Meghann Feely has been in the health world for 15 years. Currently, she works at Washington University as an assistant director of fitness and wellness. With experience both inside and outside the gym, Feely knows what it takes to stay in shape. When asked about an at-home workout that wouldn’t require the extra stress of a gym, Feely was more than excited to talk everything fitness — at home, around the city and in one’s own mind.
Fitness at Home
The No. 1 thing to know when it comes to at-home fitness is that a home offers something a gym does not: control. “You can control your environment and your comfort level,” Feely says. “Maximize your assets at home; you are your biggest asset. Why not spend time and money on yourself? Home is that place where people can maximize their time.”
Feely recommends ditching the expensive in-home workout machines and treadmills in favor of utilizing one’s bodyweight. “Get a small yoga mat or something you can store in a corner,” Feely says. “I’m a fan of burpees. Get out your mat, start by standing up, go into a squat, then push your legs behind you and do a hip thruster, turn that into a plank, then jump back into a squat and, last, do a squat jump for plyometrics. It’s an easy at-home, bodyweight workout.”
The guru recognizes not everyone is a fan of burpees, so she suggests breaking up a burpee into segments. “Start from the four foundation workouts. Learn these foundations — squat, plank, push-up, pull-up — and learn them well,” she says. Feely recommends strengthening these foundations then, once they’ve been mastered, start doing variations. These kinds of workouts can be done at home without weights or machines. She also recommends hiring an at-home trainer for four weeks to ensure safe form, then building from that foundation.
“At home, once you’ve mastered the foundations, be creative,” Feely urges. “Fitness is fun; it shouldn’t be a time to get down on yourself. Have fun with it — do a naked workout! Make it your own.”
It takes more than just workouts to keep wellness on point. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, Feely is adamant that staying accountable is imperative. “A big thing I believe in is accountability; that’s harder to find at home than at the gym. At home, you can talk yourself out of working out; it takes self-discipline.”
Feely explains that staying healthy may take more than just self-motivation. In the age of Instagram and Facebook, everyone has readily available sources of motivation. Posting to social media sites may be a fun way to stay accountable. “Say to yourself, ‘I did my workout, selfie time!’ These posts can be a motivator not only for you, but others may see it and become motivated too,” she says.
For those who don’t want to splash themselves all over social media, Feely also recommends having a “fitness friend” or friends who can help keep you motivated even in the comfort of your own home. “Have a friend come over or just FaceTime them when you’re doing an at-home workout. I work out with my family in North Dakota on FaceTime all the time, and I don’t have to worry if my house is a disaster.”
The Guru’s Favorite Spots in the Lou
Working out around town is another way to avoid the bustle of the gym but still get out in the city. Feely appreciates the city in which she lives and says there is plenty of opportunity to get a good workout anywhere in StL, such as Forest Park or Art Hill. “Bring a yoga mat if you need, do a workout, run up the hill, run down the hill, repeat. Enjoy the beauty that’s in the middle of our city,” she says, adding Tower Grove Park is another great place to work out. “It’s a very active park; they even have the monkey bars and a pull-up bar. Even if you mess up, stay persistent. The Arch Riverfront is sexy too. Run up and down the stairs; it doesn’t matter. Find the spot in St. Louis that makes you feel sexy, and use what the city has to offer.” M