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Exercising at home

Have you ever joined a gym only to use it a handful of times then abandoned it due to time constraints and inconvenience? You wouldn’t be alone. Here’s how to get the same benefits – from home. Plus expert tips on how to thrive on home workouts

Try to make your home exercise routine a regular part of your life – get into the habit of doing it at the same time on the same days every week. If you do it without thinking about it you won’t have to force yourself and are more likely to keep it up.

While it’s OK to start with lifting cans of beans there’s nothing like the proper equipment to make you feel like you’re really at the gym. Experts recommend a set of hand weights, a mat for lying down exercises and a skipping rope.

Look at your home as though it is a gym and think about how you could get the most out of it. If you have space set up different exercises in different rooms – a mat in the lounge, a piece of wall for balancing exercises in the hall, star jumps and skipping in the bedroom, lunges or jogging on the spot in the kitchen. If you have stairs run up and down them between each room you visit for a real fat-burning boost. Try to do about 10 different exercises in your circuit.

Playing loud music while doing your exercises is a good way to keep going. It helps to concentrate the mind and fight off distractions like what’s in the fridge or on TV.

Make sure to reward yourself with a non-edible treat for all the hard work you are doing. Run a deep bath and add yummy essential oils for a truly relaxing experience.

Invest in some proper gym gear – otherwise you’ll feel like you’re just prancing about at home and won’t take it seriously. Some gear is important to protect your body from the impact of exercising – a good sports bra will prevent breast stretching and trainers will protect feet from the impact of repeated movements.

Sylvia Diaz is a fitness instructor, personal trainer and nutrition advisor. She runs a fitness and nutrition coaching service called Fit with Sylvia

Simple home exercises that will help you keep motivated throughout the day – no gym required!

Starting with the biggest muscles in the body, Lower Body exercises for the legs (quadriceps, hamstring and glutes):

  • Do half-bridges while lying in bed. Do around three sets and 15 repetitions.
  • Do a wall sit while your coffee brews. Head in line with the spine against a wall, feet separated from the wall and slide your body toward the ground until your thighs are parallel to it, and hold for the maximum you can, three times.
  • Do squats while emptying the dishwasher. Squat down as if you're sitting in an imaginary chair and reach just one item in the dishwasher at a time.

Upper body exercises to also improve the cardiovascular system:

  • Lift the laundry basket up to shoulders each time you put away an item.
  • Do standing push-ups at the sink. Do around three sets and 15 repetitions.
  • Do a plank while playing with your pets or kids, letting them crawl on top of you or underneath., on Facebook and Instagram @fit.with.sylvia

Alan Williams of Alan Williams Coaching

Training at home can be hard if you’re somebody who prefers a group environment, but sometimes you have no other option available to you.

With regard to staying on track, the best advice I can give is to have a crystal clear goal. Know what it is that you want to achieve. So if it’s weight loss make sure there’s a number on that goal. Having a goal will keep you mentally focused and ensure the workout gets done. If there’s no goal, you’re much less likely to do the workout.

Beyond that, remember that motivation is a temporary emotion and therefore not something to be relied upon. If you only train on the days that you’re motivated you won’t make a lot of progress. Focus on creating daily habits, as opposed to waiting for motivation. How can you make the home workout easier? Blast on some music you enjoy and you’ll fly through it!

Grainne O’Driscoll runs Grá For Fitness offering public, private and corporate Pilates, yoga and fitness classes

Working out at home is a fantastic for saving both time and money. My top tip is online classes. Yoga with Adriene, Bodyfit By Amy, The Body Coach and The Balanced Body offer free classes on YouTube.

Alternatively you can pay a small monthly fee and access a wide selection of teachers on the likes of and Do your research and find a site you like. Most of these sites offer a free trial to start with.

Convenience is the advantage, the disadvantage is you don’t have an expert on hand to correct your alignment or technique. You have to take care of yourself, be mindful of your fitness level and your technique. If something causes pain, stop.

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