Keeping to a regular exercise routine will help sustain your physical health but studies have shown that it also alleviates anxiety, low self-esteem and a negative mood. Being stuck indoors does not mean that you must sit still; you can build various challenging workouts to keep busy and active. Various smartphone apps can help with your workout if you need some inspiration, or you can read on for some challenging exercises to try if your local gym remains closed.
High intensity interval training is easily sustainable at home and easy to change up when you get bored or too accustomed to your workout. It can be combined with strength training or yoga to achieve great long-term results. As each workout can last between 30 seconds to 3 minutes, it can be incorporated into your lunch break if working from home. This type of training improves endurance and speeds up the heart rate for optimal heart health. Start by jogging on the spot to warm up, move on to squats or lunges, then try burpees or push-ups.
The workout can be tailored to target the areas you want to build. You can also incorporate some strength training into your workout by using small dumbbells. Always make time for a warmup to ensure there are no injuries and also ensure you rest between each exercise period as HIIT exercises can be relatively intense.
Building a mini version of your regular gym can be a great way to ensure that you keep up with your exercise routine. Equipment such as dumbbells are ideal for strength training and can replace some of the strength gym equipment if used correctly. Weightlifting and resistance training has been shown to improve bone density and increase aerobic capacity. Studies have also shown that those who train with weights have improved blood sugar control than those who do not.
On days when you are extra tired or don’t feel like doing intense cardio workouts, you can lift weights to tone up instead. Ensure you are sitting on a stable surface (not the sofa) and stream a video to try some different moves. Start with a weight you are comfortable lifting 12 to 15 times to ensure that you do not over-exert yourself too soon. Ensure you are balanced and try to breathe in and out without holding your breath when you are lifting to avoid fatigue.
Workouts don’t have to be dull, they can be fun when you try and incorporate some dance into them. Dance workouts are particularly great for older adults as they improve co-ordination, increase brain activity and increases life expectancy. It can also be done with your partner at home. Older adults can try some ballroom dancing to keep active. Jazz and tap are more fast paced but will help burn calories for those who are training to lose weight. Younger adults may want to try and learn a new type of dance such as ballet or even Zumba, which can keep you fit and flexible. It is more technically difficult therefore will require some commitment to learn. Intense contemporary dance training is great for the core and will increase agility, co-ordination and strength.
Yoga and Meditation
Being home a lot can take its toll on your mental health, particularly if you are used to visiting the gym or attending exercise classes. Yoga and meditation have many mental health benefits as well as physical benefits which is why this type of exercise is often favored by those with anxiety and depression. Yoga relieves muscle tension, calms the nervous system and reduces stress.
It has even shown to be beneficial in those with schizophrenia when combined with drug therapy. It is ideal for people of all ages as it is not overly strenuous and it requires only a mat and a video making it easy to do at home. Beginners should start simply to avoid pulling any muscles or causing injuries. The Child’s Pose relaxes the muscles surrounding the spine and is an easy pose to begin with.
Other poses to move into are Downward Facing Dog if you can. This pose should be avoided if you have wrist problems or high blood pressure. The plank is slightly more difficult but builds upper body strength. There are many great videos online to help guide your yoga workouts.
Working out at home is inexpensive and improves physical and mental health. It can be difficult to get motivated to exercise at home but keeping your workouts interesting and different will help keep you in a healthy routine and mindset.