It’s time to celebrate the benefits of exercising indoors
What do you think of when you think about exercising indoors? By indoors, I don’t mean at the gym. I mean at home, in the lounge, your room or the spare room.
I know what I think of. Bridget Jones’ failed attempts to lose weight. Jane Fonda headbands. Celebrity DVDs.
What do you think of when you think of exercising outdoors? The London Marathon? A brisk walk with the dog? A nice long hike? C25K?
Whatever it is, it probably seems a lot more dynamic than indoor exercise. In comparison, working out in our living room seems aimless, it seems temporary. It just seems so….. ineffective.
Well, it’s time to think again, for 3 reasons.
3 reasons to appreciate the benefits of indoor exercise
Firstly, in comparison with other ways of getting exercise like going to the gym, going for a run or going for a swim, indoor exercise is by far the most available form of exercise right now.
Secondly, there is so much more available to help you work out than some dusty old celebrity DVDs. Personal training on YouTube has exploded. You don’t need to repeat a session twice if you don’t want to. A lot of trainers have responded wonderfully to the current need for quarantine and social distancing and are putting out plenty of material. Compared to 20 years ago, it’s much easier to find something motivating to work out to.
Thirdly, it will stand you in good stead for the long term. An indoor exercise habit built now can carry on indefinitely - even when you’re completely free to start adding outdoor exercise and gym-based exercise to your routine.
So let’s hear it for the benefits of indoor exercise!
5 benefits of indoor exercise
It’s flexible and versatile
You can work out with whom you choose. You can find the right guru, the right accountability partners. You can exercise when you want.
If you’re working at home, you can organise your timetable as you want, without travel to the gym and faffing about. You don’t need to worry whether the hotel, workplace or gym has showers and changing facilities.
The risk of spreading germs is low
As a gym goer, I know that one of the issues with public or commercial gyms is that it’s virtually impossible to trust that the equipment is clean. A lot of hands grasp handles, a lot of bums sit on seats. And the sweat flies uncontrollably. Pretty much everything could be contaminated, even if it’s cleaned regularly.
Personally, I always carry a wiping towel and try to wipe everything down before and after, which. I put in its own bag and wash it immediately. I also use gloves.
This can be worth the effort when I want to use specialist equipment and a range of weights I do not have.
But it’s a cost and a risk I don’t think is worth it if you’re not using that kind of kit. If you stay at home you’ll still sweat and touch stuff - but it will be your sweat and your stuff.
You can focus on the exercise
You can dress how you want. You don’t have to drive to and from the exercise, or risk forgetting anything. You don’t have to queue. Just decide to do exercise, start exercise, keep exercising.
The environment is familiar
… if not in your comfort zone.
You can focus on your fitness, the environment will always be comfortable. You don’t need to get out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to worry about anyone watching you. You can try things - and fail at them, a very important part of learning and progress. If you’re prone to anxiety, if you suffer from agoraphobia, and generally if you worry about other people seeing how you look, this is your arena.
You don’t need to impress anyone, so you don’t need any expensive kit. A comfortable mat or surface and a set of resistance bands will get you a long, long way. Without much outlay at all you can work on all 4 aspects of fitness.
Exercising indoors is definitely worth doing
I hope I’ve convinced you that there are good reasons for exercising indoors. If you’re feeling ready to get started on it, why not read this post on how to get the most out of indoor exercise.
Stay safe, stay well.