Going to the gym isn’t the only way to get in a great workout. Working out at home can be just as effective. While a gym provides a dedicated space, home workouts offer more flexibility and can be more efficient. It all depends on how you use your time and equipment to maximize your effort.
Whatever you decide, you should choose what best suits your lifestyle and fitness goals. Pros and cons of working out at home include:
● It’s convenient. You can skip traffic, and you don’t have to leave your house or work out during specific times.
● There’s a variety of workout options to choose from. You can use an app, watch a video or livestream classes.
● It’s cost-effective. You don’t have to pay gym membership fees, and there’s no need for fancy or expensive equipment to get a great workout.
● It’s easy to make excuses at home. If you aren’t self-motivated, you may be tempted to skip your workouts or get distracted and cut them short.
● Space might be an issue. You might not have any open areas, such as a den or backyard.
● You may not know the correct form for various exercises. There aren’t trainers at home like there may be at the gym. This means you could injure yourself, so it’s best to stick to exercises you are already comfortable with.
An effective workout doesn’t have to take a long time or need equipment like heavy-duty weights. Intermittent intervals of working out for 10 minutes at a time, three times a day can be as effective as one 30-minute session.
You don’t need any complicated equipment, either. If you live in a multistory apartment building or home, running or walking up and down the stairs a few times will help increase strength in your legs, not to mention get your heart pumping.
The important thing is to get started. Here are some ideas:
Find sufficient space to do your workouts. This could a spot in your bedroom, the den, a patio or even the backyard or front porch. At a minimum, it should have enough space for a yoga mat and for you to stretch your arms in all directions without hitting anything.
Plan your workouts. Set days and times to exercise, and hold yourself accountable with an alarm or reminder on your smartphone. If you struggle with motivation, team up with a family member or friend. Fitness tracking apps or workout apps and videos also can help keep you motivated to exercise.
Remember to warm up and cool down. Walking, cycling or jumping jacks are great warmups. Light stretching and marching in place are good ways to cool down.
Mix up your cardio by jumping rope, dancing to your favorite songs, taking a jog or walk outside or doing aerobics. As long as it gets your heart rate up, it’s a good workout.
Use your body weight. Body weight activities, when used correctly, can be as effective as weight-lifting for building muscle. By modifying your workouts and increasing the intensity or duration over time, you’ll make the most of it. Keep in mind:
● Try planks, lunges, squats, stair-climbing and pushups as great body weight exercises.
● Up the ante of your body weight circuits by increasing the number of repetitions per workout.
● Use proper form to prevent injury. Ask a professional to correct your form or watch a tutorial online before diving into new workouts.
Eventually, try to work your way up to 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Going to the gym can be when there are fitness instructors to guide you. This doesn’t mean home workouts aren’t safe or effective, as long as you take precautions. Talk to your doctor before starting your home workouts, particularly if you have a medical condition or are recovering from an injury.
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