Confession time! I truly and honestly cannot work out at a gym.
I’ve blogged about my struggle with anxiety before, but the gym is one place where my anxiety is triggered massively and there is very little I can do to alleviate it. Something about the environment sets me off in the worst ways.
For a while I sulked about not being able to go in a gym without having a panic attack. I felt like I was the only person in the world who couldn’t be there and ignore the crowd. But, I started to realize that working out in my comfort zone wasn’t as tough as thought. It totally is possible to set up your home and life in a way that supports exercise that will actually change your body for the better.
Using the Resources Around You
Apps, YouTube, and subscribe-to-access are seriously magic when you are making the most of an at-home workout routine. I regularly use free resources to access full workouts. With consistency and dedication, any workout (even if it’s just ten minutes) will make a big difference.
My workouts are usually body-weight, Yoga and Pilates related. I’ve blogged before about my favourite YouTube accounts, but I’ve been a loyal water of these accounts for years and can’t say enough about them.
Boho Beautiful (YouTube) – Incredible yoga/Pilates fusion workouts that range from five to thirty minutes in length. She has an amazing mix of relaxing, zen yoga and more intense Pilates depending on your skill level, as well as a lot of modifications mid-routine if you’re a beginner. They also have a website which sells subscriptions to longer produced routines and other materials.
Home Workout (App) – This plainly named app has guided work out routines that involve body weight and actual weights, if you choose. They include in-depth stretches, diagrams for support, and timers to help keep the pace. And it’s free!
Fitness Blender (YouTube) – This account has an incredible amount of videos that use body weight, actual weight, Pilates, yoga and range in difficulty from beginner to expert. They’re easy to follow and spell out exactly the equipment you need. Plus, some of them are an hour long!
Even though I may not use large-scale machines, I still get the benefit of a full workout and I don’t have to suffer with crippling anxiety – win!
Benefit from Flexible Scheduling
One thing I never have to deal with is feeling too lazy to drive to the gym. I totally understand and feel for people who work full-time jobs and find time to work out, shower, and return home after a long day. It definitely takes a couple hours out of your night! If you don’t mind that, kudos to you! It’s a commitment that I would absolutely struggle with because I cherish every second of my post-workday life as a result of my anxiety.
I love working out at home because the excuse of not feeling like it isn’t as heavy. I can’t tell myself that I just don’t have time, because a workout only takes 30 minutes and it’s one stair-level of travel. Cutting my opportunity to make excuses increases my success at maintaining a healthier lifestyle for sure.
My post-workout routine is also something I cherish. Showering in a strange place (particularly with people I don’t know) isn’t really on my preferred activity list. But, post-workout at home? I pamper my skin, bathe with special soap, use a face-mask to treat my skin. I totally understand the benefit of showering at the gym because it certainly is convenient, but I can’t pretend that I don’t enjoy my pampering routine at home.
Dress to Impress Myself
A big part of motivating myself is feeling confident. Aside from staying consistent to healthy habits, dressing appropriately in workout gear that feels good and excites me is a huge part of the battle. Working out at home doesn’t mean I can wear any old thing while I exercise – I try my best to buy equipment that works to support the body.
Sometimes, feeling put together does a lot for confidence. On tough days where my full-time job doesn’t go as well as I hoped, it boosts my mood a little bit to throw on a pair of pretty yoga tights and a supportive sports bra while I move through a flow. It just does so much for the way I approach a work out!
I’m pretty faithful to a few brands, which I’ll list below. They all make incredible products that last long, support my body, and add a bit of flare to a mundane routine. If you don’t want to spend money, take a trip to your local Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Winners as they often have incredible activewear for lower costs!
Under Armour – for sports bras and shorts (and anything) that are insanely comfortable
Kyodan – for insanely comfortable and supportive tights that don’t squish or flatten.
Nike – for running shoes that transition easily from work out to streetwear.
Old Navy – for inexpensive tank tops that work well to layer no matter what the activity
Exercise is essential for the body and mind. I’ve been in situations where my anxiety got the best of me and I couldn’t work out as often as I wanted or needed. It is one of the more damaging things you can do for so many reasons.
If you’re like me, and your anxiety is preventing you from exercising, know that you’re not the only one! There are ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without feeling judged at a huge gym, or struggling to get there at the end of the day.
Are you a gym-goer or a homebody like me?