Maximum Motivation for Exercise at Home (Setting the Stage)

You’ve heard the time-saving and money-saving benefits of exercising at home and you’re ready to give it a try. But you don’t have a well equipped home gym, and when you look at your living room all it makes you want to do is take a nap or watch Netflix, so how do you set the stage to exercise at home?

Just like anything else, it starts with preparation. You should have a space picked out in advance that’s at least large enough to reach your arms all around, overhead, and to step forwards, backward, or side to side. Now what will you need? If you plan on doing elevated push-ups for example, you’ll need the arm of a sofa, a countertop, or a stair nearby to use. If you’ll be doing exercises on a set of stairs or a step, plan how you’ll get to it during the workout. Will you need to move a table to have adequate floor space? Make sure you know where you’ll move it to while you plan to exercise.

Do you like to listen to music during exercise? Have speakers and a playlist picked out in advance to eliminate delays. Would you prefer it to be quiet? Try to plan a time when distractions like pets, kids, or incoming calls will be at a minimum.

By the time you start your warm-up you are psychologically prepared, and ready to get physiologically prepared.

Plan what you’ll be wearing! At home, it’s tempting to keep your lounging around clothes, or work clothes on for exercise, but the association with taking a nap or thinking about work is not what you want when the goal is an efficient, focused workout. Just like how athletes wear a uniform to compete, try having your own workout attire specially for that purpose; when you dawn those clothes, you’ll be primed and ready to exercise at your best!

If you’re used to using the drive or commute to the gym to get “in the zone,” try to give yourself a little psych-up time in the “green room.” Try changing the music to your workout playlist while you’re prepping the space, filling water, and changing, so by the time you start your warm-up you are psychologically prepared, and ready to get physiologically prepared.

If you wouldn’t miss an important meeting, a child’s big event, or a fancy date, don’t miss your time to take care of yourself!

Have an exercise plan! At home, it’s extra easy to convince yourself to turn a water break, or mulling over what exercise to do next, into checking emails and texts that quickly becomes the end of the workout. Have a plan from beginning to end of what you’ll be doing. That could be as simple as planning on doing 10 squats every commercial break during a TV show or sports game, or a more specific training program with a full warm-up and planned exercise regime.

Once you know what you’ll be doing, make an appointment with yourself (or with your in-home personal trainer), and stick to it! If you wouldn’t miss an important meeting, a child’s big event, or a fancy date, don’t miss your time to take care of yourself! It’s also a good idea to alert your family or roommates as to when you’re going to exercise, so they can not only hold you accountable, but also plan their own time as well. This is especially important if you are using a common space such as a living room or den, so you don’t have to fight with a child about playing Xbox in the other room, or a roommate about needing to relocate unexpectedly.

We have full at-home exercise routines for fat loss or muscle building in our e-Book, The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts! These are available complimentary to you by visiting our e-Book page. If you would like more tailored guidance, consider working with one of our professional coaches by first signing up for a strategy session so we can better understand your needs, goals, and background, and match you with the best coach for you!

Check out our video series on this topic:

Written by Will Hansen, NSCA-CPT, Director of Operations.

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Featured photo credit:

Christopher Campbell

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