It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but it’s the hardest time to squeeze in your workouts. Between Christmas shopping, holiday parties, festive meals and reunions with loved ones, your schedule is packed. Often times, the first thing to go is your trip to the gym. Working out at home would be a simpler, more time-efficient compromise.
Or, perhaps you’re a workout newbie with a New Year’s resolution. Rather than joining a gym, though, you want to use the space your home has in order to make it a place where you can work out, get in shape and achieve all of your fitness goals.
Either way, you want to workout at home this holiday season and beyond. You just have to figure out the best place to do so. Here are four of the best indoor workout spaces in your own abode.
Perfect For: DVD-Based Workouts
Your living room has plenty of floor space, but it’s also the main hangout in your house. You don’t want to fill it with exercise equipment, so it’s not the right location for a full-fledged home gym.
But your living room has said square footage, plus a TV and DVD player. With that, you’re all set up for indoor workouts that have on discs. Simply pop them in and get sweating. If you have a workout DVD that requires small pieces of equipment, use furniture with hidden storage to keep your living room functional yet clutter-free.
Perfect For: Yoga
There’s a lot of traffic in the living room and kitchen, but you want to keep your bedroom as its own exercise-free sanctuary. Just as relaxing and low-traffic, the sunroom has the added bonus of drenching you in natural light. The sun’s rays have long been known to boost our moods, so much so that time spent in the glow can help battle seasonal affective disorder.
Yoga is a great way to fight depression, too. It’s also effective against stress, which is especially important as the holiday season gets into full swing. So, grab a mat, turn on some soothing tunes and stretch it out in your sunroom: the poses and the sunlight will make you feel as good as you deserve to.
Perfect For: Weightlifting
It’s not every day that you lift a heavy weight, do a few reps, and gently place it back down on the ground. You’re challenging yourself to lift heavy, which means you sometimes have to let go of your weights quickly — and from mid-air, to boot. You don’t want to be doing this in just any room in your home.
Chances are, your garage has tough concrete floors that can withstand a few heavy weights. Plus, without people hanging out in the outdoor-ish space, you can focus on your workout, get into the heavy-lifting zone and power through. You might have to insulate your garage door in order to make the room warm enough for your workouts, but the benefits of doing so often outweigh the price: you’ll save on energy costs, reduce outdoor noise inside of your home and, of course, give yourself a new place to workout.
Perfect For: Cardio
You could slip your cardio machine into your guest room, but that’ll be occupied pretty regularly throughout the Christmas season. That means you won’t be able to sneak in a workout even with guests around, which defeats the purpose of having your own piece of workout gear at home.
If you want to get the most out of your treadmill, bicycle or elliptical trainer, move it into your home office. No one will be working over the holiday, which means your workouts won’t disrupt your or your loved ones’ office hours. Because the room will be unoccupied, then, you can easily sneak away for a quick sweat session. And, after the holidays are through, you can keep your machine there and use it during breaks to keep yourself energized while on the job.
Go Forth, Get Active and Conquer
Of course, not every home’s layout is the same, so you might have to tweak the above tips to work for your home and your workout of choice. But if you keep the basics in mind — you’ll need privacy and silence to do yoga, sturdy floors for weightlifting and a lot of space in front of a TV to do a workout DVD — you can make your own home gym, too.
And, in a time with so much going on and so much giving to others, this might just be the best gift you give yourself this year. Regular exercise makes you feel great about yourself, fights stress and improves your overall health, all things you deserve this holiday and beyond.