The time was 8 a.m. I was standing in front of an iPad, smart weights strapped to my ankles, ready to go through a simple mobility routine. I sat in my desk chair 23 minutes later, wondering what I had gotten myself into.
The three-pound weights had changed what would have been a pleasant warm-up routine into a strenuous workout that left me breathless and sweaty. Worse, the weights were genuinely grading my performance.
For someone who is competitive, the low score made me understand that working from home didn’t contain any exercise.
The pandemic caused a spike in the work-from-home industry, which resulted in an increase in the waistline for many people (myself included.) According to Harvard Medical School, over 39% of persons gained weight during the epidemic, with at least 2% gaining more than 27.5 pounds. When commuting to work was the norm, people managed to walk to work and often got in more physical activity than they do now, when their commute is the 12 steps from their bedroom to the office.
The gym-free challenge
Even folks who were used to going to the gym once a week found themselves exploring for alternatives amid quarantine and lockdowns. This led in a significant growth in smart home gym equipment, whether it was an all-in-one machine like the Bowflex Blaze or a smaller device like the Mirror.
The expense of these devices is a disadvantage. Not everyone has $2,000 to spend on home training equipment, and not everyone has the space to set up cumbersome home gym equipment. Smart weights are the most cost-effective option.
Sportneer invited me to attend the class and use their smart weights.
The app also features free workout courses and mobility routines ranging from weight loss to aerobics. The lack of a subscription makes the smart weights’ sub-$100 price appear even more reasonable.
The weights measure your movements and form using an inbuilt six-axis gyroscope. The points awarded by the in-app lessons are based on how comprehensive the movement is. If you’re on your back doing a Dead Bird (akin to a bicycle kick), but don’t fully extend your leg, you’ll be given fewer points than if you finished the workout. The smart weights have a heart rate sensor that will notify you if your heart rate becomes too high.
Workout gamification is nothing new, yet it remains as enticing as ever. You can only see your own score, so you don’t have to worry about being judged by other users. You only have one competitor: yourself. In that sense, each workout and rating serves as a means of tracking your personal progress over time. There are scoring goals to aim for, but they are based on a personal trainer’s performance, so don’t expect to obtain three stars right soon (not that it stopped me from trying to hit that goal.)
Gamification provides a fun factor to what could otherwise be considered a drudgery.
Work your ankles, wrists, and other joints
Most workouts can be classified as upper or lower body. Sportneer smart weights may be worn on your wrists, ankles, or held in your hands for a variety of workouts. Again, their tiny size implies that they have more utility and functionality than a device that is only designed for one type of activity.
Because the workouts are all focused on body weight, adding weights is a natural progression for most people. There’s little chance of harm, though I can’t guarantee you won’t be sore for a few days if you’re not acclimated to the workout.
Even simple activities like going for a walk or practicing yoga can be improved with the addition of weights. They add resistance to ordinary actions and make them more complex. You’ll break a sweat and burn off some of those extra pounds in the process.
Even if you aren’t attempting to reduce weight, doing out is vital for your health. At least a few times every week, your heart should be pushed above its resting state. You can accomplish this simply by running, but if you don’t have time (or don’t want to brave the elements, especially now that the temperatures are falling), a weighted workout is a terrific method to get your blood pumping without risking hypothermia.
If the notion of bodyweight exercises or wrist weights does not appeal to you, there are other options. The Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbells, for example, allow you to add a lot of weight to your workout – but at a high price.
The concept of work has been eternally altered in the post-pandemic society. Many people will not be returning to work, or will only be doing so part-time. Work-from-home culture is here to stay, and you must find an alternative until you feel confident returning to the gym.
Working out can help you improve your work performance and mental attention, as well as keep your energy levels high. Working out from home is the key to working from home on cold, short days.