Stuck indoors? Here’s how you can get a good workout at home

Working from home offers many benefits, such as cutting out horrible rush hour traffic from your daily routine altogether. But working from home may also have some cons, such as making it easier to skip your workout because it’s more comfortable to watch TV all day than exercise.

If you’re concerned about gaining weight while staying at home all day, try some home workout routines to stay in shape.

Home workouts vs. gym workouts

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or you’ve chosen to work from home, there are many ways to exercise even if you don’t have any equipment.

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Most fitness professionals will agree that you “can get a good workout anywhere,” and the one problem that people might have is committing to exercising regularly.

Lauren Kanski, a certified personal trainer, advised that even light exercise is better than not exercising at all.

When considering a home workout, people are often worried about two factors: space and equipment. How do you address this if you decide to exercise at home?

According to Kanski, you don’t need to worry about space or gym equipment. You only need a workout area that’s the same size as a yoga mat “so you can move in all different planes of motion.”

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You don’t even need to worry about having a personal trainer. You can check out workout guides online and choose one that suits your fitness level. (: Sitting for too long can change the shape of your heart and increase cardiovascular disease risk: Exercise is key to reversing the damage, say experts.)

Dr. Amy Shah also advocates home workouts, particularly since there are many resources online for those who wish to exercise from the comfort of their own homes. But she also warned that you should only take fitness advice from people with the proper credentials to ensure that you have effective workouts and to avoid any serious injuries.

Does exercising at home have any drawbacks?

You can do things to help you sleep better at night. You can avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime. Also, while alcohol is well-known to help you fall asleep faster, too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as the body begins to process the alcohol.

Compared to going to the gym, exercising at home may be cheaper. However, it also has some downsides.

Going to the gym makes exercising a communal activity, which may be important for some people. Exercising with others, even if they’re complete strangers, can also help motivate you if you’re struggling to work out.

And while exercising at home is convenient, there’s no one to check on you if you skip one day. There are also many distractions at home such as the kids that need your attention, various chores, the TV, the computer and your smartphone.

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Even though some workouts require equipment, you can work around this problem by choosing routines that don’t need equipment or buy cheaper alternatives like weights or resistance bands.

Overall, one of the biggest drawbacks of exercising at home is not having a committed workout schedule.

This is another thing that you can address by being disciplined. You can also have a workout buddy that you check in with regularly, whether through calls or exercising at the same time via video calls.

Another option is to exercise at the same time, provided you choose the same routines or have the same equipment at home, and to chat with each other on a video call. This also helps make a home workout feel like something you can do with a friend as you check in with each other.

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Having an online workout buddy means you can keep each other motivated. At the same time, you can hold each other accountable to keep exercising regularly.

The best workouts to do at home

If you chose to exercise at home, Kanski said there’s no specific type of workout that you should be doing. You can choose a simple routine, like pushups, squats or yoga, as long as you “move with intention.”

If you have the money for equipment, Kanski suggested investing in items that can be used as a cushion for moving or suspension such as a yoga mat, resistance bands and five- to 15-pound dumbbells or kettlebells.

If you normally walk at 6.5km/h on the treadmill or take 15 minutes to walk a km, up the pace by going at 8km/h for a minute or so during your workout. Do this every five minutes or so. Each time you work out, increase your bouts of speed in small increments.

Those who want to improve their cardio or spend more time outdoors can walk and run instead.

You can even exercise without any complicated equipment. One exercise to try is planking, which is easy on your joints but can help build your core strength. You just need a yoga mat and some space on the floor.

  • First, lie on your front and clamp your fists as you keep your forearms flat on the floor.
  • Next, tuck your toes under and push your body weight up so you’re resting on your forearms. Keep your elbows pushed into your sides, by your ribs. Your body needs to be in a straight line parallel to the floor. Make sure your bottom isn’t rising up.
  • Tense the muscles in your body and hold that position for as long as you can.

The best thing about planking is you can time yourself to see how long you can hold it. As you keep exercising, you’ll notice that you can plank longer the stronger you get.

Stop smoking and/or avoid passive smoking. Smoking can severely increase your risk of lung cancer, kidney cancer, esophageal cancer, heart attack, and more. Smoking “light” cigarettes do not decrease health risks either. If you do smoke, stop now and do it not only for yourself but also your family and friends.

If you can’t go to the gym, exercise at home regularly and stay active to maintain a healthy weight and boost your overall well-being.

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Curry favour. Hot, spicy foods containing chillies or cayenne pepper trigger endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Endorphins have a powerful, almost narcotic, effect and make you feel good after exercising. But go easy on the lamb, pork and mutton and the high-fat, creamy dishes served in many Indian restaurants.