Work out better by exercising at home

PHOTO: Work out better by exercising at home

SINGAPORE - A few weeks ago, I yanked my trusty yoga mat off a dusty shelf.

I had not laid eyes on it for more than a year, when I used it for mat-based pilates classes.

However, I figured, with the recent craze over YouTube do-it-yourself workouts, I could make a comeback in the comfort of my room. I was wrong.

For one thing, space was an issue.

I needed the laptop near enough to see the moves in the video clearly, yet far enough, so I would not hit it every time I attempted a stretch. So, the laptop ended up on the floor under my desk.

Finding space for myself was a problem too. There was only a narrow strip of floor area available. My bed, cabinet and even the wall posed risks to bruising an elbow or knee.

Going to the living room was an option, but Internet connection there has never been reliable.

You can tell that my house is not very conducive for a workout.

Indeed, our surroundings play a big part in shaping our exercise regimen.

A 2009 study done in the United States on 7,700 adults found that people exercise at a higher intensity at home and at a gym or club, compared with exercising outdoors.

That makes for a good argument to start exercising at home. This is especially so if you do not live near a park connector, sports centre or gym or if your working hours prevent you from signing up for exercise classes.

Parents who have to keep tabs on their young ones at home would also find such an arrangement attractive.

Who knows, maybe your kids can even join in.

It all starts with having the right environment and it is not that complicated, really - like clearing out a bit of space to move about safely.

This article was first published on June 26, 2014. Get a copy of Mind Your Body, The Straits Times or go to for more stories.