Workout from Home: The 30 Day Challenge

They say it takes approximately 30 days to develop a new habit. Many of us know we would be happier, and feel healthier if we made working out more regularly a priority. I know you’ve got half a dozen excuses why you can’t do it. You’ve got young kids, a crazy work schedule, and the last thing you feel like doing at the end of a busy day is hitting the gym. I’m right there with you. But what if you could successfully work out from home? Would you be willing to join me in a 30 day challenge to take back our bodies and our health? I know we can do this! Here are some tips to help us be successful.

Put Distraction Aside

Here’s a rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t allow it to interrupt your gym workout, why are you allowing it to interrupt you at home? Try to choose a time when your kiddos are napping or are otherwise asleep (early in the morning or after bedtime), away at school or extracurricular activities, or a time when your spouse can watch them. Hide your phone. Calls and emails can wait 30 minutes to an hour. You deserve this time.

Weights and Resistance

Adjustable free weights are great for home workouts. I like to use five to 10 pound weights while I am walking on the treadmill and for light lifting, while my husband prefers a little more of a challenge. Look for weights that adjust anywhere from five to fifty pounds (at minimum). You should be able to find these at your local sporting goods store. Resistance bands are another option for toning, and a little less expensive.

Have a Ball

An exercise ball is another effective (and inexpensive) addition to your home gym equipment. I like to use my ball for crunches (leaning backwards over the ball), and push-ups (with my feet propped up on the ball). There are numerous ways to use an exercise ball. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration. But be careful not to try anything too far outside of your comfort zone. Use common sense; you don’t want to get hurt!

Jump Rope

High impact jump roping is great for a quick, cardiovascular workout. Set a timer for 10 minutes and alternate jumping for 30 seconds, then resting for 30 seconds. This is a great alternative to walking or jogging outdoors during the cold, winter months.

Hit the Treadmill (or the streets)

Brisk walking or jogging is a great form of exercise. 30 to 45 minutes of hot, sweaty exercise a day can help you lose weight and get in shape. If the weather is nice, get outdoors. Take the whole family for a walk, or grab your bike and hit one of Billings’ many trails. Rollerblading is another fun option.

Keep an Exercise and Diet Journal

This can be pen to paper or electronic. We are big fans of the My Fitness Pal app, which allows us to track our intake and output every day. It also links up with Fitbit and many of the other popular step counting devices on the market. My husband lost 20 pounds over the holidays, simply by modifying his eating habits and walking 30 minutes a day on our treadmill. The right fuel makes all the difference.

Don’t be Afraid to Change up Your Routine

Buy some inexpensive workout DVDS. It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest workout craze; just find something that interests you and give it a try. Maybe it’s Yoga one day a week, or Pilates. Or maybe you’ve been dying to try Zumba, but you don’t know if your moves are ready for a group workout setting. That’s okay! Your living room won’t mind. You can also find great videos on sites like YouTube and Amazon.

Looking for a Fun Way to Involve the Kids?

Turn family workout time into a game. Take a deck of cards, and write an exercise type on each suite. Skip the Jokers. Draw a card from the deck, and perform the exercise on the card – the number of reps is determined by the number on the card. Jacks are 11s, Queens are 12s, Kings are 13s, and Aces are 14s. Don’t feel bad if you can’t make it through the entire deck in one attempt. This is a tough workout! So tough it’s used by police academies and the military. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try.

Make a realistic plan, and stick to it. Start small and build up – this will give you the confidence to keep going. And remember, when it comes to exercising, safety is crucial. Always consult your physician before beginning any new exercise regimen. Are you ready for the 30 Day Challenge? What’s your favorite way to workout at home?

About the author...Born and raised in southeast Texas, Jessica currently lives in Billings, Montana with her husband, her two year old daughter Savannah, and their newest addition, one year old Emma Kate. Jessica graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. By day, Jessica works as a licensed Realtor, and moonlights as a freelance writer/photographer for several businesses around town.