Home Exercise Safety is STILL IMPORTANTAugust 30, 2020
The year 2020 has been a learning experience for many of us. The COVID 19 pandemic forced us to adapt, and those who refuse to adapt are left with an uphill battle. In terms of exercise and fitness, many of us swapped time in our fitness centers for at-home workouts. The purpose of this blog is not to persuade you in trying virtual home workouts, but the safety of training at home. HOWEVER, let me give you my quick take of home workouts. Exercising at home is convenient, and so much time is saved. There isn’t the need to pack a bag of extra clothes and shower supplies or fighting rush hour traffic. On the other side, you will need to gather your own equipment, but more often than not, our body weight is sufficient enough UNTIL you get stronger than your bodyweight, which is a good healthy problem to have! At that point, investing in dumb bells, kettle bells, plates, resistance bands, etc. will be beneficial in providing different levels of load and progressions.
It is important to remember that working out puts the body under stress, no matter the location. Therefore, some careful planning and thought is required. The following are some tips to remember when doing at-home workouts.
Give Yourself SPACE!
The set up of your home workout space is important and should not be taken lightly, even though these workouts are meant to be quick and easy. Injuries can be prevented when you give yourself space to move, jump, etc. The worst thing to do is to fall or trip and knock yourself out a few days or weeks from exercise. Home workouts are motivationally more challenging, so developing a routine is absolutely essential.
Again, home workouts are supposed to be “in and out.” However, working out at the gym or home, many of us are probably guilty of not warming up. Preparing the body for exercise is crucial to reducing risk of injury. It can even enhance performance!
During the warm-up, your heart rate should slightly elevate to increase blood flow in the muscles. This will make the muscles more loose and ready to work, which in turn, increases oxygen intake. Warm ups should be low intensity, and do not start a workout jumping right into a jumping activity or lifting a heavy load.
Protect Your Joints Always
Your joints help you move and take in the burden of your body weight. Exercise increases the load your joints experience, so you should do everything in your power to protect them. This means investing in a mat for cushion. If you don’t, you could experience unusual soreness or pain in your hips, knees, ankles, and even wrists after exercise.
This Includes Proper Footwear
Out of personal experience, it is easy to not wear shoes in the house to exercise. I didn’t take it seriously at first…and I should have! I took for granted the cushion and impact support that is in wearing shoes or even socks. First off, I don’t like wearing outdoor shoes in the house, so I bought new shoes to just workout at home. This is part of being prepared for home workouts. But depending on the type of exercise, shoes can provide stability, lateral support, and even prevent trips and falls.
Do NOT Ignore Form & Posture
Bad technique leads to injury, Actually, my music teacher in high school told us that practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect, but practice leads to permanence. This isn’t music class, but if you practice bad technique over and over, it will be hard to adjust to the right technique.
Therefore, it is important to listen to your (certified) trainer’s cues and to keep tabs on your form & posture. A mirror can help you critique yourself. Moreover, putting your workout on a large screen will help versus a small phone or tablet.
Fully appreciating the value of at-home workouts will lead to a safe and productive environment. At the end of the day, exercise is exercise. If done correctly, you will wake up better and stronger. Not mentioned above is to always drink plenty of water and give yourself ample recovery time. Always give your body the right environment it needs to improve.