Last year, I set up an online exercise studio for people who want to improve their balance, feel stronger, and move more easily.
When I tell people about the Studio, they sometimes say things like…
“That sounds like such a great idea, but I’m not the kind of person who could do that.”
“I’m not motivated enough to exercise by myself.”
“I wish I could be more disciplined to do videos like that.”
Every time I reply by saying, “It’s not about you, or how motivated or disciplined you are…. It’s about how easy you make it for yourself. You can do it; you just need to make it easier.”
So, here’s how to make it easy and set yourself up for success with exercising at home.
First of all, why does exercising at home matter?
This is what I am saying to anyone who will listen at the moment:
If we aren’t using our muscles, we are losing strength. If we aren’t putting strain on our bones, we are losing bone mineral density. And if we aren’t challenging our balance, we are losing our balance capabilities.
Exercising at home is brilliant for so many reasons. And, right now, it’s the only option for many of us.
You can do it any time – whenever it’s convenient for you. Even when you have only 5 or 10 minutes to spare.
We’ve been slightly brainwashed by the fitness industry into thinking that, unless we do a whole hour of exercise in one go, it’s not enough.
Any exercise is better than none, and there’s lots of evidence that doing small bouts of exercise throughout the day is better than doing one longer session and then doing nothing for the rest of the day.
If you are having trouble with your balance, then it’s even better news. The best way to improve your balance is to do a few minutes of balance exercise most days. You don’t need much equipment, and it’s very easy to do balance exercises at home.
Whatever kind of exercise you want to do, even 5 or 10 minutes is great. If you are doing the right sort of exercise, at the right level for you, you will feel better after. You will feel physically better, more energised, and more positive.
So, how can you make exercising at home easy?
Everyone we know who has been successful with home exercise has had support. Whether it’s a trainer who comes to the house (not possible right now, of course) or following a program, having that guidance and support is crucial.
Books and printed programs can be great, and if they work for you, keep using them! Many people find videos to be more helpful though. You can hear the instructions and see the demonstration as well. Plus, it feels like someone is in the room encouraging you.
There are so many great videos online (and lots of terrible ones too, so be careful!). You can look on YouTube, websites, or various apps. Make sure that your instructor is qualified and experienced and that the exercises are at the right level for you.
Here’s a short video you can do now – enjoy these quick exercises to relieve stiffness in your upper back, neck, and shoulders.
The smaller the better.
Seriously! The two minutes of exercise that you actually do are infinitely better than an hour of exercise that you planned but didn’t quite manage.
Make it as easy as possibly to succeed. Plan to stand on one leg for 30 seconds while your eggs boil. That’s it!
You will start to develop a habit and that’s where the magic begins. You will find yourself wanting to do more, and it will soon snowball into something bigger.
Yes, exercising is good for your brain and your memory, but you might still not be ready to rely on it! So, set reminders (yes, even for that 30 second one-leg stand).
Reminders can include:
Or do them all – whatever works for you!
So, you’ve got a program to follow, your reminder worked, and you’re ready to exercise.
But, if you don’t have everything you need in one place, you will spend more than the time planned for the exercise trying to organise yourself.
Get it ready in advance, and you’ll be straight into it next time!
Here’s how to set yourself up for success:
Celebrating your successes (yes, even 30 seconds of exercise) is crucial.
Some of our members put stickers on their calendar every time they exercise, others reward their efforts afterwards by doing something they enjoy (drinking coffee with the newspaper, calling a friend or checking on their garden).
At the end of the week or month they might reward themselves with something more substantial. But it’s the immediate rewards that are most important for imprinting these habits. Find something that’s meaningful for you and keep doing it.
The people I work with are relieved when they realise it’s not about how motivated they are. It’s a great feeling when you understand it’s about making it easy for yourself and setting yourself up for success.
If you want to exercise from home, take a look at the Studio from Vida Wellness.
It’s an online exercise studio for people who want to improve their balance and posture, feel stronger, and move more easily. Members enjoy an extensive Video Library, community support, and advice from specialist instructors.
What could you do to make it easier to exercise at home? Do you need more support or a program to follow? Could you set your environment up better? Join the conversation below!