With the busy schedule of our lives, expenses of living, and current regulations requiring social-distancing and the closure of many businesses it can feeling challenging to be active or continue an exercise routine. However, there are all kinds of options when trying to improve our fitness while staying at home! Not only does exercise help us improve our physical health, but regular exercise has been linked with improved mental health, and is seen as the simplest way to improve overall well- being. Here are some ways you can stay active within the comfort of your own home.
Many people think of yoga as an expensive activity that requires a studio membership, fancy clothes and equipment, and lots of free time. However, when you boil yoga down to its core components, its actually just a series of stretches that can be done from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a room with enough space to move your arms and legs around freely, and loose-fitting clothing that won’t interfere with movement, such as shorts or pajamas and a sleeveless t shirt. Plenty of yoga routines for beginners are available for free on YouTube. My favorite is “Yoga for beginners” by Rodney Yee. I find it is a great way to stretch in the morning, and the routine is only 5 minutes long.
Body Weight Exercise:
Building muscle doesn’t require an expensive gym membership either! Exercising at home doesn’t require special equipment or lots of open space. All you need is enough room to move your arms and legs about freely or a space outside where you can walk around a little bit. Building muscle can easily be done using your own body weight and gravity as opposed to using dumbbells or weight machines. The fastest and simplest forms of these exercises are circuits: a series of body weight exercises completed one after the other without taking a break that activates multiple muscle groups and gets the heart pumping. After each circuit rest for 3 to 5 minutes and catch your breath. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during and after. By doing three to five circuits, only 10 minutes each, you will have completed your exercise for the day! These routines can be done 2-3 times per week to start building muscle at no monetary cost! Below is a simple body weight circuit found at Nerdfitness.com.
This is the Beginner Bodyweight Workout (3 Circuits):
• 20 Bodyweight squats.
• 10 Push-ups.
• 10 Walking lunges (each leg).
• 10 Dumbbell rows (use a milk jug or other weight).
• 15 Second Plank.
• 30 Jumping jacks.
Most people think of dancing as something done in a nightclub or ballroom, but simply dancing for fun to your favorite popular music in the comfort of your own home can be a great way to improve your health. No matter how good or bad you dance, you can get a great cardio and muscle workout! As long as you’re moving your body and legs to the rhythm you will use different muscle groups in the legs while also working up a sweat and increasing your heart rate. Dancing burns fat, improves heart health, improves your mood, and is much more interesting than running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. All you need is playlist or video of pop music you like and want to dance to. Dancing for 15-30 minutes is all you need to elevate your heart rate. Dancing is an enjoyable expression of how we feel! If you’re dancing in the privacy of your own home, it doesn’t matter how you look. Not only is it a good workout but it will improve your mood. Studies have shown improvement in depression, anxiety, and stress levels in individuals who took dance classes on a weekly basis compared to a control group.
Author: Avery Ducey, MS