For many women who moved to home workouts during the pandemic, the adjustment has become permanent.
Stay-at-home moms Jazmine Allman and Shaneka Thornton have found that keeping fit at home has saved time and stress and helped them stick to their goals.
Going to a gym made Allman anxious. Since getting her Peloton bike in January 2020 (and riding for 20 to 30 minutes each day since) and eating a healthy diet, she’s lost 140 pounds.
“You are working out with people but in the comfort of your own home. They don’t have to see me sweat, but they know I’m sweating with them.”
She loves being able to roll out of bed and get on her bike, yet she still has the camaraderie of exercising with others.
If her 3-year-old daughter needs her, she can pause her workout and resume it later. And she also doesn’t have to pay for child care at a gym.
She competes with other riders (connected virtually from all over the world) to challenge herself.
“We ‘high five’ each other as we ride,” Allman said. “Every day I try to beat my own personal record and other riders’. It keeps things interesting. It’s something I’ve genuinely looked forward to getting up and doing every morning.”
Thornton started working out at home because of COVID-19 and gyms closing.
“Then it became easier to just do it at home versus taking my kids to the gym daycare,” she said.
The mother of three children, ages 7, 3 and 10 months, mainly does strength training and Peloton riding. She also has started to include yoga and meditation in her workouts.
For anyone considering working out at home, Thornton said it’s worth it.
“You don’t need fancy workout equipment to stay healthy. Give yourself a spot in your home, add all the encouraging décor and lights,” she said. “Make something you are proud of — make it just for you.”
Thornton suggests searching YouTube to learn how to do exercises you’re not familiar with. This also is a great way to add variety if your routine gets stale.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends these basics to get started with a home gym:
An exercise mat or yoga mat.
Resistance bands (light, medium, heavy).
Bench, step bench or box (something to elevate you).
An internet-enabled TV also can help access workout apps or YouTube videos.
Decide what type of workouts you’ll most enjoy (and will do consistently over time) and let that guide what space you use and what you buy to outfit that space. You don’t have to buy everything at once — allow yourself to get used to your space and your routines so you make the best purchases.
“It’s hard staying consistent, but sticking to something you want to do for yourself is so rewarding in the end,” Thornton said.