Skipping the gym in favor of home workouts is a viable option for getting in shape — with or without equipment and a dedicated space. All it takes is a green light from your doctor, a well-rounded routine, and some dedication to taking care of your body. Here a five tips for working out at home.
Basic equipment. You don’t need to spend a lot or take up a lot of space in your home to get an effective workout. With a few inexpensive pieces of equipment, you can get a great cardio and strength-building workout. For resistance training, rubber bands or tubing are highly versatile. You can use them to hit almost all your major muscle groups. It’s also easy to adapt as you get stronger because they are available in various levels of resistance. Also consider using small dumbbells or weighted bars. Excellent additions to a home gym include pull-up bars and suspension trainers, which feature strong straps with handles that you can use for a multitude of exercises. A yoga mat provides a good place for stretching and floor work. Something as simple as a jump rope can make for an awesome cardio workout.
No equipment? No problem. You can get an awesome workout by just using your body. Body weight exercises like squats, pushups, and sit-ups or crunches are effective and hit most of the major muscle groups. They are also fairly simple to perform and can be modified based on your fitness level and abilities. For cardiovascular exercise, walking, running, and climbing stairs provide excellent conditioning, and can be done almost anywhere at your own pace.
Cardio. The goal of cardiovascular conditioning is to elevate your heart rate. If you have room for equipment, a stationary bike or treadmill will do the trick. If not, walking, running and stair climbing are good cardio workouts. For more intense cardio, pick up a jump rope.
Strength training. Resistance training is an important component of all physical fitness programs. The goal is to challenge your muscles to gain strength. Strength training may help you lose weight, burn more calories, and also benefits your bones. You don’t need lots of heavy weights though. Instead, use your own body weight. Adding hand weights or resistance tubes or bands provides an extra level of challenge. Look for resistance-training videos on the internet created by certified fitness professionals.
Flexibility. Staying limber will help prevent injury and fight the aging process. A mobility program can be as simple as gently stretching your major muscle groups once they are warm. Yoga and myofascial release using a foam roller are other ways to maintain flexibility at home.
Many people use flexibility workout videos. The internet is a wonderful source of free, detailed fitness information. Just seek out reputable sources. Start with videos by physicians, physical therapists, sports trainers, and fitness professionals.