3 Keys to Working Out Successfully at Home

woman, home, sportWorking out at home is convenient and private and what's more it's always available to you. No need to find time to drive to the gym, simply work out in front of your favorite TV show, while dinner is cooking or just to be around while the kids do their homework.

1. Target every muscle group

Working out at home where no-one is looking sometimes makes it tempting to skimp on the routine. It's easy to leave out the harder exercises and focus on the easier ones. But it's those harder exercises, the ones that cause you to breathe a little more heavily or reach a little deeper, that make the difference between progress and lack of progress. Strong arms are great, but strong arms and a strong core are even better. When you develop your routine, think about every muscle group and choose routines that target hamstrings as well as quadriceps, triceps as well as biceps, work the obliques as well as the abs and so on. If there is one exercise you particularly dislike, see if you can find another one that targets the same muscle group, that way you will be more likely to follow through. Target each muscle group at least every other time you workout. You can target upper body one day and lower body the next (do abs every day for best results), but make sure you hit every muscle group in each part of the body.

2. Develop a Habit

It takes discipline to exercise every day. An easy way to develop the exercise habit is to make time at the same time every day, whether it is in the morning before you go to work or after dinner while the TV is on (exercising too close to bed time may cause trouble getting to sleep). If you can keep motivated for the first two to three weeks, the chances are high that you will be able to continue without faltering. Once your body gets used to regular exercise, you will feel your body craving it if you stop for any reason, so persevere until you reach that point. You'll know when you're there.

3. Journal Your Progress

Measuring success is important. Don't let the word “journal” fool you. It can be a simple Excel spreadsheet or a piece of paper stuck to the fridge door. But measuring results is a powerful motivator for sticking to the program. There's nothing better than seeing in black and white that you have increased your bicep measurement and decreased your waist measurement. Taking a before picture gives you a visual baseline for comparing results and can if you are brave enough to stick the picture on your bathroom mirror, it can be a great incentive to keep working.

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