When you’re stuck at home and plan to save your budget, you can still opt for a great workout routine at home. At the end of the day, all you need is you.
Creating an at-home exercise routine can be both effective and fun. The best thing is that they are more convenient and accessible, as any part of your house can be a free, sanitary sweat session that you can work on.
With the right preparation and approach, you are gearing yourself up for success. That said, we’re here to help! Read on to know how you can stay fit and healthy with these fun and challenging exercises at home.
Preparing for Your At-Home Workout
If you think unrolling a yoga mat is all you need for a perfect workout setting, then you’d probably be surprised to know that it’s not that simple. In fact, working out at home requires a game plan; otherwise, you’d be lost not knowing where to begin (1).
Not to worry! – You can follow these steps for a carefully plotted success towards your weight-loss goal.
1. Find Inspiration and Set Your Goal
First thing’s first: know what you want to achieve in this work-out plan, and set a unique approach towards the direction of that goal. Are you planning to get into better shape so you can have enough energy to work and take care of your kids? Search your inspiration for wanting to achieve that particular goal and set some long-term and short-term goals (2).
Moreover, determine whether you are planning to stick to at-home methods and quit the gym entirely or will be doing the routine to complement your gym sessions. This will determine the length and style of your workouts as well as the equipment that you’ll need (1).
2. Plan Your Space
Pick a spot or corner in your house that is wide enough for you to comfortably move, stretch, and perform core exercises. The space should be wide enough for at least your yoga mat. Plus, to save enough space, you can use a closet or the space under your bed to store your equipment (1).
You can also change your workout place based on the type of exercise that you will do. For instance, you may need to consider more space and a solid surface for HIIT workouts, whereas other exercises like yoga and Pilates can be done in almost any space (1).
If you happen to be living in an apartment, make sure to be aware of the noise level. That said, consider a pair of wireless headphones or Bluetooth earphones so that you can move freely, say on a jump rope, without disturbing your neighbors. Although dropping heavy dumbbells on the ground or doing midnight jump squats might not seem fit under these types of environments, there are several other equally-effective alternatives that are much quieter and efficient in targeting the same muscle groups (1).
3. Stick to a Schedule
Now that you won’t have to deal with strict schedules at the gym, managing your time needs to be carried out right away. To avoid a “just do it anytime” attitude, it is important that you establish a consistent schedule for yourself and stick to it to avoid skipping your at-home workouts altogether (1).
Keep in mind that consistency is the key to obtain visible results. By applying the same logic to your at-home workouts, you can surely stick to your routine (1).
4. Equip Yourself With the Right Gear
Before you worry about spending money to create your very own at-home gym, it’s important to know that you don’t need any fancy equipment to build an effective at-home workout (1).
There are other alternatives such as bodyweight resistance workouts like calisthenics that can help you build muscle and make the most out of each without needing a set of heavy dumbbells (1).
However, if you don’t want to hinder yourself from upgrading your workout with some at-home fitness tools or incorporating various exercises to your routine, there are several affordable (and high-tech) options that you can choose from (1).
5. Start Small and Track Your Progress
Always start with short term goals; keep your focus for each day that you workout before completing the next one. Challenge yourself to have 15-45 minutes of workout, as often as you can, in a day – as this will help you become more active. Do this for a week (2).
After the first week, take it a step further for the following week – either by adding one more workout or another five minutes of cardio. Sticking to your workout routine is more important than how long or what type of workouts you are doing. However, if you perceive that you lack time, 7 to 10 minutes of workouts is already sufficient for beginners to earn some health benefits (2).
Since it takes time before one can see the results, make sure to keep track of your progress from the beginning of your workout, so you can see how you improve each day and keep yourself motivated (2).
6. Always Have a Plan B
It’s inevitable to face obstacles during your workout routine, such as getting sick and skipping your workout, but that should not throw you off your game. Setbacks happen to everyone, especially after 2 to 3 weeks (2). That said, here are some tips that you can apply to overcome challenges along the way:
- If you feel exhausted in the morning, take a break and focus on improving your nutrition for the day. If you feel too tired to workout in the afternoon, do quick and easy exercises to relax and at least have some movement done for the day (2).
- If you are met with feelings of being overwhelmed, you can skip a day and see to it that you get enough quality sleep (2).
- If you skipped more days than you should, reflect on its cause and learn from it. After which, make sure to continue where you left. Keep in mind that setbacks happen so they can instigate new insight and motivation (2).
7. Be Mindful of Your Health Condition
It is necessary to ask your doctor or physical therapist for advice before making big changes to your lifestyle – including starting a new workout routine. This is especially true if you suffer from any chronic illness, are over 45 years of age, or had incurred in the past (2).
8. Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
A common notion in exercise goes, “no pain, no gain.” – Although it motivates you to strive harder when trying to achieve your goals, it does not mean that you have to exhaust yourself to the extent of feeling pain. Instead, do it for the sake of consistency (2).
The span of time that your body will get used to working out depends on the duration from the last time you were in shape. Although your muscles will feel sore, you don’t have to be discouraged or worried. Take your time (2).
However, if sharp pain occurs, it should not be something for you to ignore. That said, you should stop immediately and see a doctor.
Overall, push yourself to be more active, not to be in pain. What’s interesting as well is that your mind will be your battleground for persistence, and it will always be about getting through the first months (2). Once you have mastered all exercises and make it a habit, it’s time to take it a step further with new variations and additional exercises and duration.
9. One Step at a Time
At the beginning of your workout, it can feel overwhelming to think and apply several tips on form. The main thing to keep in mind is to avoid injuries and improve your performance by learning from possible exercises mistakes after every try (2).
Start with one exercise for each couple of days, and don’t do all at once. If you feel incapable or uncomfortable to perform an exercise, you don’t have to continue with it. Instead, opt for other options and means to replace those exercises with easier variations. Think about your form and be patient. Remember, it’s consistency that brings about strength and endurance (2).
Having read all of that, you’re ready for the next step!
Awesome Exercises for At-Home Workouts
Let’s get real with the facts: exercising at home is possible and effective, and there are various exercises that you can do to get a good workout (3).
Without further ado, here are some good variations to try – with or without equipment!
1. Pilates-Inspired Workouts
Pilates is a popular trend in exercise that has been around for some time now. However, With new machines and techniques, new variations of this exercise has made it even more challenging and fun. For instance, SLT – which is a studio in New York City that stands for “Strength Lengthen Tone” – claims to accomplish its acronym using a special type of machine and small movements that aim to activate slow-twitch muscle fibers (4).
There are two types of Pilate exercises: one that uses studio equipment, and one that you can do anywhere on a soft surface. Although you can save up and purchase some neat Pilates apparatus, a mat workout at home can suffice (5). Overall, Pilates-inspired workouts like this mainly aims to build core strength and flexibility (4).
2. HIIT Workouts
HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is a great way to make the most of your workout in the least possible time. That said, this workout requires you to go extra-hard and fast for a short time, followed by taking breaks. For instance, you can perform as many jumping jacks that you can for 60 seconds, followed by a 30-second pause before moving onto squats or pushups sessions (5).
There also studies conducted on HIIT, with one study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercising journal stating that people who engage in HIIT enjoyed it more compared to moderate activities, and another study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health revealing that HIIT is more likely to improve heart-rate variability in former inactive adults (5).
This heart-racing intensity workout aims to help you build strength, but not at the cost of form (6). You can find some of these workouts on YouTube, but you can also put up your own program using some simple exercises during your gym class in elementary school, such as push-ups, squats, and jumping jacks (5).
3. Kickboxing-Style Workouts
Kickboxing is perfect for people who like to perform boxing without hitting anyone in the face. Plus, it can also give a lot of cardio and can be really fun to do; with all that jumping around while learning some kick-and-punch combinations, you won’t even realize that you are working hard (4).
If you’re looking for a fast-paced workout that can get your heart pumping well, kickboxing at home is a great idea. Although usual programs found on YouTube require a mat and punching bag, you can still perform this exercise without any special gear. There are variations available, which can offer you heart strength, flexibility, and balance (5).
4. Plank Workouts
Although it appears easy and simple, this type of exercise is great for building your core and upper body strength. That said, it has variations that are based on your exercise goals and current physical strength (5).
If you’re a beginner, you can initially try planking with your knees bent on the floor rather than keeping your legs straight. If doing planks with your arms straight and hands on the floor, you can bend at the elbows while resting your forearms on the floor (5).
If you want more challenges, you can also try side planking. You can do this by laying on your side and stacking your feet on top of one another. You can have one arm to support your body while pushing you off of the floor. Moreover, keep your body in a straight line with your front facing out. Also, keep your hips elevated and try to hold the position as long as you can before switching to the opposite side (5).
Remember, a healthy body requires a strong core – so overlook core-specific exercises like side planking. In general, planks are effective exercises for your abdominal muscles, as it stabilizes your core without stressing your back. Keep your focus on the mind-muscle connection as well as on controlled movements to ensure its effectiveness and success (7).
5. Dance Fitness Workouts
There are numerous types of dance workouts that you can try this year – including Bokwa, Zumba, Ballet, Salsa, or a style of your choice (4). Whether you choose free-form movement to your favorite pop and upbeat songs, or waltzing around every space in your room with a partner, dance offers benefits both to your physical and mental health.
Depending on the style of dance, you can burn around 250 to 500 calories each hour of dancing, according to Medicine Plus. Moreover, CDC states that dancing can also enhance your memory, heighten your focus and help you pay attention (5).
If you want to have a particular dancing style, you can either take classes, watch tutorials on YouTube, or work with a partner at home. Make sure that you have enough room to move freely (5).
There are lots of training exercises that you can do at the comfort and privacy of your home, and most of it only requires using your body weight, or basic equipment for resistance (8).
Doing around 30 to 45 minutes of strength training for at least two to three times a week can help you get the most benefits from exercise – including burned calories, improved metabolism, lean muscle mass – which leads you to a quick and effective weight loss and fat burning results (8).
If you’re planning to switch or start a workout routine at home, be sure to have enough preparations and talk to your doctor or certified personal trainer – especially if you have any health concerns, incurred injuries, or any obstacle that can make exercising difficult for you (8).