General | September 29, 2020

A Shift In Mindset – The Positives From Working Out At Home

By Dr Daniel Cabai (osteopath) B.Sci (Clin Sci), MHS (Osteopathy) – Member Osteopathy Australia

When I first heard that gyms were closing I felt lost. Don’t get me wrong I anticipated it, but never actually wanted to process the fact that it could happen. What would I do with myself now? How will I cope? How am I going to survive?…okay maybe the last one was a little dramatic given everything that’s going on at the moment but I think you get the picture. For more than 10 years I’ve been fairly consistent with my workouts, I’m one of those people who take my workouts seriously but also enjoy a pizza (or two) washed down with a nice red wine or beer. So in the hours following the shock of my life (again somewhat dramatic) I was frantically looking around the internet looking for equipment. Everything on Facebook marketplace and Gumtree were exceptionally expensive and everything, everywhere else brand new was already sold out…dammit, I was too late. After some investigating, I found out I was one of the lucky ones however, and was able to borrow some dumbbells from the in-laws and my uncle which gave me enough to work with. From there I rigged up a makeshift chin-up bar, which was surprisingly safe and I was off. Suddenly everything seemed somewhat normal again, despite the fact that we were in stage three lockdown.

Something weird then began to happen, I actually enjoyed exercising from home and not having anyone else around me competing for equipment, was refreshing. Not having to shy away from the foul stench of stagnant BO was invigorating. Having the ability to choose my own music was empowering and the list goes on. Sure I was limited with the equipment I had at my disposal but things were good. I found with the limited equipment I was not pushing anywhere near as hard and realised that hitting pb’s wasn’t going to be achievable but I was also enjoying not being sore (and as science would suggest not being sore doesn’t necessarily mean you had a bad workout). The other aspect of exercising from home that I enjoy is body weight training and appreciating how hard it can be. You can literally create a workout by choosing three or four body weight exercises, picking a desired rep range and performing them in a circuit, simple!. Not only are you getting the benefit of resistance training but by the end of it you’re sucking in some deep breaths and if you’re like me, probably sweating like a pig and the best part is you can do so in a little over 20 minutes. 

Once you realise that when working out from home means that you’re not going to be training conventionally as you may have, it changes your thought process. It allows you to incorporate exercises or exercising in a way that you would otherwise not have. Like with anything, as humans we like consistency, working out from home is no different. Once you get into some consistency with a bodyweight workout everything gets a little easier. It doesn’t take long to google a bodyweight exercise program or look up some videos on YouTube for sample exercises or yoga or Pilates moves, most of which you can actually perform outside (which with the improving weather is awesome). You can even utilize common household objects like a bucket filled with water or soft drink bottles as makeshift dumbbells. You can essentially let your imagination run wild with the opportunity for different exercises. Resistance bands have also been getting some really good attention during this time for obvious reasons, they provide an excellent tool for a wide range of resistance exercises. 

Like lockdown in general, some days you’ll feel amazing and others you’ll feel less so. Sometimes if you just get moving that will help, otherwise allowed to have a day off or two and honestly some days I can’t be bothered doing anything, so I don’t, just don’t get down on yourself about being lazy, but take the time to mentally refocus and try again the next day. Remember that anything is better than nothing and stop being so hard on yourself, it’s not like 2020 has been a walk in the park!