It’s a new year and one common resolution people make is to exercise and get fit. With many gyms closing due to the pandemic and the concern over working out safely in a public place, now is the time to consider getting your exercise at home. Here are ways you can get a great workout and even try new exercises from the comfort of your home.
One of the easiest and cheapest at home exercise is to get out and go for a walk, run or bike ride around your home. Just 30-60 minutes of activity can help your immune system and protect against illness. It’s also a good way to get the whole family involved. Download an app or purchase a fitness tracker to track the length of exercise time. Fitness apps can help motivate you to keep up with steps, track your exercise and more. It’s an investment that is well worth the money.
Pump it up
You don’t need fancy exercise equipment to build muscle. Pick up a few hand weights in various weight options to use for reps or get creative and grab some household items such as a gallon jug of milk or water. For your arms here are some exercise examples you can do for 2-3 sets of 10 reps each:
- Bicep curl. Hold a pair of dumbbells down at your side. Bend your elbows up to your chest and lower back down slowly. That counts for 1 rep.
- Upright row. Stand with your feet hip width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. With the weights close to your body, raise them up to your shoulders as your elbows bend out to the sides.
- Triceps extension. Stand with your feel hip width apart again and hold one weight with both hands straight over your head, then bend your elbows behind your head, then lift back up and do this for a few reps.
- Bent over row. Lean forward with knees bent and back flat. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise each weight up to chest level, so that your elbow points back and up.
- Lateral arm raise. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing down. Raise each arm straight (without locking your elbow) out to your side, then slowly lower your arm down. You can also do this by raising your arm in front of you as well.
One benefit of exercising at home is that you can try all sorts of online classes to see which ones you like, plus you get the perk of having a (virtual) buddy to work out with. Here are some sites to check out:
YMCA 360. It’s fun and free to go to the YMCA for a variety of classes including yoga, strength, cardio dance, Pilates and more. They even offer silver classes for seniors.
Planet Fitness Training Series. All you need to do to get started is download the Planet Fitness app to get access to their free training series for cardio and strength training.
24 Hour Fitness. This YouTube channel offers a variety of free workouts including cardio, core, strength and HIIT. Many gyms offer free online classes, although some are only including access within their annual membership.
Yoga with Adriene. This YouTube star with over 8 million subscribers offers all types of professional yoga instruction and for all ages.
Sweat with SELF. This channel has 24 different types of videos to follow and most classes don’t require you to have any extra equipment.
PopSugar Fitness. This YouTube channel has all types of classes from beginners, to dance, cardio or abs and make you feel like you’re in a real in-person exercise class.
If you have Amazon Prime, you can also find exercise videos included in your membership such as a Zumba fitness live concert with heart-pumping moves and Latin-style music.
Get on the floor
All you need is a mat to get started with core and strength workouts. Push-ups, planks, hip or leg raises, bridges and all types of ab workouts like sit-ups, crunches and bicycles are all very effective. Just do a few reps for each move a few times a week. For planks, try to hold them at least 30 seconds. The more you do, the easier it will get and you may be able to extend your time.
Play some pumping dance music and get into the groove. This can also be fun if you have kids and everyone can do a dance party together. You can dance freestyle, find a YouTube channel or ask your TikTok-watching teen to teach you the latest moves.
Whether you want to go it alone, watch a video or join a virtual class, there are many ways to enjoy the flexibility of exercising at home. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to mix up your workout routine and try something new.