I once went to the gym.
I’d decided to try an aerobics style class, and I knew immediately that it wasn’t for me; I’m so uncoordinated that I was constantly three steps behind. So I took the first opportunity – when the instructor turned around – to run out the door.
I’d lasted two minutes, tops.
It could be said that I’d just been in the wrong class and I should try the gym again, with another class, but there’s something else to it. Exercising in public just isn’t something I love*.
(*Unless it’s walking. I will walk anywhere and everywhere without a worry in the world.)
And I’m not alone: research from Sport England reports that 75 per cent of women avoid exercise because they’re worried about their appearance and ability being judged.
That’s a lot of people, all of whom deserve to feel healthy and relatively fit, avoiding their all-important exercise.
The solution? Keep your exercise behind closed doors.
Find what feels good in the comfort of your home
There are so many options for exercise in any neighbourhood.
For me, small group training sessions and Pilates classes (based in an instructor’s home) have been successful in the past, but they’re hard to come by. You have to click with just the right instructor and the right group of people, at a time and a place that works for you.
It just doesn’t come along that often, particularly when you live in an area with limited choices.
There’s also the problem that, after a while, each ends up feeling like just another appointment to keep. Another place I need to be at a particular time, amongst all the obstacles that feel like they’re being thrown at me to thwart those efforts. And, like all of us, I have too many things in my diary as it is.
Instead, I’ve finally accepted that I’m not the person who goes running around the block, has a gym membership or attends fitness classes in the evenings.
I’m a homebody.
At my home I run, swim, do my own strength training sessions and stretch with YouTube’s Yoga With Adriene.
It’s the latter who’s really validated my home exercise choices. As she coaxes her dog, Benji, off the yoga mat so she can do her own version of downward-facing dog, Texas-based Adriene raves about in-home exercise. She gives the vibe of working out at home being safe and secure, fun and mindful.
And it’s true: I can crawl straight from my bed to the yoga mat (also known as the Ikea rug in my lounge room) and sun salute my way into the day. I can take a short break from my work at home to do some lunges and squats that remind my legs they still exist. When the day has got to me, I can pound out the frustrations with several runs around the block – my block of land, that is.
It’s a beautiful thing.
My home practices mean I actually get all of this exercise done. It doesn’t matter what I look like or whether I can do it well or not. (And ‘not’ is the likely answer to that question.) I save a fortune on fancy active wear. I don’t have the excuses; I can’t say I couldn’t make it to the lounge room that day.
And no matter what other intrusions threaten to take over my efforts – for example, my husband’s unpredictable work schedule clashing with my plans – I can still exercise while the kids play nearby. (They then ask to do their own yoga, Cosmic Kids on YouTube, after mine).
As the yoga teacher in my computer says: “Find what feels good”.
I have, and it’s right here in the comfort of my own home.
Check out the five most popular workout videos on YouTube that will help you torch fat. Plus, how this woman lost 5kg in 6 weeks from her lounge room.
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