Are you hoping to get in shape or do you wish to drop a few extra pounds? If so, you are not alone. A study conducted in 2019 highlighted that nearly 20 percent of all adults in the United States regularly practice some type of fitness activity. Unfortunately, not all of us have access to a gym today. Therefore, it could be a good idea to think outside of the box.
Why not transform your backyard into a fitness club? This is a great way to remain in shape and you can access the area at any time. In fact, a handful of friends may soon join you. There are still a handful of steps that need to be taken. How can you gauge your fitness level? What type of equipment will you require? What steps can you take to track your progress? We will look at these and some other factors in this article. You can then start in the right direction.
What is a Personal Fitness Assessment and Why is One Important?
Many types of personal care routines can be used to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle. However, success will ultimately boil down to how prepared you are and what you hope to achieve. This is when the power of a personal assessment comes into play. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What goals do you hope to achieve? Answers can include losing weight, becoming stronger, increasing your cardiovascular health, or gaining lean muscle mass.
- How often should you exercise and what is the most balanced routine for your requirements?
- Are there any exercises specifically useful for an area that you wish to target?
Fitness experts will stress that defining your goals is the most important step towards success. However, keep in mind that these objectives should be realistic. While it is perfectly reasonable to lose ten pounds of fat within 12 weeks, expecting to double the distance that you can run in a single month is not always possible. So, it is best to take a more conservative approach.
Exercise frequency can also determine how rapidly you progress and how happy you are with the results. The May Clinic recommends performing either 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise every week. Of course, you may also choose to blend in elements of each to embrace a more balanced routine. If you are starting from scratch, it is normally wise, to begin with, moderate activity levels and increase the pace as you become more accustomed to the schedule.
If you happen to be targeting a certain area of the body such as the thighs, hips, or stomach, be sure to use specific exercises. This helps to maximize the overall effects of your training sessions. However, those who are simply hoping to remain slim and trim may instead choose to adopt a whole-body regimen. It is likewise a good idea to exercise at the same time each day. This will help the activities to become part of your routine; an excellent way to transform them into a healthy habit.
What Equipment Will You Need?
Any backyard gym is only as effective as the equipment that you choose to use. This is when logistical planning comes into play. First and foremost, be sure to choose apparel that is appropriate for your fitness program. A pair of comfortable gym shoes, weight gloves, t-shirts, and similar clothing that helps to wick sweat away from the body are all recommended. Remaining comfortable during any training session will always provide you with more noticeable results.
An Exercise Mat and Resistance Bands
Assuming that you have chosen the most appropriate clothing items, we will look at the must-have backyard gym essentials. One element which should always be present is an exercise mat (sometimes referred to as a yoga mat). This mat will provide a softer surface when performing various movements or if you stretch before a session. A mat is also excellent if you plan on participating in a virtual training class (an increasingly common trend throughout the United States).
Resistance bands are also great options, as they require very little space and can be attached to numerous objects in your yard. These bands are universal to the number of movements which may be performed and they offer a low-impact option if you are concerned about possible injuries.
Kettlebells, Dumbbells, and Barbells
We should now discuss the weights of backyard training. Dumbbells are a universal option, as you can choose the weight based on your current (and future) strength levels. Should you be more interested in toning and fat loss, lighter dumbbells are recommended. Those who are looking to build strength and mass will find that heavier weights will be necessary. Ideally, it is wise to possess a wide spectrum of weights (if finances are not a concern).
Kettlebells are extremely useful due to their highly flexible nature. They can perform standard movements such as biceps curls and are also suited for more complex movements (such as one-arm overhead raises and flagon squats). Kettlebells can be purchased in any well-respected fitness retail store.
In terms of barbells, the variety is excellent. Because the number of weight plates within your backyard is likely to be limited, it is best to choose standard as opposed to Olympic barbells. Straight and easy-curl bars are likely to be the only two variants required.
Monitor Your Progress
Now that everything is in place, it is time to enjoy your backyard gym. You can also take the guesswork out of monitoring your progress with the help of a user-friendly fitness tracker. Here are some of the top fitness trackers in 2021 to consider:
- The Fitbit charge 4
- The Fitbit Sense
- The Garmin Forerunner 245
- The Amazfit Band 5
- The Amazon Halo
Above all, feel free to experiment with different exercise programs and to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. You will be utterly amazed at the results that a backyard gym can provide if you put in the time and effort!
About the Guest Author
Peter Keane is the owner and lead physiotherapist at PHYSIOMOTION3D. Peter highly recommends exercising a couple of times a week, whether it is at a fitness gym, outside, or at home.