Setting up a home gym | 5 Tips

Setting up a home gym is a good idea for people who don’t want to spend money on a gym membership/ maybe you want to enjoy your workouts in privacy at your home or you like the convenience of a home gym.
With the outbreak of the Corona( Covid 19) Virus, setting up a home gym can be the best thing you can do to keep up your exercise routine. Gyms and fitness centers are prohibited due to lockdowns in many parts of the world.
The good news is, you can set up a home gym easily and affordable. The thing is to know exactly what you want and your budget, if the price wasn’t an issue, I would recommend getting expensive cardio equipment, full dumbbells racks, some barbells, etc. But that’s expensive and unnecessary.

First things first, you need to think about space. Find some space in your home, you don’t need much ideally I recommend 2 meters by 2 meters open place that allows you to lay, move or jump in any direction. If you don’t have a separate room in your home, you can literally move some furniture around to create space for a yoga mat. Also, consider a full-length mirror so you can watch yourself and check your form.

Next, this one of the most important things you need to consider, what equipment do you need? So you can use only your bodyweight if that’s what you have available. However, I recommend a few vital types of equipment that won’t break your bank.

1. Yoga Mat –

You going to need a mat for floor exercises and stretching. This is one of the cheapest and easiest equipment to get.

2. Resistance Bands –

This is yet another really affordable but effective equipment to train your upper body but there not super helpful to train the lower body, there exercise you can do for the lower body but resistance bands are not ideal. A few pairs of bands will help train your upper body well.

3. Dumbbells –

You can pretty much train every part of the body with your own bodyweight very effectively. However, when it comes to back and biceps – unless you have a pull-up bar it is ideal to have some free weights around. Plus, it’s nice to have the option of doing weighted lunges, squats, and deadlifts. If you just want to keep it light I recommend a little set that scales from 3kgs to 7kg. However, if you are looking to do some serious heavy lifting you might want to consider making an investment in an adjustable pair. They run from 3kgs to 20kgs or 5kg to 30kg. These will cost you several hundred Rants, but you can do just about anything with them and they don’t take up a ton of space.

4. Cardio Equipment –

if you want a treadmill or a bike and have the money for one, by all means, go for it. These are big purchases though. They cost a lot, they take up space, and they don’t offer the most efficient workout. So if you want one get one. There is no right piece except the one you will use. But you absolutely do not need anything like this. You can very effectively use your body weight to get in HIIT and/or cardio workouts with exercises like jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knees, skaters, jump rope (no rope needed), etc.


5. Weight Bench –

The weight bench is one of the most versatile and useful fitness equipment in the gym. There are many kinds of weight benches; flat, angled, upright, or adjustable. They are great equipment that allows you to lift heavy weights safely so that you can get ripped and the best thing about it is that you don’t need to be a pro in the gym. One of the best things about the weight bench is the sheer amount of exercises that you can do while using it. A weight bench is useful, but also unnecessary. You can use a chair, coffee table, do dips off, etc. You can simply use the yoga mat as mentioned above.

Bottom line:

Setting up a home gym can be the best thing you can do for your exercise routine. Most people set up home gyms and end up not making use of the equipment, having motivation and drive is key to working out from home, as much as it’s a good idea. It can be hard working out from home. My last tip – if you are feeling lost like you don’t know what to do – honestly you aren’t supposed to. That’s why people become trainers. Whether it’s training with me or someone else, we trainers know how to work you out effectively without a ton of space or equipment.


How to curb your appetite during COVID 19 lockdown

COVID 19 lockdown has been extended by 2 more weeks to reduce the virus spreading and most of us are feeling the stress. Now more than ever most people are finding it hard to stop eating. Social distancing is not helping either, I totally get it. Keeping track of what you eat and what to eat requires a different approach.

As recently described by the World Health Organization (WHO), fear, anxiety, and uncertainty about the disease itself is co-occurring with requirements for social distancing and increasingly difficult economic realities with an unknown trajectory. As such, helping people through the COVID 19 pandemic is not just about helping them stay safe physically—it is also about helping them maintain mental and emotional health.

First things first, there is a huge difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Most of the time we think we are hungry but are just bored, anxious, stressed, and trying to distract ourselves with food from those uncomfortable emotions. Physical hunger means you eat when our body signals to us that we are actually hungry. Ask yourself these simple questions?

  • When was the last time I had a meal or snack?

Chances if it’s in 2 to 3 hours after a meal it’s very unlikely you are physically hungry. 

  • I’m I really hungry or thirsty?

Most likely if you not physically hungry is you are thirsty. Most people mistake physical hunger to be thirsty. Drink lots of water at least 2 litres a day to make sure you are hydrated throughout the day. 

  • Is my body showing any signs of hunger?

Is your stomach grumbling, feeling light-headed, low energy, etc. Most likely we are physically hungry. 

  • How many times did I eat today? 

One vital factor is to keep your meal count, all many meals and snacks in between. 

  • What I’m I craving?

Food cravings can be so intense, that irresistible to eat. Foods high in sugar and carbs most of the time cause cravings and they can be difficult to control. Stress is also one of the leading factors in cravings, finding a way to reduce stress may help eliminate cravings e.g. exercise, yoga, etc.

  • I’m I bored or eating for comfort? 

Find ways to comfort yourself that don’t involve food (engage in a hobby, self-care regimen, meditate, spend time with loved ones, read a book, etc.) If you can learn to listen to your body, you will forever be freed from being a slave to food.

Most people who are dieting cut back on calories, but calorie restriction can cause more physical hunger. Completely ignoring cravings can have negative consequences, so it may be a good idea to plan times to eat otherwise restricted foods. This may look like a cheat day or an after-work treat, depending on a person’s dietary needs. Sticking to a restrictive diet and ignoring cravings may be easier if a person has a planned indulgence to look forward to.

Bottom line

As the COVID-19 lockdown continues most of us are feeling increasingly stressed, which often leads to emotional eating. Many of us have struggled with emotional eating and have learned to break free from the cycle to create a happy and healthy relationship around food.  Use these above tips to come up with your own plan to help you identify the difference between emotional and physical hunger so that you can lose weight, have more energy, and develop healthy habits around eating. A dietician or personal trainer can help a person to develop a healthy diet plan that reduces cravings and associated stress.

COVID-19 eating healthy while socially distancing

COVID-19 looks like it is going to be around for a while, as the number of cases continues to go up. Gyms, restaurants, schools, and more businesses are closed for weeks or more. It looks like staying home will be the new normal, avoiding public places and contact with many people.

Figuring out “What’s for dinner?” can be yet another daily challenge.

To make things even harder, panic buying and disruptions to food supply systems mean some foods can now be difficult to find in the Country.  And for many people, unemployment and lost income are making food shopping an additional financial challenge. This is already a problem for people who attend events and socialize. For those trying to stay calm and boost their immune system, staying at home poses challenges:  eating healthy may require new routines

Healthy eating tips

Good nutrition and hydration are vital. People who eat a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier with stronger immune systems and a lower risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. So you should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein, and antioxidants your body needs. Drink enough water. Avoid sugar, fat, and salt to significantly lower your risk of overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Eat fresh and unprocessed foods every day

Eat fruits, vegetables (e.g. spinach, beans, mixed veggies  ), nuts, and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed, oats, wheat, brown rice, or starchy tubers such as potato, sweet potato, and protein from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, eggs, and milk).

Daily, eat at least  (2 – 4 servings) of fruit, 2.5 cups of vegetables (5 servings), (red meat can be eaten 3−4 times per week, and poultry 3−5 times per week).

For snacks, choose raw vegetables and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugar, fat, or salt.

Do not overcook vegetables as this can lead to the loss of important nutrients.

When using canned or dried vegetables and fruit, choose varieties without added salt or sugar.

Drink enough water every day

Water is essential for life. It transports nutrients and compounds in blood, regulates your body temperature, gets rid of waste, and lubricates and cushions joints.

Drink at least 2 liters of water every day.

Water is the best choice, but you can also consume other drinks, fruits, and vegetables that contain water, for example, lemon juice (diluted in water and unsweetened), tea, and coffee. But be careful not to consume too much caffeine, and avoid sweetened fruit juices, syrups, fruit juice concentrates, fizzy, and still drinks as they all contain sugar.

Eat moderate amounts of fat and oil

Consume unsaturated fats (e.g. found in fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower, and corn oils) rather than saturated fats (e.g. found in fatty meat, butter, palm, and coconut oils, cream, cheese, ghee, and lard).

Choose white meat (e.g. poultry) and fish, which are generally low in fat, rather than red meat.

Avoid processed meats because they are high in fat and salt.

Where possible, opt for low-fat or reduced-fat versions of milk and dairy products.

Avoid industrially-produced trans fats. These are often found in processed food, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarine, and spreads.

Eat less salt and sugar

When cooking and preparing food, limit the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (e.g. soy sauce and fish sauce).

Limit your daily salt intake to less than 5 g (approximately 1 teaspoon), and use coarse sea salt 

Avoid foods (e.g. snacks) that are high in salt and sugar.

Limit your intake of soft drinks or sodas and other drinks that are high in sugar (e.g. fruit juices, fruit juice concentrates and syrups, flavoured milk, and yogurt drinks).

Choose fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes, and chocolate.

Counseling and psycho-social support

While proper nutrition and hydration improve health and immunity, they are not magic bullets. People living with chronic illnesses who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 may need support with their mental health and diet to ensure they keep in good health. Seek counseling and psycho-social support from appropriately trained health care professionals and also community-based lay and peer counselors.

Bottom line 

Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and the increased anxiety (and boredom) can cause people to abandon their healthy eating intentions and snack on whatever is around. But with a little thought and planning, you can continue to make good food choices and maybe even boost your mood and immune system.

10 tips on how to start a weight loss program for beginners

Check with your doctor for a medical check & exercise clearance

To protect yourself from injury or even death, it’s important that you are medically cleared by your personal physician before starting or engaging in any exercise program of any kind. Your personal physician is in the best position to determine if your plans are safe for you to start or not.

Hire a coach( personal trainer)specialized in weight loss programs

The best decision you can make as a beginner to any type of exercise is to hire a good coach (personal trainer) who can teach you step by step how to train and understand your body. Also, someone who can motivate you and force you to show up for your training sessions on days you don’t feel like exercising, also monitor and track your progress. Working with a personal trainer as a beginner can be a good investment and experience in your exercise regime.

Work on your diet and lifestyle changes

As a beginner to exercises and training, working on your diet and lifestyle changes can be overwhelming and very hard to adapt, the worst decision you can make is drastic changes and then failing to stick to them long term. Slowly work on your diet and have exercise and eating healthy a
lifestyle, look at everything long term, don’t be short-sighted. Squeeze in exercise in your schedule, making time for exercise can be a hustle, especially in our busy lifestyles.

Set short term and long term goals

When starting an exercise regime for a big goal like weight loss, set realistic short and long-term goals.
Let’s say your goals are to shed off 10kgs in the next 10 to 12 weeks, also look at short-term goals like your fitness level improving, you becoming consistent, and following the program. Things like diet changes, at the same time keeping in mind the long-term objective.

Incorporate resistance training &, cardio in your program

When working on a weight loss program, incorporating resistance training and cardio in your regime can work in your favour. This is a good combination as resistance training helps tone &shape your body,
while cardio helps with reducing body fat while improving your fitness level. Many studies have been conducted on this combination and have been proven to work wonders when trying to lose weight and tone at the same time.

Take lots of water and not juicy or soda

I think many of us have heard how most of the body is made up of water, 60% of the body is water, the body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissue to help regulate its temperature and other bodily functions. The body loses water through breathing, sweating and even digestion, it’s important to dehydrate and eating foods that contain water. It is recommended your drink at least 2 – 4 liters of water a day, this also depends on the climate you live in and how physically active you are.

Listen to your body and don’t overwork yourself

The worst thing people do when starting a weight loss program or any exercise regime is ignoring and not listening to their bodies. Be sure you don’t overwork yourself, start slowly then gradually as your fitness level improves also change your training program. Rest and recovery are very much part of the weight loss program, get enough sleep too.

Be ready to make mistakes

When you are new to exercise and fitness, it takes quite some time just to understand how your body operates, also knowing what works for you and what’s not good for you. The best thing you can do is prepare your mind for mistakes even failures. Learn to set realistic achievable goals to avoid disappointment as time goes. Know that fitness is a long-term thing, not a quick fix. Many people make these mistakes and end up quitting before even giving the weight loss program a chance to work, in other words, be patient and take it one day at a time.

Keep track of your progress and fitness level

When first starting a weight loss program or any exercise regime, it’s best to keep track of your progress to have an idea of where you started and where you going. Be sure to check your starting weight and body fat, also get your trainer to do measurements. At least every week check to see if you have any progress, it gives you an idea of what works and what doesn’t for you, so you keep adjusting the training program and diet.

Stay motivated and be ready to learn new things about your body

Staying motivated when on a weight loss program can be a challenge for most beginners, But keeping your goal in mind Long and short term can very much help to keep you on track. Another thing that can keep you motivated on days you don’t feel like exercising or when you feel like quitting is your personal trainer, also regard yourself for any progress made. Also, be sure your friends and family know you are on this journey to better yourself. Before and after pictures can also be a good way to stay motivated.

Bottom line

Getting into a weight loss program can be a big challenge for most beginners, but taking it one day at a time and coming with the right mind-set can benefit you and work to your advantage. Lifestyle change is something not easy for all of us, be ready to learn new things about your body, also be ready to fail and they’ll be days you feel like quitting but take it one day at a time and always keep your goals in mind.

Exercises you can do at home, no equipment needed

With the Covid 19 pandemic spreading like a wildfire gyms have closed doors and the lockdown has begun in our Country. No gym, no problem. At Owen fitness pt we’ve put together a no-equipment routine you can do in the comfort of your home. You don’t need a gym membership to melt the unwanted belly fat and keep in shape while in quarantine. Use this program to burn fat, tone, and improve your fitness. 

How to do it:

Perform these exercises in a circuit form, completing the prescribed number of repetitions and sets with minimum rest in between the circuit. Once you’ve done a set of each exercise take at least a minute rest then repeat the whole circuit 2 or 3 more times depending on your fitness level. 

Push up’s or knee push up 

Assume you are in a push-up position WITH either straight knees or straight knees depending on your fitness level. Your body should form a straight line with your ankle to your head. Keeping your body rigid, lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor and upper arms deep down your elbows. Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position as fast as possible. Be sure to keep your arms wider than your shoulders. If you Push up hard, start with the knee push-ups( ladies push up).  Execute 3 to 4 sets in the circuit with 15 to 20 repetitions. 

Bodyweight squats

Stand as tall as you can, with both feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Hold both arms up straight shoulder-length together. Keep your posture right with your chest out and back forced in, slowly lower your body more like you want to sit down using your glutes( Bum), go low as much as you can then push yourself back up to the starting position. Execute 3 to 4 sets in the circuit with 15 – 20 repetitions 

Front plank 

Lie on your stomach facing down with both elbows on shoulder-length, then slowly lift your body straight up with your bum in proportion with your head keeping a straight posture with both feet a bit wider than your shoulders. With your midsection tight hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds. 

Jumping jacks

Both feet close together with arms on the side, jump up with both legs spread wide and the hands touching overhead or clap, and then returning to a position with the feet together and the arms at the sides. Execute for 30 to 60 seconds. 

Stationary lunges 

Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart,  take a wide step in front with one foot then step back to the start position, alternate both feet. Be sure to keep your chest out and also focus on your balance. Repeat exercise 3 to 4 times with 15 to 20 repetitions on each side. 

Bottom line: 

There are plenty of options available to help you shed excess fat and improve your health. Incorporating some healthy habits into your routine and switching up your diet can make a big difference. Even minor changes to your lifestyle can have powerful effects on fat burning.  Be sure to pair these exercises with a nutritious well-rounded diet and an active lifestyle to simultaneously boost fat breakdown, the immune system and improve your overall health. Stay safe