Best Tips for Exercising at Home

Are you thinking of making a few lifestyle changes to benefit your health? One quick way to jumpstart your decision is to commit to an exercise routine; this can be as easy as exercising at home. There are many reasons people choose to exercise at home today; busy schedules that make it tough to get to the gym, health concerns, or merely wanting privacy during workouts. But is it as effective as working out at a gym, taking dance classes, or joining a community sports team? How do you keep up your motivation when your couch and tv are right there calling to you after a rough day? These are all legitimate questions and scenarios when considering the practicality of staying active at home. Let’s look at home workout options and how you can make it work for you.

The Importance of Staying Active

No matter where you choose to be active, it’s essential that you do. Even a light workout has a tremendous impact on your health, making it vital to incorporate some form of physical activity into your schedule. Staying active offers:

  • Heart health benefits, including lower risk of heart disease
  • Improves mood while decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Stabilizes insulin and blood sugar levels
  • Supports bone, joint, and muscle health
  • Supports cognitive health

Staying Active at Home Through the Distractions

Working out in the comfort of your home certainly comes with its advantages. But there can be obvious challenges too. So, how do you maintain focus through the distractions you may face when you exercise at home? Distractions can range from the pets, the kids, that stack of mail you keep trying to ignore, and the refrigerator calling your name. But don’t let these hold you back. There are plenty of ways to work around them so you can direct your focus to stay active at home.  Trust me; I know how easy it can be to find something around that house that needs your attention, or an excuse to sit down for a moment. So, what can you do to make your exercise at home goals a reality? To stay active at home with your at-home workouts:

Exercise early in the morning.

Morning exercise starts your day off on the right foot, and many tend to stick to their routine longer. You may benefit by avoiding many distractions at an early hour. It also helps keep your motivation flowing throughout your day.

Choose a room or space with the least amount of distractions.

Loose the distractions that may derail at home workout efforts. If you select a place where clutter or chores beg for your attention, you’re less likely to stick to your workout goals. Designating an at-home workout space can help you feel a sense of organization, motivation, and responsibility for your commitment to stay active at home. Consider keeping a chest or basket of workout equipment that will be easy to get to, allowing you to transition between exercises. Doing so limits your need to always hunt down your resistance bands, making a much more efficient way to exercise at home.

Consider at-home workouts with the kids.

This practice is especially helpful if you’re home-schooling right now. Rolling it into your home school physical activity sessions means you all benefit from staying active at home. Let’s be real; sometimes, the luxury of a gym doesn’t fit into a mom’s busy schedule. But that just makes exercise at home much more appealing! No matter what age your children may be, have them join in. From mommy and me yoga to online barre class, you can make it a special time to share. And if your schedule doesn't seem to allow much time for an entire workout, have a little fun dancing for the day's cardio. No equipment necessary, and the laughs are free!

Unplug!

The peace this will bring you is another excellent reason to start early in the morning when you exercise at home. Leave the phone on the charger. Don’t open that laptop and browse through your emails. Make it a habit of enjoying the silence and lack of demands that await you by unplugging at bedtime until your morning workout is done. Trust me; it will bring a refreshing calm to your mornings, or any time of day you choose to fit in your at-home workout routines.

So, what makes a successful exercise at home routine?

The Five Essentials of Working Out at Home

While a gym may seem like the place to be for all your workout needs, you don’t need fancy machines and a personal workout coach to keep you fit and healthy. You can undoubtedly exercise at home and develop a custom at-home workout that provides the same benefits to your health and wellness. By crafting an at-home workout that incorporates five essential parts, you can be successful at staying active at home. Begin by making a list of your goals, needs, and concerns. Then, create a workout plan that includes:

  • A warmup
  • Cardio
  • Resistance or strength-building exercises
  • Exercises that improve your flexibility
  • A cool-down

The Warmup

Staying active at home includes staying safe. Your warmup doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it is absolutely necessary to help prevent injuries. And I’m not just talking about a few quick stretches before your at-home workout. I mean a real, full-body warmup. Exercising at home gives you the advantage of taking refreshing walks outside. Or jump on and start with a light pace on your treadmill or stationary bike if you happen to have one.

But you may be wondering why stretching isn’t enough. Think about your average day. You may be stuck behind a desk for hours with little chance to get up and stretch your legs, let alone all your muscles. While a quick pre-workout stretch may sound like enough, you’re putting an awful lot of stress on those stiff muscles you were unable to loosen all day. Studies have also shown that merely stretching does not adequately protect against injury. Instead, try a full-body warmup that helps raise your heart rate while warming up your joints and muscles. Your at-home workout warmups can include:

  •       Jumping jacks
  •       Squats
  •       Lunges
  •       Mountain climbers
  •       Jump rope

Cardiovascular

After a nice warmup, step up your pace as you walk or pedal. Make sure you kick your heart rate up. There are plenty of cardio activities to help you stay active at home. Step aerobics is always a fun way to exercise at home, and you can easily find a variety of videos to stream online, guiding you through the process. It takes up little space and is an upbeat, engaging way to stay active. And speaking of fun videos, you can stay active at home with cardio routines ranging from barre to Zumba! Many subscription workouts and apps offer trials, so don’t be afraid to try something new. And you can always work in a simple cardio routine during your favorite television show. It sure beats sitting on the couch and offers an effective use of that time. So, no excuses!

Resistance Training

Incorporating strength or resistance training is a simple way to stay active at home.  You can keep it simple or push yourself with your choice of resistance at-home workouts. It requires little space, and workout equipment isn’t necessary. Get tone with squats, push-ups, and crunches to define those abs you’ve been wanting. As you build up your endurance, grab some lightweight dumbbells and resistance bands, increasing as necessary.  

Flexibility

Don’t forget the importance of improving your body’s flexibility. Yoga is perfect for an at-home workout option. Not only will it help increase your flexibility, but it also supports:

  •       Metabolism
  •       Weight loss
  •       Muscle strength
  •       Muscle tone
  •       Improvements in respiration and vitality
  •       A boost in energy levels
  •       Heart health
  •       Athletic performance and endurance
  •       Mindfulness

The Cool Down

You don't need to overthink your cool-down routine, but you do need to have one. A proper cool-down can be similar to your warmup routine. Just be sure to incorporate light cardio and gradually bring your heart rate down. This step is just as vital as the rest of your workout, for many health reasons, including:

  • Reducing the strain on your heart muscle as it transitions from exerting itself, back to a resting heart rate
  • Preventing lightheadedness or dizziness after exercising. These symptoms may occur when blood collects in the lower extremities, causing veins to increase in size to accommodate blood flow

Try walking, stretching your core, or continue to repeat your last round of flexibility exercises, minimizing your intensity. Doing so helps target and relax the same muscles after exertion. Another bonus of exercising at home is your ability to multitask during your cool down! You can cool down by tidying up around the house. Yep, it counts! Just keep moving and stretching as your heart rate calms.

More Tips for Successful Exercise at Home

Many health and fitness experts agree that staying active at home works best if you mentally and physically commit to your at-home workouts with preparation and follow-through. Specific tips they offer for the best exercise at home outcomes:

Find an exercise buddy.

If you need motivation, accountability, or simply want a virtual workout partner, find a friend who shares your goals.

Create versatility to avoid boredom.

Exercising at home vs. a gym will limit your variety of equipment, classes, and coaches you have access to. However, it allows you to create at home workouts that appeal to you most and target your specific goals. You have the flexibility to develop routines that challenge you and help you stay active at home. Take advantage of apps, videos, and online classes that promote exercising from home. Try an array of options and attempt something new to avoid boredom and a loss of motivation. You never know which at-home workouts will spark your interest!

Schedule your at-home workouts in advance.

When you plan ahead, you strengthen the commitment you have to stay active at home. You will begin to physically and mentally anticipate your upcoming workouts when you stick to a routine. But don’t take this lightly. Block off dates and times in your calendar to help keep you and any workout partners accountable. And believe me, this will help you avoid the “I don’t have time” excuse.  

Journal

Keeping a workout journal is an excellent way to track the success of your at-home workouts and the progress you’re seeing from staying active at home. Begin with your goals and note your starting points. List workouts or apps you'd like to try, have trials for or know you will incorporate. Keep track of your successes and concerns. Writing about your tough days are just as crucial to your at-home workouts as noting your good days.

Don’t weigh yourself daily.

Don’t do it! If weight loss is one of your goals, don’t consume yourself with the numbers on that scale! Exercising at home should relieve your stress, not spark more.

Newbies to Exercising at Home

For those of you who may just be starting, thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise per session is an ideal goal. Plan to get in at least three sessions a week. Diversify your at-home workouts, covering all the major muscle groups:

  •       Upper body
  •       Lower body
  •       Abdominals
  •       Back

Strength training as a beginner can start at three sets of ten to fifteen reps per each exercise. Just remember to start slow, build up your routines, and intensify workouts gradually. And always listen to your body to avoid injury.

At-Home Workout Equipment

The best thing about exercising at home is making use of the items around you, so you don’t need to buy them! Get creative and utilize what you already have in your space or try a few DIY projects. Create a step for your step aerobics or grab a couple of cans from the pantry to start your lightweight arm resistance workouts. Now, if you're handy with tools, you can build your own workout equipment, such as:

  •       Pull up bars
  •       Punching bags
  •       Weight racks
  •       Squat bars

Pairing Your Home Workouts with the Proper Diet

Let’s not forget the importance of a proper diet. Staying active at home doesn’t mean neglecting your overall health goals. Keep yourself full of energy for your workouts by sticking to a nutritious diet. And if you know me, you already know my favorite go-to for all the essential nutrients is bone broth. When you pair your home workouts with the benefits of bone broth, you fill your body with:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Essential amino acids
  • Clean protein
  • Fiber
  • Collagen

Together, you’ll support your overall health and wellbeing, while adding a few anti-aging benefits along the way. Pretty impressive, right?

Collagen broth packet with a mug of bone broth to add to your exercise at home routine

Choosing to exercise at home takes a bit of adjusting to, but trust me, you’ll love the results you can achieve. So, make that commitment to yourself to stay active at home, helping to ensure your physical and mental wellbeing. When you continue your journey to a healthier you by working out and staying active at home, you’ll wonder why you didn’t adopt this transforming lifestyle sooner. Jumpstart your at-home workout routines now!

Keep positive and stay healthy!
Dr. Kellyann