Finding that hour to get to the gym on a daily basis is sometimes next to impossible. With the semester picking up, we are overwhelmed with club meetings, advising appointments, midterms and a heavy workload.
So, what’s the next best thing aside from getting a workout in at the gym? The answer is at-home-workouts. They are quick, informal and most can take as little as 30 minutes. Once you knock out that 20-minute walk to and from the gym, you even find yourself saving some time!
If you think about it, the concept of working out at home can be pretty hysterical. Here you are, bouncing around, making all the noise, and praying that nobody walks through the door to see you doing star-jumps in the middle of the room.
When I was 4,000 miles away from Penn State’s beloved White Building last semester while abroad, I still wanted to occasionally work out. I didn’t put too much of an emphasis on it because 1) I wanted to live in the moment and spend my extra time exploring, and 2) I didn’t have much alone time while staying with a host family. Let’s face it – there was no way I was going to do intense exercises with my host family in the same room, or house for that matter.
The times that I did decide to workout were like top-secret missions. I had to make sure no one was home, quickly rearrange the furniture in my bedroom to make room for numerous burpees and lunges and I had to turn my pump-up music all the way up.
I haphazardly followed Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide. It is an extremely strenuous HIIT program that leaves sore muscles and a puddle of sweat, but a satisfied and happy mind after each 28-minute workout. If you know anything about this program, you know that it is not quiet, gentle, or attractive. You are doing insane things *cue me rigorously jumping on and off my bed to imitate box jumps* then *cue me loudly falling multiple times. *
Anytime I was working out I was literally nervous at all times that someone would hear me jumping around and think I was absolutely nuts. Exercising outside of a gym setting can be awkward – even the dog watching me felt wrong. One time when I was really into a workout I hadn’t noticed that someone had come into the house. During a song change I heard someone energetically knocking on my door, calling my name. I immediately thought, “Oh crap!” and stood in the middle of my room for a second contemplating the sweaty mess that was about to answer the door. The housekeeper was shocked, as she looked me up and down holding a vacuum. I quickly explained myself, but I think she was still confused. She basically just wanted to make sure I was OK because she “heard a lot of ruckus” coming from my room. After she left I was embarrassed, but eventually laughed about it thinking how this has probably happened to many people.
At-home-workouts are like hidden gems when you are busy or a long distance from the gym, but they definitely work best without an audience. If it can’t be helped that your roommates stick around when you want to squeeze in a cardio session, don’t be afraid to laugh off any awkward moments. After all, it’s for the sake of your own health!