There are plenty of reasons you might choose to workout at home: the demands of squeezing in exercise around a busy schedule, a serious dislike for the sweaty smell of fellow gym-goers, or you know, a global pandemic. Whatever your motivation, the good news is there are plenty of ways to rock a full-body workout right from the comfort of your living room (or study…or garage…). Here are some ideas to get your blood pumping and sweat pouring.
HIIT up some high-intensity YouTube workouts
Have you heard about HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training has taken off around the world, and it’s no surprise given how many benefits it offers. HIIT sessions are short and sweet – usually between 10 and 30 minutes all up – which is great for those short on time! They also burn a ton of calories and prime your body to continue to burn energy long after your workout finishes.
The idea is to do short bursts of high-energy activity, followed by cool-down time with lower-intensity exercise or resting. For example, you might do a 30-second burst of maximum-intensity cycling, followed by a couple of minutes at a relaxed pace, repeated over the course of half an hour. Alternatively, you might have a series of exercises, such as squats, lunges and kettlebell lifts that you do for 20 seconds each, with a 20-second rest between each exercise.
For some easy inspiration, search up some home-based HIIT workout programs on YouTube. You can get ideas to vary your workout, using everything from body weight to various levels of equipment.
Shake it off
What better way to work off that iso tummy than to get your dance on? Dance workouts are a surefire way to get your heartrate up and your whole body bending and flexing, working muscles right through your core and all four limbs. There are plenty of options, too: pop on some upbeat music and just go nuts, find an app or web-based dance exercise routines, or even join a live online dance class and make it a social event! Combining music with movement really boosts those feel-good endorphins, leaving you feeling great and increasing the likelihood that you’ll keep chasing your exercise goals.
Stretch it out
Another way to make use of all the digital world has to offer is with guided yoga sessions, either live or pre-recorded. You can find videos on YouTube, yoga apps and dedicated websites. The best part is that all you need to get started is a yoga mat and some comfy clothes. This is a great one to practice on your rest or low-intensity days, promoting healthy blood flow around the body, flexibility and stress reduction. If you prefer something a little more high-intensity, you can always take your yoga to the next level with an at home balance ball workout.
Go pro with your own gym equipment
If you’re serious about your home workouts, it might be worth investing in some equipment to maximise your fitness. If your budget and workout space are modest, a skipping rope, kettlebell and/or some dumbbells, an exercise ball and a set of resistance bands are a great place to start. If you have the room in your home and hip pocket, you might splash out on a stationary bike, crosstrainer or treadmill, barbells and a squat rack. Not only can you well and truly get a sweat on while you pedal away on an exercise bike – you can also position to watch your favourite show at the same time!
Clean up your act
Struggling to fit that all-important exercise into your hectic life? Getting fit doesn’t have to involve wearing lycra and hoisting weights. Cleaning the house and gardening can both be calorie-busting, muscle-building activities if you throw enough energy and intensity into them. Try doing deep lunges while you vacuum, squatting up and down as you wipe windows and switching to a heavy string mop to work those abdominals while getting the floors shiny. Outside, consider swapping out the garden hose for a watering can and alternating arms to carry water around the yard. Jobs like raking, digging, mulching and weeding will all help to burn calories and improve overall health.
Get out of the house
It’s not technically “at home”, but for a workout that doesn’t rely on the gym, you can’t beat a good old-fashioned walk. Around the block, through the park, up a mountain or along the beach – there are so many places you can lace up (or leg it barefoot) and take advantage of one of the simplest free exercises available.
There is just so much to love about walking: suitable for all ages and fitness levels, you can easily achieve a good cardio workout, as well as pumping your leg muscles. Getting outside in the fresh air will invigorate you and boost morale, fending off low mood. It can be a time for quiet reflection and mindfulness, or simply listening to your favourite music and letting the good vibes flow.
However you decide to get your sweat on at home – make sure you enjoy it! If you find an activity you truly love, you’ll find that it’s easier to stick with.