essay

A Brief Guide to Home Workouts

Aileen Torres-Bennett Pacific Harbour Fiji
Aileen Torres-Bennett in Pacific Harbour, Fiji.

For me, fitness is a lifelong journey. I started incorporating exercise into my lifestyle when I was 15, and it’s been a continual process of learning–understanding, intensifying, refining and branching out.

I was not a kid who took immediately to exercise. What?! I have to put in effort to get a return? That was my mindset.

I had a simple, superficial reason to start exercising in my teens: I wanted to look better. That’s the reason a lot of people have, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The beauty of exercise is that even if you start with vain intentions, if you stick with it, you will gain benefits far beyond.

One of them is the building of cardiorespiratory capacity (i.e., a healthier heart and improved blood and oxygen circulation), which translates to increased physical stamina. Increased physical endurance translates into mental gains, including improved memory, clarity of thought and self-confidence.

There are two basic types of exercises: strength and conditioning. Strength focuses on isometric exercises that are targeted to a specific muscle. Conditioning focuses on endurance (think cardio exercises to get the heart rate up).

I used to be a runner. Now that we live in Fiji, I’ve switched to home-based workouts because it tends to be either stiflingly hot or raining heavily outside.

YouTube is an invaluable resource. I have four channels on current rotation.

HASfit: I follow Coach Kozak’s MMA and kickboxing videos. Appropriate for beginners to advanced practitioners. I often end one of these cardio workouts with one of his short ab workouts.

Muay Thai Guy: Sean Fagan is a professional fighter. I follow his videos to work on endurance and refining technique for certain movements. Best for those who already have the basics of kickboxing down and want to have more power, accuracy and stamina.

Boho Beautiful: This babe offers plenty of excellent yoga and pilates videos. Appropriate for beginners to advanced practitioners.

MadFit: A creative young lady who I go to for short ab workouts (less than 5 min.). She coordinates ab movements to pop hits.

A note: Varied workouts reinforce each other. For example, my strength and flexibility gains from yoga and pilates enable me to kick high in a kickboxing movement.

Hope this short guide on easily accessible resources helps those who want to start or continue their fitness development. The most important thing is to be consistent. Hopefully you challenge yourself, have fun and feel good.