The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has completely changed our lifestyle. Along with other things, it has also affected the fitness efforts we used to make earlier to stay fit and active.
People who used to go to the gym are stuck at home because gyms are no longer safe places to go. And those who stepped outside for work are also working from home. And thus their physical activity has abruptly decreased.
According to WHO, physical activity is an essential part of our physical and mental health. It would shock you to know that insufficient physical activity is one of the major risk factors for death worldwide.
The good news is that we are living in the technological era. You can start your fitness training at home without stepping outside. All that you should do is change your ways to level up your fitness efforts.
Yes, there are many ways you can stay active and continue your workout routine and some of these require very little or no equipment. I have divided them into two broad categories:
- Exercises at home
- Adopting an active lifestyle
1. Exercises to maintain fitness at home
There are five elements of fitness:
- Warm-up exercise to eliminate the risks of injuries during exercise.
- Cardio workout to burn fat and calories.
- Weight training to build and tone muscles.
- Yoga to increase flexibility in the body.
- Stretching to return your body parameters like blood pressure, heart rate, temperature to their normal levels.
This whole fitness routine can be done at home with or little use of fitness equipment.
1.1. A warm-up workout
A 5-minute warm-up exercise is a crucial part of your workout session. A good warm-up routine at home could be like this:
Hip rotations (inward & outward)
Arm circles (forward & backward)
1 min minutes jumping rope
A slow jog
Light yoga poses like ‘downward facing dog’ or ‘child’s pose.’
1.2. A cardiovascular (aerobic) workout
Cardio workouts are great for weight loss. You need not spend hours in exercise to lose weight. As they target full body muscles and help burn calories faster.
These are the best cardio workouts you can do at home without equipment.
- Burpees provide a killer cardio workout in a short period
- Stair climbing
- Jumping ropes
- Jumping jacks
- Squat jumps
- Brisk walking
- Jogging in Place
You can invest in an exercise bike, elliptical trainer, or a treadmill for better results.
But my favourite work out is the HIIT treadmill workout. It improves your cardiovascular health by increasing blood circulation in the body.
You just need to get on the treadmill twice or thrice a week for 5-10 mins, and it lowers blood pressure by strengthening the heart.
I recommend buying a good treadmill for home. So, even when you’re stuck at home and can’t go outside in the gym or park for walking and running, you get your home workout.
1.3. Resistance (strength-building) exercises/weight training
Resistance training is an important component of a fitness routine. You move your body against some resistance, such as dumbbells, resistance band, or your body weight.
Weight training provides multiple benefits. It builds lean muscle mass, burns fat & calories even after your workout session.
Apart from improving posture and flexibility in the body, it helps reduce the symptoms of several diseases like diabetes, back pain, heart disease, and arthritis.
You need not invest much in weight training. With or without investment, you can do resistance workouts at home.
Without equipment, you can do the following things:
- Use objects like plastic water bottles or books or paint cans as dumbbells
- Squats or sit-to-stands from a chair,
- Push-ups against a wall
- Forearm or side planks on the floor
- Step-ups or lunges on stairs
Purchasing a few items would be helpful. They need minor investment. You can order them online.
- Lifting belts
- Resistance bands
- Weight plates
- Medicine ball
1.4. Yoga for flexibility moves
Yoga is the best exercise to improve flexibility in the body and stretch your muscles safely. You just need a yoga mat to practice yoga at home.
There are also popular apps and channels of yoga experts to learn yoga online. Yoga not only improves your physical health, but it also gives many mental health benefits.
Below are some yoga poses to improve flexibility :
Head to knee pose
This pose helps improve flexibility in your back and lower body like hips and thighs. It’s also a great stress reliever.
It can help improve flexibility in your core muscles and the muscles in your chest and legs.
This pose may help reduce strain in your neck, shoulders, and spine.
1.5. Cooling down exercise
- Stretch your arms, chest, and legs
- Child pose
- Household chores
2. Healthy lifestyle & physical activity
A healthy lifestyle means a lifestyle that is not sedentary and one that keeps you active even when you don’t exercise.
You can do the following things to increase your physical fitness and activity at home:
- Have a balanced diet. Eat three full meals a day full of proper nutrients like protein, fruits, and vegetables.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Keep healthy snacks ready to satiate your hunger pangs.
- Walk briskly around the rooms or slowly run up and down the stairs.
- Invest in a standing desk. While you’re working at home, use this desk rather than sitting down all the time.
- Walk around when you’re on the phone.
- Dancing with your children can also contribute to the daily exercise quota. It will also keep your kids happy.
- Alternatively, you can play skipping rope with them.
- If you look carefully, you will find many dumbbell substitutes at your home. For example, a bag of rice and lentils, water bottles.
- Take short fitness breaks after every 30-45 minutes when you are working on the computer or watching the tv. Walk around the room for 10 mins.
- And don’t forget about your kids or spouse or other family members. For kids, exercise is essential for their physical and mental health and academic performance. For older people, exercise helps them reduce many chronic conditions like joints, pain, cholesterol, and heart problems.
Just because you’re working from home, and not going to the gym, it should not make you compromise your health and fitness. Don’t make your lifestyle boring, mundane, and inactive, just because you’re stuck at home.
Even at home, you can implement an effective workout routine with or without equipment. You just need to plan some effective fitness strategies and implement them.
I hope this article helps you plan them and stay fit at home!
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Very helpful and interesting post. Taking care of health in these times is very important but I have seen many have taken it as an excuse to not be particular about their workout. Nice read!!
I agree with you Tina. Healthy life style is essential in today’s times. A very useful article.