With social distancing still a must, it’s little wonder that many of us have allowed our fitness routines to slip. We know sedentary life is a clear path toward later disability and illness, though, so it’s time to step up and reclaim our health. Today, we’re sharing our top tips for creating a home workout routine.
Ultimately, designing your own workout program should be an enjoyable, challenging experience. You’ll no doubt make adjustments to your initial plan, but with some planning and creativity, you should be able to dramatically improve your fitness without spending a cent or hitting the gym once.
1.) Analyze Your Motivation
There is a wide range of motivations for optimizing fitness, and most of them are perfectly acceptable. Before you embark on your reconditioning efforts, try to think about the real reasons you want to do so. Write down your top three reasons and refer to them often in the first few months. Staying mentally focused on your goals will help you stick with them in spite of any excuses that may pop into your mind.
2.) Take Advantage of Online Resources
Our current access to free fitness resources is unprecedented. No longer must we pay for expensive and limited home training programs; instead, we can log on to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit and be instantly connected to thousands of hours of fitness instructional material. Instead of going it alone, we recommend beginning with enjoyable routines created by qualified fitness instructors.
3.) Create a Training Schedule—and Stick with It
In the early stages of your fitness journey, you’re unlikely to “feel like” working out. However, unless you employ self-discipline, you’ll never graduate to the stage at which your body truly craves movement.
For this reason, we advise creating a training schedule that you adhere to for at least three months. By dividing your routine across five sessions, you’ll achieve the recommended weekly amount of movement while still allowing yourself plenty of time to recover.
While a brisk walk or vigorous housecleaning session per day will give you all the cardio you need, you’ll want to schedule three or four weekly strength training sessions as well. Aim to work all your muscle groups but remember that it’s fine to divide your muscle groups and work them on different days.
4.) Bodyweight Moves are Key
As we age, few things are more central to health and independence than the ability to move through our daily routines safely. For this reason, bodyweight exercises are key to building physical strength at every stage of life.
Squats, lunges, glute bridges, planks, pushups, flutters, and mountain climbers are all simple moves that are muscle-building powerhouses. Do these moves with enough intensity, and they’ll double as cardio too!
5.) Target Large Muscle Groups First
We love a barbell curl as much as anyone, but before you target small areas of your body, knock out your bodyweight exercises and large muscle group workout. These complex moves require more strength, stamina, and control; if you exhaust a small muscle group first, you’ll sacrifice your workout potential and increase your chance of injury.
6.) Cardio for Lifelong Heart Health
At every age and stage, human beings require vigorous cardio workouts. Choose from brisk power walking, jumping rope, boxing, dancing, or even scrubbing your floors—anything that gets your heart working hard for 30 minutes per day will fit the bill. Remember, your other workouts will only be successful if your body is powered by a healthy heart.
7.) Focus on Flexibility
Stretching, whether through calisthenics, Pilates, yoga, or tai chi, should be a permanent piece of your home workout routine. A balance of strength and flexibility will best prepare you for physical challenges.
8.) Recognizing Soreness vs. Pain
While muscle soreness is an inevitable part of beginning or increasing a workout routine, pain is not. In fact, sharp pain, localized pain that doesn’t subside with rest, or burning nerve pain are all signs to back off immediately. Check with your doctor before resuming your workout and incorporate medical advice as you redesign your home workout to compensate for an injury.
9.) Keep Ramping Up
Once you’ve mastered your home workout routine—that is, you’re able to easily complete each portion of it without feeling challenged—it's time to ramp it up. Increase the weight, speed, or angle of each exercise by just enough to leave you feeling challenged again. Before long, you’ll be amazed at what you’re able to accomplish; your strength, flexibility, and stamina will be just as impressive as the aesthetic gains you’re sure to make.
10.) Soothe Sore Muscles
Feeling the burn after a workout? Whether it’s right after your bodyweight session or the day after, you’ve already got access to a great remedy right at home. Studies show that either hot or cold water works well to soothe the slight inflammation that accompanies a challenging workout. Try a shower or a luxurious bath with or without Epsom salts—research surrounding this commonly-recommended remedy is mixed. However, consider adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a warm bath to help relax your muscles and your mind simultaneously.
How has the pandemic affected your fitness journey? Are you starting from scratch, or have you managed to stay active since March? Whether you’re a fitness pro or a couch-dweller preparing for reform, please leave us a comment below; we’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for visiting us today at Parks Realty! Stay healthy, wash your hands, and please wear a mask. We look forward to gathering together with you throughout the community soon.
The information contained above is intended as information for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Consult your doctor or physical therapist before beginning a new workout routine.