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The Perfect At Home Workout Program

Leading a healthy, what I call “vibrant” life with a chronic illness such as arthritis requires managing inflammation, pain and often even depression. That means some habits and systems have to become pretty structured, even non-negotiable in your life. Things like consistent daily exercise, highest quality nutrition, stress management, and sufficient down time. These things must become daily occurrences in order for you to feel great and manage your symptoms.

In order to follow through with this high level of self-care you are going to need to manage your time and plan some workout spaces to help you get structured enough and inspired enough to follow through… as in, every day my friend. 

In order to be effective, in order to actually move that stubborn needle on your fitness-o-meter (I think I hear your body begging for consistency right now) you will want to do the majority of your exercise at home. Why at home? Because that’s where you will be your most consistent. Let’s dive into why.

“Motivation is overrated. Environment often matters more” says James Clear in his book “Atomic Habits”. Well, the majority of my workouts happen in my own environment: at home in our den and out in nature around the neighborhood. In the den, I have a stationary bike; a rebounder that I love to dance-bounce on; a yoga mat; stability ball; ankle and wrist weights and hand weights. These didn’t cost a fortune. And they don’t take up a huge amount of space and that’s why the den is so perfect for them. The den is also where the big flat screen is. When I work out, I allow myself to watch Netflix and Amazon Prime movies. The rest of my days are so tightly scheduled that there really isn’t much time for television. Having a movie or favorite series on in the background is great impetus to get my afternoon workouts done. This works beautifully for me, and I’ve been consistent with my exercise programs my whole life, so I know this will work for you too.

A designated, in home space for exercise helps you be more consistent on a daily basis, with or without a gym, social distancing or not. Going to the gym for many of us with chronic illness is risky today. But there’s more. It also allows too much room for excuses. “I’d have to do my hair or drive somewhere to workout”. Sometimes even a short ten minute drive to your club and finding a parking spot and walking across the parking lot can be too much when compared to the thirty second walk to a den or workout room in your home. 

Equally important to where you workout, is the mindset shift of the actual ‘scheduling’ of exercise. The actual scheduling it in your daily calendar is a huge shift from just hoping you’ll get your workout done. The three most powerful ways to do this are 1) set a certain time of day, every day to exercise. 2) split your workout into two shifts, one in the morning before work, say a 20 minute session on your stay bike or 15 minutes on the rebounder and one in the afternoon, such yoga and abs. 

For me, a 7:30 a.m. stationary bike session and a 4:30 Yoga session work extremely well. and lastly, 3) make it non-negotiable. When you think about it, nothing is as important as your well being. Being healthy physically and emotionally healthy is the foundation for everything you do from feeling and looking great to how you show up as a partner or parent, to how you perform at work, to how you enjoy your down time. 

You are likely unaware of this but your home is actually a crucial factor in your wellness program. It’s where you make yourself excellent food and hopefully by now, practice much of your exercise. It’s a place where all of your daily routines happen and it’s proven that routines contribute to discipline and success. Think about it. When you go to restaurants do you feel tempted to veer from your eating plans? I know I do. I am invariably tempted by the bread and wine, both big no no’s with arthritis. At home, you have a choice what temptations to have on hand. If you don’t buy them and have them in your home, you’re less likely to be tempted by them. I personally can’t be trusted with a bag of potato chips! 

Get out your digital calendar. If you don’t have one, get one on your phone today. Digital calendar’s allow you to type in an activity and repeat it on a daily basis without the need to retype it over and over again. Starting June 1, schedule your morning exercise at 7:00 am. Choose from walking, treadmill, stationery biking or rebounding. 

Next, schedule your afternoon workout at 5:30 (or whatever time you know without a doubt you’ll follow through. Wait too late in the day and it won’t get done.) The afternoon workout should be devoted to weights or yoga.  Having set routines will keep you successful. And if you fall off your routines, don’t beat yourself. You’re going to slack off, just accept it as part of life. I do. But come Monday, get back on the pony. Monday is a non-negotiable day and sets you up for success the rest of the week. 

Lastly, save for an enjoyable walk with the dog, take Sunday off completely. Down time is important enough to schedule too.

Hey friend, if you want more design and wellness guidance, click here… “Pain Free Design and Wellness” and download a free chapter of my powerful book that helps women with arthritis create a home and body you love! It works really well for me and I have six types of arthritis! 

Live beautifully. Eat beautifully, Shiree’