Establishing a Home Workout Routine

If you’re among the many exercisers whose gym or studio is closed for safety reasons and your friends are exercising with coworkers to avoid the coronavirus, finding ways to keep your fitness routine on track at home can be challenging. Fortunately, you can create a well-designed workout plan that meets your fitness goals without requiring a trip to the gym or expensive equipment.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle or increase cardiovascular fitness, your exercise program isn’t going to work unless it includes all three components: aerobic exercise, stretching exercises and strength training. Establishing a home workout routine isn’t difficult, but it requires an effort on your part to stay motivated and focused. To get started, set a weekly schedule for your workout and pencil it in just like you would an important meeting or class. This will help make it a priority and increase your chances of sticking to it.

You’ll also want to take the time to prepare your space before starting your workout. Make sure there’s enough room for you to move and stretch, and clear away any obstacles that could cause injury. For example, if you have a low-hanging light fixture or something else in your way when performing lunges, move it before getting started.

In addition to ensuring there’s sufficient clearance, you should also make sure your exercise space is well-lit and has a stable surface to perform moves on (like a floor mat or yoga bench). It’s important to avoid working out on uneven surfaces, which can be hard on the joints and lead to injuries.

Before your workout, warm up by walking in place or doing some dynamic stretches. Then start with a circuit training routine that works all the major muscles of your body (like chest, shoulders, arms and legs). Add some dumbbells to the mix and continue switching between exercises as you get stronger, making sure to rest for the recommended amount of time between sets.

It’s also a good idea to incorporate an upper-body and lower-body strength training workout into your week, as well as some core exercises. If you’re using weights, start with 2 to 5 lb (1 to 2.25 kg) hand weights and increase your load as you get stronger.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to try new exercises or equipment. Incorporating a variety of movement patterns and increasing the number of reps, rest periods, and time under tension will elevate your home workouts to the level of professional training and boost your results. You might even find you enjoy your at-home workouts more and be inspired to keep them up, which will help you achieve long-lasting health benefits. Creating your own unique workout plan may also encourage you to engage in more physical activity outside of the home, such as playing volleyball with colleagues or hiking with family and friends, once you’ve established a solid foundation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults aim to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, plus two days of total-body muscle-strengthening activities.

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