A couple of weeks ago my husband and I decided to get serious about strength training. He’s been recovering from injuries for months now and is tired of not being able to run like he used to. We thought it was worth getting up a little earlier a couple of times a week to workout together if it helps his back and knee heal. So one Monday morning we got out of bed, went to the living room, and went through our new routine, starting with 2 minutes of jumping jacks. We then did some jump squats, some push-ups, some sit-ups, and and several other exercises before calling it good and getting breakfast for us and our kids.
We could hardly move the next day because we were so sore. We laughed at ourselves for having thought we were in good shape before, but to tell you the truth, the funniest thing about the situation was the response we got from friends when we told them about our new goal of working out together in the morning. The first question almost all of them asked was: “Where do you do that?”
To which our somewhat incredulous answer was, “Our living room, of course.” Because where else are we going to workout together having just rolled out of bed and with three kids still sleeping?
It seemed like a foreign idea to some of them, like you can’t workout unless you go to a gym, or to a yoga studio, or a weight room, or on a run around the neighborhood.
But there are plenty of ways to get a workout in without disrupting your life. You don’t need fancy equipment. You don’t need lots of time. You don’t need to buy a membership or find someone to watch your kids. You just need to be curious, committed, and resourceful.
It’s true that working out at home has its drawbacks. Sometimes you’ll have a baby trying to crawl on top of you when you’re halfway through your 1-minute plank hold. Sometimes you may need to take a quick break to stop a fight between your little boys. And sometimes you’ll fall over in a fit of laughter as you watch your kids attempt to mimic the moves you are doing.
But a DIY workout also has a lot of perks. Like saving money on a gym membership. Or having no travel time. You can crank up your music if you want to. And no one else has to see you red-faced and sweating.
Over the next several weeks I’ll be giving tips and tricks to help you integrate exercise into your daily life and figure out what works best for you and your schedule. And that’s the biggest perk of a DIY workout. It can be whatever you want or need it to be, whenever you happen to be able to do it.