“Life gets in the way” is the usual answer people give when asked why they can’t work out. While it is a valid reason, there is always a workaround. Even if you work eight-hour shifts a day, you can do a short exercise to get your body moving.
Many people have relied on simple home exercises for fitness routines during the pandemic. Small bedroom spaces became makeshift workout facilities that, even with the challenge presented, still got the job done.
Gyms may be back up and running, but many people still need more time to visit the facility on a regular basis. If that’s the case for you, these simple but practical home exercises should help keep you in shape.
The main focus of home exercises
The main goal is to at least get your heart rate up. It allows your body to move blood and oxygen much more efficiently, which leads to more calories burned and weight loss.
The University of Texas MD Cancer Centershared a simple formulato know the maximum heart rate according to your age:
“Maximum heart rate: The maximum rate your heart can achieve during activity”. To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, if you’re 40, subtract 40 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 175.
“That’s the maximum number of beats your heart is capable of per minute, but you shouldn’t try to train at this level.”
To know if you’re working out at the right level of intensity, here’s a guideline:
“If you’re working 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, then that exercise is considered moderate. If you’re working 70 to 85 percent of your heart rate, then that’s vigorous exercise.
“If your heart is working harder than that (over 85%), it could be dangerous, so be sure to back off or see your doctor.”
Easy home exercises for the busy body
Home exercises mean a limited amount of space and resources. You might own a pair of dumbbells or resistance bands, but these pieces of equipment can only get you so far. But the workouts on this list can also be applied to people who have nothing to work with but a yoga mat.
Yoga for beginners
While we’re on the subject of yoga mats, why not use them well?
But first, let’s bust a misconception: You don’t need world-class flexibility to practice yoga. By definition, it is a practice involving meditation, breathing and movement.
Yes, many poses require strength and balance. But yoga is for all levels and inexperienced practitioners can work with threesimple techniques: Child’s Pose, Downward Facing Dog, and Plank. Feel free to try other poses as you progress in your practice.
For those who are approaching yoga for their exercises at home, sports psychologist and fitness expertDr. Jenni Bruning BrownIt has onean advice: do not overdo it.
“It can be tempting to push your body to try a difficult pose or reach new heights in your extensions, and it’s always a wonderful thing to get better, but don’t overstretch.
“Listen to what your body is telling you if the pose or stretch is painful or you feel tension in spots you’re not attempting to work, relax and try a slower more methodical approach. It’s okay not to be perfect the first, second or third time.
Similarly, people may think that Pilates is an invincible mountain that isn’t for everyone. But just like yoga, it’s mostly about proper breathing and awareness through movement. The difference, however, is that Pilates involves challenging core strength.
Somepractical but simple pilates exercises they’re leg raises, roll-ups, and the dreaded but cherished plank. According to experts, the beauty of Pilates is that it complements all other workouts. here is theexplanationof physical therapist based in New YorkDr. Karena Wu.
“Pilates can enhance workouts, such as distance running or high-intensity activities, as it helps recruit deeper stabilizers and allows for better kinetic chain mobility in the limbs.”
High intensity interval training
High-intensity interval training (more popularly known as HIIT) already sounds like a grueling workout, and it does. You’ll sweat and feel your heart rate increase, but all for the right reasons.
But don’t let the idea put you off. Instead, see this as a way to elevate your home workouts to a level that would physically challenge you.
What sets HIIT apart is the amount of workouts you can do in a short amount of time. But theHarvard School of Public Healthhas a much better explanation of what it is:
“Incorporate several rounds alternating between several minutes of high-intensity movement to significantly raise your heart rate to at least 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, followed by short bouts of low-intensity activity.
“HIIT workouts can be integrated into various exercise formats, such as running (outdoors or on treadmills), dance, rowing machines, stationary bikes, or stairs. Interval lengths can be timed using one to five minute pieces of music.
The shortest HIIT workouts last 20 minutes, while the longest ones last up to a full hour. But here’s what theNew York Timesregarded as “The Easiest HIIT Workout:”
“After a warmup, try to sprint as fast as you can for 10 seconds, then walk or rest for 50 seconds. Repeat this six times.
“That’s it; you’re well on your way to mastering HIIT. As you get comfortable, try shortening the rest to 20 seconds, and then even 10.
If you’re not a fan of sprints, feel free to switch things up with mountain climbers, jump squats, and pushups. These exercises should allow you to break a sweat.
Walking around the neighborhood would be your best bet if you’re still too busy to exercise at home. It provides a nice change of scenery from the monotony of your room. At the same time, get some fresh air and, of course, exercise.
Just like with Pilates, taking regular walks affects all other aspects of your physical health. But in this case, it keeps your body in constant motion, which can then encourage you not to be stagnant.
“Our bodies are not meant to be sedentary all day,” Certified Personal TrainerMarisa GolanShe said.
“Any type of movement is better than no movement at all, and being able to find a type of movement that’s best suited to your age and fitness level is super important so you feel empowered and motivated to stick with it.”
Daily 30-minute walks are fine, but here’s a recommendation from Harvard Health:
Do it all at once or in five to 10-minute chunks. Aim for a brisk pace of three to four miles per hour, but remember that you’ll reap many benefits from walking at a slower pace as long as you stick with it.
Make these workouts part of your routine
With these workout choices, you should have something to do no matter how busy you are. You can choose a more scenic option by walking or challenging yourself with a grueling but exhilarating HIIT workout. But even with a 20-minute Pilates session, you can burn enough calories and feel good about the endorphin rush at the same time.
Bottom line: get moving and get your heart rate up. As long as you’re not stagnant, you’re doing it right.
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