoga mat and yesterday’s sports bra out of the laundry, no one will know.
2. Bring the studio to you. With more and more studios offering at-home programs featuring their signature routines and the vibe that you love so much about their studio, you’re just a couple clicks away from forgetting that you haven’t even left your living room. I’m loving Barre3’s “Barre3 Anywhere” program, which has hundreds of streaming videos that are searchable by both duration and workout focus. Hearing the same helpful cues I’d hear if I were at a live class helps me feel like I’m really there.
3. That playlist though. Sometimes I like to work out to Adele. Sometimes Fleetwood Mac. Often, Flo-Rida and Pitbull. And every now and then, a captivating podcast or audio book. I am an auditory schizophrenic and the only DJ who can craft a playlist to truly satisfy me is… me. While I generally appreciate my yoga teacher’s mellow tunes and the beat-heavy mixes at boot camp, sometimes I like to nerd-out on a unique playlist that fits my mood and my day. This works best for at-home workouts that I’ve done enough times to have mostly memorized. Bonus: The appearance that P90X’s Tony Horton is lip-synching to Adele. Hello to you too, Tone.
4. Take down the walls. One of my favorite ways to spice up an at-home workout is to take it outside. Whether that means watching a video from my laptop on my back porch or using the soft grass to reduce the impact of a plyometrics routine, I love to include some fresh air and sunshine into the mix. Outdoor workouts always feel so efficient to me — not only am I meeting my daily exercise requirement, I’m also getting some vitamin D and reaping the stress-reducing effects of spending time in nature. Good for the body and mind.
5. Get creative. Have you ever been in a fitness class and been tempted to break rank a bit? Throw in a new move, modification, or variation? Hold a certain exercise longer, add in a headstand or child’s pose intermission somewhere? While the peer pressure of working out in a group can often motivate us to push ourselves, it can also stifle our willingness to listen to our bodies and follow those urges sometimes. In the safety of your own home, though, you can let that freak flag fly.
There are always excuses to skip a workout, but with all of the options that working out at home provides these days, those excuses are getting harder and harder to come by. So clear out a spot in the living room or the backyard, put together your individualized playlist, and get to sweating.