In this interim of social separation and self – quarantining, we are confronted with fewer lifestyle choices. We may:
- Learn a new language
- Take an Online course
- Continue our jobs Online, if we are able to
- Read mystery novels
- Begin an exercise program
I chose to pull up weeds from my patio area. Not an exciting afternoon! But I did my morning workout as always and now I am continuing with my blogging. There is very little change in my daily routine, though I would prefer more sociability.
Certainly there must be many who might be interested in beginning an exercise program at home. Gyms and other workout venues are closed temporarily. Supermodels, athletes and bodybuilders are working out at home. So are those who may see this as a fortuitous time to begin a fitness lifestyle.
I am primarily addressing these people:
- Those who would like to begin a home workout program, but who need advice and inspiration
- Those who are unsure about their equipment needs
- Those who have worked out in gyms, but not at home
- Those who have time on their hands and who want to do something constructive
It may not be commonly known, but significant fitness gains may be made with no equipment whatsoever. Here is a full body routine that requires no equipment at all:
- Lunge – see above image. Step forward with one foot and then lower your body, as the front knee reaches 90 degrees and the back knee stays above the floor. Then straighten the back leg and push off from the front leg. Change forward legs and do 10 total reps.
- Push – up. Do this classic movement slowly for 10 reps. If unable to support your entire weight, begin with knees on the floor and progress from there. This is an excellent upper torso movement, developing the chest, triceps, back and shoulders.
- Plank – see below. This is an isometric exercise. Supported by forearms and toes, maintain a straight alignment of your body for at least 30 seconds.
This is primarily for abdominals, but also strengthens the back.
- Butterfly crunch – see below. From the floor or on a bench, lift your bent knees and your shoulders toward each other as shown. This is great for the abdominals, especially the lower abs.
- Heel raises – with your hands against a wall, back up about 3 feet. Then raise your heels quickly, as you flex your gastrocnemius (calf) muscles. Do about 20 heel raises. Do these quickly, while maintaining tension on your calves.
- Burpees- see below. From standing position, go to a squat with hands on floor. Then back into a push – up, then go back to the leaning squat. Finish by jumping back to the standing position. This works the upper legs and is also a great cardio exercise when done quickly and for about 20 reps.
The above circuit may be done a couple of times for a workout that you will feel. The biceps were not engaged, but you can always curl a couple of soup cans for the biceps. Be sure to rest a day after any workout. Every other day or 3 times per week is a worthy goal. A good option is to do this workout one day and then walk for at least 30 minutes the next day.
Here is a quick and simple workout plan to consider:
FOR THOSE WHO LIKE VIDEOS
There are excellent options for the many home exercisers who get the most benefit by following instructions from their television screen. Amazon is loaded with helpful workout videos. They are reasonably priced and can be delivered to your front door. Here are a few choices:
- Zumba Dance Fitness
- Boost Metabolism and Muscle Strength (for women)
- Best Weight Loss Workout Videos for Women
- Circuit Burnout (10 training videos, workout calendar, nutrition guide, etc.)
- Beginner 30 Minute Workout to Lose Weight
- Total Stretch DVD
- Total Body Cardio Challenge
- Aerobics Low Impact
- Burn 400 Calories in 30 Minutes
- Beachbody Insanity Workout
I have always had a treadmill at home. This allows me to:
- Get a cardio workout at my convenience
- Increase speeds every minute
- Measure calorie expenditure
- Work out as I listen to music
- Increase incline as needed
My practice now is to do a body sculpting / rehab program one day and a 30-minute treadmill workout the next. (I have a rotator cuff sprain currently).
My treadmill is shown below. It is not an expensive model, but it has held up well with heavy usage. Here is the same model, as updated.
This link provides a general listing of discounted cardio equipment and other fitness deals currently available from Dick’s Sporting Goods Online. This is quite comprehensive and will show you many ways to “stay sane with fitness gear” from the largest sporting goods merchant in the United States. Up to 40% Off Fitness Deals
Though anyone may get a suitable “sculpting” workout by bodyweight alone, the next logical step is to use dumbbells. This will add to your routine by allowing you to engage specific muscles. For example, you may do curls to stress the biceps muscles or lie on a bench and work your chest by bent arm lateral raises. Both movements are shown below:
This company, through Amazon, gives you the option of choosing a pair of dumbbells (or several pairs) from weights of 5 lbs, each up to 50 lbs. each.
Here is an adjustable workout or aerobic stepper bench at a reasonable price.
To review, we have covered the following suggestions for productive home workouts while we are quarantined:
- A full body workout requiring no equipment
- A quick workout to burn 100 calories
- Choices for home workout videos
- Treadmill and other fitness / cardio choices
- The value of dumbbells
- Resources for dumbbells and a small bench
This will get any newcomer started on an effective home exercise routine. But please engage me with any questions that you may have. There is a “Comments” box below for your questions or comments.
We are in a period of uncertainty, “uncharted waters”. Let’s use this time constructively!