Home workouts have always had advantages, even before social distancing health imperatives, says Dr. Tim Degan, a Fellowship Trained Sports Medicine Surgeon at The CORE Institute. Convenience tops the list. Forget commuting; just go into your designated exercise area. Plus, you can travel with most home routines.
Here are ten suggestions to reap the most benefits from working out at home:
- Make a plan with set appointments as to when you are going to work out. Remember establishing a habit takes at least 21 days, so stay the course.
- Choose fun. Don’t pursue a routine you hate just because it worked for someone else. Swim, climb stairs, put up a basketball net, or play outdoors with your kids.
- Consult an expert such as a physician or fitness professional if you haven’t been active in awhile or have health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, or previous injuries.
- Perform exercises correctly. Injuries result when you aren’t executing a movement properly. If you have not worked out recently, consider a one-on-one consulting session.
- Find a workout buddy. Dr. Degan shares that his wife in Arizona and her sister in Florida take virtual classes together. Someone holding you accountable makes a big difference in your adherence.
- Prepare your workout area so you have ample room to exercise without knocking into walls and things.
- Target your cardio at a vigorous pace. The goal is 30 minutes a day, but you can break the total 30 minutes into shorter segments if you must. Get your heart rate up but stay in tune with your body and how hard you are working, don’t just compare to numbers.
- Dress comfortably but with common sense. For example, weight lifting in flip flops, while it may be comfortable it is also very unsafe.
- Warm-up slowly. Don’t launch into big stretches, squats, and other stressors on ligaments, joints and muscles. A five-minute stroll or easy bicycle pedal works fine.
- Include strength training at least twice a week, engaging all your muscle groups. You want to build muscles, which burn calories even after you stop exercising. Heavyweights aren’t required; you can use your body weight.
“The right routine builds cardio fitness, strength and endurance, and is the one you enjoy enough to stick with,” he concludes. “Just keep moving. It is important to be active for your best health.”
- Article by Joan Kay Westlake