Expert Tips for Overcoming Barriers to Home Workouts

Yumi Nutrition has conducted research to find out the key barriers to home workouts and provided top tips from a nutritionist and PT for overcoming each issue to help achieve fitness goals from home.

The research found that the price of home workout equipment increased considerably during lockdown compared to when the gyms were open. Exercise balls, dumbbells, yoga mats and kettlebells each more than doubled in price on Amazon when gyms were closed, whilst the cost of exercise bikes increased by 25%, punch bags went up by 36% and pull up bars went up by 43%.

As well as the price of home workout equipment, a lack of energy is another key barrier preventing people from keeping active at home; Google Trends data shows that search interest for ‘I’m so tired’ more than doubled in mid-January compared to the month before as a third lockdown began to take its toll. Finding the motivation to do a workout during the current lockdown has also been tough. According to Google Trends, search interest for ‘‘No motivation’ was six times higher in mid-January compared to the month before when lockdown measures had been relaxed.

Lockdown fatigue has also made it harder for many to recover from workouts with aches and pains stopping them from getting the exercise they need. This is once again highlighted by Google Trends data which shows search interest for ‘Aching muscles’ more than doubled in mid-January compared to the month before.

With exercise playing such a crucial role in overall wellbeing, Mike Woodhall, nutritionist at Yumi Nutrition, who has over 7 years experience as a PT and a BSc (Hons) Nutritional Sciences degree, provides his advice for overcoming the barriers to home workouts:

Are there any cheaper alternatives to home gym equipment?

“If you fill something with water the instability can be a challenge to get used to but helps you to build strength in different ways than you will experience with a stable weight. A litre of water weighs roughly a KG, so full bottles can be a great way to add a small amount of resistance in an easily holdable way! Another great way to maintain and build strength without equipment is to use static and eccentric training. Take any standard exercise such as a squat or a press-up, slow down the movement taking around five seconds to lower yourself down before holding at the bottom for five seconds and then push back up.”

How can you boost your energy levels before a workout?

“Find a time of day that suits you. Some people have loads of energy at the start of the day so capitalise on this and get an early training session in. If you find yourself picking up through the day/afternoon, find the time in the day you have the most energy and use that time for training. Try to get a more consistent bedtime and wake time as this will help you feel well-rested and full of energy. Sleep is shown to have an impact on how well you can work out and the more rested you are the better your workout will be. I also recommend vitamin C, D and B12 to give you a boost before working out.”

How can you motivate yourself to do a workout?

“One of the best ways to improve your motivation is to set goals. SMART goals are the best goals to set. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and with a Time frame.) Setting small goals that are attainable stops them from overwhelming you and can really help with motivation. Want to run a 5k but can’t do it at the moment? Set a goal of 1k to begin with and build this up gradually over time to 5k. Find a friend who wants to achieve something similar to you and be accountable to each other. Share your goals, you could even work out with each other over zoom or share progress photos/videos. Having somebody you are accountable helps to motivate you.”

How can you recover after a workout?

“Stretching is essential for recovery. Any workout will result in tight muscles if you work hard enough so it’s important to counteract that with a good stretching routine to prevent or minimise sore muscles. Nutrition is also essential for adaptation and recovery. If you want to get maximal gains and recover as fast as possible, you need to ensure your food intake is hitting all of your nutrition needs. This starts with the larger things such as your macros, protein, carbs and fats and goes all the way down to the micronutrients which includes all of your vitamins and minerals. As well as providing you with energy, sleep is also essential as this is where the body and mind recover.”

You can find more in-depth workout advice from Mike and two other fitness experts, along with all of Yumi Nutrition’s research data at