Working out in your living space vs. the gym

It’s almost the end of February and some of you might be wondering: just how am I going to continue with this fitness plan that I vowed to stick to in January?

It’s that time of the quarter when midterms, last minute papers, and cortisol (directly related to STRESS!) are piling up! It might be difficult to fit in your workout routine with studying, homework, etc.

During busy weeks I either hit the gym on my way home from school or set up shop to workout in my room. This way I can take a break from the mental exercise of classes and projects.

Today I came across this video of a women working out in a Subway station to prove that you can work out just about anywhere:

At home, gym, and public circuits can be equally sufficient to getting in killer workouts if using the equipment and space you do have to your advantage.

Tips for Working out at the Gym/Recreation Center:

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Try going on off-peak hours! Afternoons on weekends and late nights are prime time to avoid the rush.

Ideal if you want to get the most out of your membership, enjoy people watching during your workout, or just love the social aspect of fitness!

Don’t be afraid to go into the weight room! Ever feel intimidated in a room full of male body builders? That’s how I felt every time I entered the weight room until I decided that it is my space too! Go in there and lift those weights to gain strength!

Do learn how to use the equipment to avoid injury. Look into strength training classes or clubs at your college, or gym to see what is available. All machines have instructions on them. Take the time to read and try out each machine to see what works best for you.

Don’t be a “cardio bunny.” Ellipticals and treadmills are great, but don’t go for them immediately every time you’re in the gym. Use all parts of the center: weight room, stretching areas, and circuit rooms to add in variety and make sure you don’t plateau.

Do utilize the equipment offered at the gym or recreation center. They often have medicine balls, BOSU balls, weights of different sizes, steps, stability balls, jump ropes, bars, and more all provided just for you. Do get your money’s worth by using them!

Don’t (or try not to) go at peak hours. It’s packed! This includes pre and post work hours (6-9am and 5pm-9pm.)

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Toning maracas from a Zumba Tone class!

Do try out the classes offered at the gym. You never know if you will find something you love. Zumba, BodyPump, Yoga, and POUND are all options provided in most gyms that can make your workout fun and different!

Don’t be self conscious or afraid of being judged. Everyone is there to focus on themselves rather than paying attention to what you are doing. Just focus on your own workout and you will glow!

Do wipe down your equipment before and after each use. Let’s face it; the gym is not the most sanitary place in the world. It’s flu season, and most people don’t wipe down their equipment. Do your part to avoid spreading and catching germs by cleaning your equipment before AND after you use it. And always wash your hands after your workout!

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Tips for Working out at Home/in your Dorm or Apartment:

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Actual photo of my dorm living room last year. Way TOO cold to go out to the gym in the snow. I used my rug for extra tailbone cushion!

Perfect for when you don’t have time to hit the gym, want to save money from purchasing a membership, or would rather not trek out in the cold weather!

Do take advantage of being in your own space! Blast the new music station you found on Spotify, get in some dance cardio, and do everything might not be so comfortable doing in the gym!

Don’t feel held back if you don’t have weights, medicine balls, and other equipment that you would have at the gym. Switch these items out for heavy water bottles, sandbags, textbooks, chairs, and other heavy items you find lying around!

Do perform dynamic exercises that allow you to use your own body weight for strength training.

When I started out, I didn’t have a gym membership and it led me to discover Pilates! Pilates is all about getting stronger, using your core, and strength training with your own body weight to gain lean muscle mass and lose fat.

Other options include: Yoga, High Intensity Interval Training, P90X, Jillian Michaels BodyShred

Don’t make the “but I don’t have enough space” excuse. You only need the length of a yoga mat for most workouts! .

Do use your television, tablet, or smartphone to your advantage! There are plenty of workout videos all over the internet to follow. And if you have a Google Chromecast, you can sync youtube videos to your TV for a live workout. My favorites: Blogilates, Jillian Michaels BodyShred

Do invest in a sturdy yoga mat if you’re going to make working out at home a regular thing. Save your knees and hands from injury and rugburn (ouch!).

Do let your roommates, friends, or family members know that you’re taking the hour for yourself to focus on your workout. Ask them to join in or give you your space in the meantime!

I hope you have a kickbutt workout today wherever you choose to do it! Have any more tips for working out at home, the gym, or outdoors? Share them in the comments!

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