Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Working out at home 1.0

If I had my way, I'd be able to run outside all year long and hit the gym when I wanted to lift weights, take a class or cross-train.  Running outside is way more interesting than running on a treadmill, even with the finest of Netflix shows at the ready for my watching pleasure, and I feel like I get a better workout when I'm cross-training at the gym because I'm in the right mindset. To me, gym = working out; living room = couch.  I can't escape it.  However, after having a baby, working out at home makes so much more sense for so many reasons.

While we don't have TONS of equipment, we do have a decent set-up.  Here's what I'm using to work out right now with some commentary about what I like and dislike about the current situation.  At the end I'll tell you the plans that I have for the (less frigid) future.  

The most important piece of fitness equipment we have is the treadmill.  I seriously don't know what I'd do without it.  I definitely wouldn't have been able to run as much as I have if I had to try to go to the gym or *shiver* outside.  I love not having feel pressure to work out outside when its this cold or play chicken with undergrads who have the audacity to try to take *my* machine at the gym.  And now that we have our own garage, I don't have to worry about it bothering the neighbors if I use it early in the morning. 

This is where the magic happens
If I had an awesome blog patron (any takers?), I'd buy another piece of cardio equipment - probably a rowing machine because Daniel would like that - that uses totally different muscles than running to use for cross training or if I were injured. 

The only *bad* thing is that the garage is cold.  It stays maybe 10 or 20 degrees warmer than it is outside.  So when the temperature dips to the single digits (or colder), it gets pretty chilly in the garage.  To combat the cold (or at least try), I have a space heater that sits right in front of the 'mill.  It doesn't heat the whole garage, but it does thaw out the air right in front of it.  The only exciting thing we found out is that if we plug both the treadmill and the space heater into the same power strip, it overloads the strip and knocks out power to both machines and to the only light in the garage, plunging it into complete darkness.  The magic plug-in formula we discovered was treadmill = power strip, space heater = wall.  

ow for the most important thing: the entertainments.  I put the iPad on the console of the treadmill and attach it with bungee cords so it won't fall off.  It's small enough that I can still see the timer/pace on the sides, but it's close enough that I can watch the show.  When I'm running, I can't really hear dialogue very well, so I've been sticking with shows like How I Met Your Mother and, currently, Scrubs, which are entertaining but not very difficult to follow.

 I actually have a lot of plans for the garage once it gets warmer.  For one, we have a fan for running during thunderstorms once it gets hot (hard for me to even imagine that at this point).  We also have various bands, a small adjustable hand weight set, a kettle bell, and a sledgehammer (ask Daniel about that one) that can be used for weight lifting-type exercises.  We also bought a cheap rug that we plan to lay down in front of the treadmill for stretching and doing ab work, but I haven't put it out yet because it's too cold to stay down there any longer than you have to and the snow and salt make the floor of the garage nasty.

I also hung my race medals and bibs and a white board (to write out workouts?) for motivation.

Back inside, we have a small collection of workout DVDs that I've been using for strength training and stretching.  We have a few yoga DVDs, Jillian's 30-day Shred, and I'm currently borrowing P90X from a friend.  In general, I don't think I get as good of a workout doing DVDs as I do with a more conventional weight lifting routine, but both Shred and P90X can be just as hard as you want them to be.  

Because I'm working out in the living room, it's easier to keep my supplies up there, too.  However, I don't want them taking over, so I've hidden them under and behind the Pack N Play.  Can you spot the baby plates?

And because stretching and self-massage are so important, here is my yoga mat and foam roller tucked behind the P&P.

And if all else fails, cleaning the house with the baby in the Ergo is a great workout for your core.

Even with this set up, I decided to go ahead and keep my campus gym membership (which is very inexpensive) with the idea that I'd like to have the option of using the elliptical or bike if I'm injured or squeeze in workout out at lunch if it just doesn't happen in the morning (or if I'm feeling like being an overachiever :) ).

Do you workout at home?  Have any favorite equipment/DVDs/exercises?  

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