Today, I am SO excited to welcome my friend Meghan Meredith to the blog for a guest post. We’ve been cooking up this collaboration for a while, and it’s fun to finally share it with you!
Meghan and I went to high school together but never had a chance to meet, and we reconnected recently through some mutual friends and our common experiences working as creatives and solopreneurs (have I mentioned lately how much I love this social media and blogging community? because I do). Meghan is a personal trainer, health coach, and lover of all things dreamy and beautiful. I’m so impressed by Meghan’s commitment to helping women live fuller lives (you can read more about that over on her site, Home Body Soul), and just as impressed these past few weeks with the hard work she’s put into her latest project, Whole Body Fitness.
Yesterday, Meghan launched a Kickstarter campaign for this self-guided fitness planner, and I’m thrilled to be part of the launch team for the project. I’ve had a sneak peek of the finished product as Meghan’s copyeditor, and let me tell you, friends — it’s super cool. As a fitness lover myself, I’m genuinely excited to get my hands on a copy. It’s also really special to be able to support Meghan’s big dream, which has been such an investment in time and sweat equity for her. You go, girl! Meghan will share more about the planner in her post below, but trust me when I tell you that it’s awesome. We’d both love it if you could pop on over to Kickstarter and check out all the details (in particular, Meghan’s video, which features her cute dog Nusu in a starring role!).
In the meantime, Meghan’s here today with some thoughts on how to get the most out of your workouts when you (like me, and so many other people I know!) live in a small apartment or cozy little house. I can’t wait to implement some of these ideas in my own routine!
One last thing before I turn it over to Meghan — don’t forget to enter the October giveaway! This month, I’m giving away a $25 gift card to Baublebar. All you have to do to enter to win is comment on my last post! The winner will be announced here on the blog on Monday 10/30, so get those entries in ASAP : )
When my husband and I moved to Los Angeles is 2015, we were shocked at the housing/rental market in this part of the country. Not only would we be spending more than twice the amount we spent in Atlanta for an apartment, but we’d also be sacrificing more than double the square footage of our previous home. We had to downsize from a 1200-square foot place in Atlanta to a roughly 600-square foot place in Los Angeles. Talk about a small space!
Today, I am here to offer you some ways you can stay fit and exercise in your home, even if it’s a mere 600 square feet. Living in a small space doesn’t mean you have to compromise for small results in your fitness regimen.
You may be asking, “Do people work out at home, anyway?!” In fact, many do — myself included! While I have access to a gym, sometimes it’s nice to stay home and get in that 30 minutes without having to brave the Los Angeles traffic one more time.
My Three Tips for Big Results in a Small Space
Tip 1: Bodyweight Exercises
Our own bodyweight is one of the best pieces of “equipment” for getting into shape — and it doesn’t take up any extra space in your home or apartment (huge perk when living in a small space!). Any time you are moving your own weight up and down and all around, you are burning mega-calories, toning, and strengthening your body! People often think they aren’t getting a good enough workout if they aren’t using gym equipment, but I am here to tell you that your body is one of the most forgotten, yet BEST pieces of equipment you have with you at all times to strengthen and tone your body.
Tip 2: Your furniture can serve multiple purposes.
If I am doing an at-home workout, I will often use my coffee table to do tricep dips or even incline push-ups. You can also use a chair to do side leg lifts, squats, plie squats, Bulgarian split squat lunges, and tricep dips — to name a few!
You might also consider swapping out your in-home office chair for a stability ball!
Tip 3: Space Saving Equipment
Living in tight spaces often means you have to be very discerning about what you buy, save, and how you store your belongings. Thankfully, there are plenty of space-efficient pieces of equipment that are easy to store.
- Workout DVDs: There are SO many workout DVDs that require little to no equipment and can easily be done in the comfort of your own home. Any of Jillian Michaels’s DVDs are sure to kick your butt and give you the best sweat sesh you’ve had in a while!
- Jumprope: Jumping rope isn’t just for elementary school kiddos! A jumprope is a serious fat-torching tool! Jumping rope as an adult can burn up to ten calories per minute, and it can also strengthen your glutes, calves, and arms.
- Yoga Mat: A yoga mat or non-slip fitness mat is a must-have for your at-home workout. Using a yoga mat will prevent you from sliding and falling while doing certain exercises. Plus, it’s much more comfortable to do floor exercises on a softer surface, which will buffer some of the noise of jumping around so you won’t disturb the neighbors! Roll up the mat and slide it next to your nightstand or under your bed for easy and quick storage.
- Dumbbells: Dumbbells are a versatile piece of gym equipment that never get old. If you have the extra space, definitely invest in some free weights. Dumbbells are great for adding resistance to your routine to help you strengthen and tone more specific muscles groups. I love to order the HEX dumbbells from Amazon that come in a variety of weights. Amazon also has this set of neoprene dumbbells that are lighter and come with an organizing rack.
- Pull-Up/Chin-Up Bar/TRX Bands: Talk about a space-saving, efficient piece of at-home gym equipment. You can find pull-up/chin-up bars that hang from a doorway or mount directly to a wall. This piece of equipment takes up little space and allows for a multitude of upper body workouts. TRX bands are handy suspension training straps that can hang from a doorway, wall, or ceiling. While this piece of equipment is more costly, there are a plethora of workouts that you can do using this form of suspension training. TRX suspension training uses gravity as your resistance. Making an exercise easier or more difficult is as simple as adjusting your positioning and the straps. Check out the TRX website here.
- Mini Stair Stepper: This little piece of equipment is so genius! You can get a low-impact cardio workout in the comfort of your own home without having to own a large piece of cardio equipment (such as a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike). The lightweight and portable mini stepper will help you tone and strengthen your lower body all while burning calories, raising your heart rate, and protecting your joints from harsh impact. You can use it at your standing desk, in front of the TV during your television show, or in front of the stove while you cook. Extra perk: it’s small enough to store under your desk or bed.
- Resistance Bands: Resistance bands are a great tool to help you tone, strengthen, stretch, and even rehab injuries! Check out the branded resistance bands on my Kickstarter page, which come in three different sizes and resistance levels.
My Favorite Space-Saving Exercises
- Jump Squats
- Jumping Alternating Lunges
About Whole Body Fitness
Whole Body Fitness is the most unique and comprehensive fitness planner on the market! It truly is a one-of-a-kind product! Whole Body Fitness is a guide to stewarding your body well. It is a comprehensive six-month undated fitness and wellness planner. It offers daily guided workout routines that give you the flexibility to choose exercises that you enjoy and are suitable for your fitness level. It also allows you to get creative with your workouts and gives you ownership of your program and success through the professional guidance of a personal trainer and health coach.
I created this planner with the modern woman in mind, with a focus on flexibility, simplicity, and accessibility. When I started my personal training career in Los Angeles, I saw a great desire for women to work with a trainer. For most, scheduling and budget made this challenging. I knew I had to set out to create a product that made these services more accessible for every woman.
Here’s how it works…
Step 1: Review the workout for the day.
Step 2: Write down how you feel before the day’s workout.
Step 3: Head to the Exercise Appendix in the back of the planner to choose appropriate exercises for that day’s workout. There are images in the appendix of the planner and videos on the Web site to help you learn correct form.
Step 4: Track your progress by writing down what exercises you choose, as well as the weight used and the numbers of sets and reps you complete.
Step 5: Note how you feel after your workout.
Step 6: Celebrate and be proud of yourself for showing up and doing good for your body!
There are also goal checkpoints to assist in tracking and measuring your progress.
Whole Body Fitness will help you create a consistent and motivating system that works. By using this tool, you will have more time to do what matters most!
Photos via Bree McCool Photography, Danika Payton Photography, and Rebekah Lemire