The dreaded word we used to only think about when watching apocalyptic movies or participating in drills in high school has now become a regular – and sadly, expected – part of daily life in Canada.
While everyone at First Class Personal Training hopes that the end of lockdowns comes quickly, our in-home workouts help keep up your exercise routine using our technology-based training sessions.
However, many of our customers have expressed concern that they want to be sure they’re using their at-home equipment safely, and that they won’t injure their body without having a spotter very close by. We want our customers (and everyone working out in their home gym or family room) to feel confident they’re safe and exercising effectively.
To that end, here are our best tips and advice for keeping safe at home while you use exercise equipment so you can reach your fitness goals and keep your workouts going, during lockdown and beyond.
First Class Personal Training Tips and Advice for Safe Home Workouts
- Wear proper footwear. Just because you’re in your family room doesn’t mean you should exercise barefoot. While you can certainly do yoga in your warm fuzzy socks, weight training, cardio, and resistance training, all require proper ankle and foot support. So give the bottom of your sneakers a good wipe down, and learn to be comfortable wearing them in the house!
- Whip up a smoothie. If you normally visit a gym, eating a snack first on the way is second nature. But at home, it’s easy to skip that practice. Before you begin your exercise routine, make sure you’ve nourished your body with a snack, smoothie, or protein shake.
- Wear proper clothing. There’s no doubt that putting on clothes made for the gym will help get you in the right frame of mind for a good workout. But gym clothes also keep you safe. They ‘breathe’ so you don’t get overheated, and they don’t get tangled up in gym equipment because they tend to wear closer to your body without a lot of excess fabric (like those flannel PJs you’ve worn every day!).
- Go fill up that water bottle! Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have water close by while you exercise. You need to stay hydrated and you don’t want to have to run to the kitchen to grab water in the middle of your workout.
- Warm up! If you were at the gym, you’d likely jump on the treadmill or do some kind of warm-up before hitting the weights. The same is true at home. Not sure how to warm up? Here’s a great 5-minute warm-up you can do in your family room! Make sure to involve all your muscles like arms and shoulders, legs, back, neck, and core.
- Start slow and gently progress. Even if you’ve been a gym addict in the past, if it’s been a while since you worked out, start slow. MayoClinic.org reminds us to start slowly to avoid injury and allow our bodies to readjust to exercise.
- Tidy and clear out your workout space. If you use your family room, move tables, toys, and other clutter out of the way. Make sure you’ve got plenty of room around you so you don’t accidentally trip over something! This is also a good time to put pets in another room if they tend to get under your feet!
- Dress for the weather. If you’re planning to go outside, make sure you wear a hat and gloves and a few layers if necessary. Even if you think you’ll warm up by the end of your session, it’s better to protect your skin, including your cheeks and hands.
- Not sure? ASK! If you aren’t sure about one of the exercises on your plan, ask your trainer for clarification. We’re happy to review the proper form so you avoid injury.
- Have a written plan. If you’re working with First Class Personal Training, you know what exercises we’ve recommended for you. Not sure? We’ll be glad to provide them! But if you are working out without a professionally-recommended plan, make sure you put something on paper. This should hopefully ensure you’re hitting all your muscle groups and keeping your workouts balanced.
- Breathe! In our gym, you’ll hear us reminding you to breathe through your exercises! When you’re alone, do your best to remember to breathe through your workouts. If you need to, tape a sign near your workout area that reminds you to take deep breaths!
- Have an emergency plan in place. Keep your phone where you can reach it and make sure you have someone to call in case you need help. This is especially true if you’re weight training or using heavy resistance training equipment. If you have an emergency, call 911.
- Have a spotter. If you’re doing an exercise that would require a spotter at the gym, you need a spotter at home. No one should be bench pressing their own body weight without someone around to help them in case they get stuck. Not even you!
- Don’t exercise if you’ve got a fever, body aches, or you’re feeling especially fatigued. With the viruses we are currently fighting, our bodies need extra rest in order to heal properly. If you aren’t feeling well, lay off the workouts – especially cardiovascular exercise – until you’re feeling better.
- Protect your joints. Gyms often install cushioned floors and surfaces that make sure you have some extra shock protection for your ankles, knees, and hips. If you plan to use heavy weights at home or do a lot of cardio, invest in a quality exercise mat. Make sure you grab a yoga mat too, even if you’ve got carpeting at home.
- Protect your back! Remember your form. When lifting, get close to the weight, bend your knees and tighten your stomach muscles. Make sure to use your legs to support your body weight. As you stand up, make sure you don’t twist your body.
- Don’t forget to cool down. The kids are calling, dinner’s in the oven… it’s common to want to finish up that last rep and run back to your family responsibilities. But take the time to cool down. The cool-down process protects your muscles and helps keep you from getting DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
MOST IMPORTANTLY: If at any time you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or in pain, STOP your exercise immediately!
Contact your trainer for more assistance! At First Class Personal Training, we are experts in creating at-home plans for our clients. We specialize in helping you reach your weight loss or fitness goals from the comfort of your own home.
Our fitness plans are tailored specifically for YOU. We are personal trainers that are uniquely trained to help you reach your personal goals no matter where you are in your fitness journey. To get started or for more information on how you can more safely exercise at home during COVID-19 lockdowns and beyond, contact First Class Personal Training and our friendly customer care rep will contact you to provide you with more information.January 12, 2022