Expert Nike trainer Naomi Heffernan and dating and relationship expert James Preece on the benefits of working out as a couple

In the last few years home workouts have become more prevalent than ever before, and it seems that even post-lockdown they are here to stay. But they don’t need to get boring.

According to Global Datai, 52% of the UK have been doing home workouts since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. This is further supported by Google search dataii which shows that working out from home (+50%) is continuing to win over the gym (-13%) for many.

But working out from home can be harder than working out in the gym since you don’t get the same rush of motivation that you get when you enter the gym floor, nor do you get the guidance from personal trainers.

In response to this common issue, Next has partnered with home workout gurus Naomi Heffernan and Ben Gregory to create a content hub loaded with exclusive workout videos, guidance, and advice for those of all ages and fitness levels. You can view the full content hub here: https://www.next.co.uk/branded/nike-home-workouts

The experts have also provided Next with unique expert commentary to guide those looking to mix up and create more variety in their current home workout regime. Here are Naomi Heffernan’s top tips for staying motivated and putting the fun back into home workouts as we approach year two of the home workout revolution.

1. Block out the time to workout

It’s safe to say that things can begin to feel a bit stagnant when working from home. Add working out from home into the mix and we may be seriously struggling for motivation. Naomi Heffernan says: “The hardest part of any workout program is getting started! Sometimes you just have to force yourself to do it as we will always find excuses to not do something.”

Naomi advises treating your home workout in the same way you’d treat a meeting in your diary- this means we’re less likely to skip it. “Block out the time in your diary, prep your space in your home where no one can disturb you, have your online workout ready to go on your laptop and just get started!”

2. Those who workout together stay together

When it comes to mixing up your routine, why not try working out as a couple or even working out with friends. After all, working out from home does not have to mean working out alone.

Dating and relationship expert and author of ‘I will make you click’ James Preece comments “Working out with your partner is a great idea. You can keep track of how you’re both doing and celebrate your successes together. It’s also a lot easier to motivate yourself to push yourself a little harder, once you know you have a partner to encourage you along the way.

Studies have shown that shared activities can bring you closer together. Couples who make regular time for this are more likely to grow and stay together. Each time you workout then you are creating a new memory and have more to talk about. You can plan new routines, cook delicious healthy recipes together and you’ll have bonus that you’ll both look better and have more energy! Just be careful that you still have plenty of time on your own. It’s the personal space that gives you the chance to miss each other.

Don’t be too competitive either as you’ll have different goals and equipment to use. Whatever you do – have fun – and you’ll both reap the rewards.”

3. Use an isotonic to rehydrate after a sweaty session

It goes without saying that hydration is essential for every workout, but you’ll be surprised just how much liquid you could be losing during a workout where there is no air con. And while it might be second nature to take a bottle of water to the gym, it can be easier to forget this if you choose to workout from home.

Naomi advises also using an isotonic to help rehydrate and replace any salt you may have lost during any extra-sweaty workout sessions.

Naomi Heffernan says: “Drink plenty of water- all the time! Not just on the day you’re working out but every single day two litres at least. An isotonic will also help to re-hydrate you and replenish the salts you lose during a sweaty session.”

4. Invest in a yoga mat to counteract hard flooring

Gym flooring is often sprung, which protects our shins, ankles, and knees. This is particularly important for high-impact workouts like HIIT- which was made hugely popular during lockdown thanks to the UK’s unintentional lockdown PE teacher Joe Wicks.

But, when you workout from home, the floor you use is likely harder than that in the gym. This could be putting unnecessary strain on our joints causing issues like shin splints. And while a yoga mat won’t prevent the problem entirely, but it will soften the blow anytime your trainers hit the floor mid-workout.

Naomi Heffernan says: “Pop a yoga mat down and you should be sweet! I’m in love with the new yoga mat made from 100% recycled materials. It’s lightweight making it perfect to travel around with if you’re heading out to the park for a workout. It gives you really good grip in bare feet as well”

5. Ensure you’re still in the correct shoes, even when inside

While it likely goes against any etiquette you were taught growing up, keeping your trainers on for indoor workouts is essential if you want to protect your joints from hard flooring. For low-impact workouts like Yoga, this isn’t necessary but if you’re going to do a HIIT, you’ll need to remember to wear your trainers for extra bounce. Unsure which ones you should be wearing?

Naomi Heffernan says: If you’re jumping around a lot in your training, you ideally want to be wearing a cushioned but stable shoe like the Super Rep Zoom. If you’re lifting weights a flat soul like the Met Con would be better for you.”

6. Mix things up when working out from home

Working out in the gym means you have access to a wide range of equipment which can drive your workouts in all sorts of different directions. But unless you’ve spent a large amount of money on equipment, or you’ve got help from PT chances are working out from home could be getting a little stagnant.

According to Naomi, the most versatile cost-effective equipment consists of a yoga mat, a couple of sets of dumbbells and some resistance bands. This counteracts the hardness of our home flooring, adds some weights which can be used for full-body workouts and allows you to stretch out once you’re done too.

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