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Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Friday, 23rd November 2018, 09:00

As we enter the last month of 2018, it is crucial to review your year in health so that when 2019 comes around, you are ready to kick on and be an even healthier version of yourself.

Back in my ‘youth’ when I was a full-time student, juggling my studies with sport coaching and personal training, I remember being rushed off my feet at the gym in the periods after Christmas when all the ‘resolutions’ came in. Something I’ve asked myself in the years since is; what do people do who want to improve their fitness, but hate gyms or training in public?

What about those who don’t like exercising in public?

Gym goers, fitness group attendees, team and social sport enthusiasts, golfers, triathletes, runners and cyclists are well catered for, but what about those who don’t like exercising in public? Most of you have already taken the first step in making the commitment to regular exercise, eating optimally and looking after your mental and emotional health. Whatever the reason for your lack of engagement in ‘social’ physical activity, don’t let that be the limiting factor to your health and well-being.

When it comes to health, giving ourselves black or white choices when there are more than fifty shades of grey is like ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’.

For those of you who are not into social exercise, or even if you are and just want to try something different, part of the answer to unlocking your fitness goals is having the self-awareness to accept you are different, and the discipline to discover the best way for you to exercise.

While having a home gym or range of equipment for home exercising isn’t for everyone, it could be the answer to your needs. The first and most important step in home exercising is having someone to hold us to account, because unlike ‘public’ exercise, no one sees what you do at home!

Here are a few tips with regards to setting up a home gym and/or training at home:

1. Be clear that your health and fitness goal is something you want to achieve and is realistic for you.

2. Choose a time to exercise that is manageable and still allows you to get on with your other daily activities.

3. Develop consistency in your routine.

4. Ensure a system of accountability that will challenge and support your journey.

Equipment

There is a great range of home exercise equipment out there to suit all budgets, experience, space and tastes. Depending on your preferred form of exercise, you could invest in some of the following equipment:

• Dumbbells • Kettlebells • Barbell

• Medicine ball • Skipping rope • TRX

• Step/box • Ab wheel • Yoga mat

• Resistance bands • Stationary bike

• Rower • Treadmill • Power rack

• Multi-gym

Practical exercise tips

For beginner to intermediate level, you will want to aim to exercise 3-4 days per week. Here is an example of a training session you could follow:

Warm up (get your heart rate up)

5-15 minutes of skipping rope, rower, treadmill or stationary bike

Main session

Using a circuit style of training, choose 12 exercises covering lower body, upper body, core and full body movements. Once you have completed the 12 exercises in a row, repeat them one or two more times.

In order to keep challenging yourself, change your exercise selection, repetition range, weight (if you are using weights), work to rest ratio, etc. as you progress.

Cool down

5-10 minutes of low intensity cardio and stretching the main muscle group(s) you’ve worked in your session.

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