More Home Gym Essentials: a Brain

I think you can gather by now that my series of articles on “home gym essentials” is not like most you’ve seen.  This is a bit of a jab at those shopping list articles you usually find.  I think that success with a home exercise plan actually starts with much more basic things than the TRX straps or perfect push-up handles they’re trying to sell you.

The Brain


The brain is a critical exercise tool because you use it to think.

First, you’ll use it to think about why you want to exercise; what are you hoping to get out of an exercise habit and what makes you think you’ll be able to pull it off?  This whole endeavor begins with your mindset.  (See “Where to Start?”).  You have to have some faith in yourself, some drive and determination, and you have to have the willpower and discipline to pull it off.  You’ll also need a vision of what happens as a result of these new habits, which necessitates an acceptance of the possibility for change and growth (see my previous articles on giving yourself permission to change and developing a growth mindset).

Then, you’ll use it to think about all the things you can do.  Are you constrained to a 4’x6′ piece of floor real estate?  Good, constraints are excellent drivers of creativity.  Do you have a backyard?  A bike?  Trees?  Trails?  Parks? All these things open up new horizons for your exercise efforts.  Do you have some exercise equipment gathering dust?  Here’s an idea: pull that stuff out, clean it off, give it a home, and start using it.  (Or make some of your own home exercise equipment like I did.)  Your brain can also help you explore all the thing you can do with your body.  It isn’t a bad idea to simply do a head-to-toe inventory of all the ways your body moves, joint-by-joint and limb-by-limb.  It can be a fun little game to practice remembering every exercise movement and stretch you’ve ever learned in school, sports, or recreation.

Finally, you’ll use your brain to think about how to organize and execute your new exercise plan.  What will it take to get you to do some intentional physical movement every day?  When will it happen?  And where?  (The scheduling exercise is helpful for this).  How will you split things up during the week?  How will you progress exercises over time?  This is where setting up a consultation with a professional who can give you a proper assessment and design programs is a good idea (and good consultations look at a lot more than just exercise).  Think about how you’ll be able to continue in this habit without getting bored, frustrated, or losing momentum.   Think about something you could do every day and start there, it doesn’t have to be a 1-hour weight training session.

Published by nicnakis

Nicholas |nik-uh-luhs| n. a male given name: from Greek words meaning "victory of the people" John |jon| n. a male given name: from Hebrew Yohanan, derivative of Yehohanan "God has been gracious" Nakis |nah-kis| n. a Greek family name derived from the patronymic ending -akis (from Crete) Amha |am-hah| n. an Ethiopian given name meaning "gift", from Geez Selassie |suh-la-see| n. Ethiopian name meaning "trinity", from Geez

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