I don’t know…. It’s just something about going to the gym to get a good workout that gives me a rush. Literally, being at the gym, in that environment puts me in the best mood to exercise. But because of COVID-19 I’m no longer enjoying the luxury of going to the facility. It’s just a personal preference of mine that I’m choosing not to visit the gym during the pandemic. As a result of my decision, I’ve resorted back to working out at home. Yes, I do miss having access to all the amazing gym equipment but it’s time for me to take the initiative and get back on track with exercising at home.
Simply put – no more excuses. I took inventory of what I already possess that will assist with developing my at home workout routine. Internet access for endless YouTube workout videos…. check. I have jump ropes…. check. Free weights and resistance bands… check. And a bicycle…. check. Since it’s been a long time that I’ve used my bicycle, I know I will need to dust it off and put air in the tires. (LOL)
According to the health experts, it’s recommended that adults should exercise moderately for 150 to 300 minutes weekly. This is just a guideline seeing that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much exercise is enough. I agree with the idea that all movement is good; far better than no movement at all. Do something active, as often as you can, will serve you well in the long run. Exercise has a huge impact on your health which benefits your heart, brain, energy, and quality of sleep. Some types of physical activities are better than others for certain health and well-being benefits. Be sure to do your research. And above all, consult with your physician.
If you’re in the same boat as I am about not going back to the gym until the pandemic has subsided, here are some ideas for getting back on track with exercising outside the gym.
The possibilities are endless when using resistance bands. This is what makes them so popular. For example….because of their versatility, they can be incorporated with pull-ups, chest press, bicep curls, and triceps extensions. The ability to move freely when using resistance bands allows you to imitate everyday natural movement patterns. The simple design of resistance bands allows for compound exercises which recruits more muscle engagement. Exercising with them will increase your range for motion, flexibility, and muscular endurance. Resistance bands are small, light-weight, flexible, and can be effortlessly tucked away anywhere. Just don’t forget where you put them. (LOL)
Using free weights challenges the muscular system to enhance lean mass, build more balance and coordination. It’s also said that free weight exercises shrink waist fat. Free weight exercises helps balance strength by providing equal load to both sides of the body. In essence, your weaker side can become strong as your dominate side decreasing the imbalance. You’re sure to burn calories as you move through various range-of-motion working out with free weights.
CDC recommends 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day. Walking add years to your life, lightens mood, strengthen muscles, improve sleep, improve circulation, stop loss of bone mass and a slew of other benefits. Walking is just plain wholesome medicine for the body. There are claims that walking even unlocks creativity. All that’s needed is about 15 minutes a day to reap the amazing benefits of walking. Best part of walking is that it’s free and doesn’t require any special equipment of training. Even if you haven’t exercised in some time, walking is the perfect option to start out with because it’s low impact. Be sure to wear comfy shoes.
Running builds strong bones, strengthen muscles, improve cardiovascular system, and help maintain a healthy weight. In addition, you can expect a boost in your mood, better nights sleeping, and even to live longer. Just running 15 to 30 minutes is enough to kick start your metabolism. Within half an hour, about 300 calories can be burned. Without having the bells and whistles of the gym, your leg muscles, core, back, and arms will be strengthened with running. Runners could possibly end up with improved knee cartilage, and lower BMIs than before they started. The best feature of running is that it’s cheap. Pull out a good pair of sneakers and go for a run anytime and any place.
Using a jump rope is so underrated of all types of exercises. Jump roping burns a lot of calories, strengthens coordination, and improves cardiovascular fitness. Your bones will become stronger reducing the risk of osteoporosis. This exercise speeds up your fat-burning metabolism. It’s a mini workout in one that concentrates on arms, legs, quadriceps, deltoids, and hamstrings. With 15 minutes, anywhere from 200-300 calories are burned. As calories are burning off, you’re improving your balance, agility, and your spatial awareness. When you get your jump rope game up, challenge yourself to try some tricks. Don’t be afraid to let the inner kid out.
Stretching is excellent at increasing your range of motion, flexibility, blood flow to your muscles, improves posture, reduces soreness, and calms the mind. Some classify stretching as just a “warm up” activity. I beg to differ. It’s so much more than that. Believe it or not, stretching burns calories like all other exercises. As a general rule, you should stretch as much as any other type of exercise performed. If you’e looking to maintain a good level of flexibility, 3 days a week is all that’s needed. A stretching routine can be completed anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
To get a good bike workout, expect to ride for 30 to 60 minutes about 3 to 5 days a week. This is a low impact exercise with a wealth of benefits. Cycling increases joint mobility, muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, and reduce body fat levels. If you’re looking to strengthen thigh muscles and glutes, then hop on that bike. There’s variety intensity levels because you can cycle as a mode of transport, casual activity, or competitively. Going for a bike ride, you’re sure to get an excellent core workout impacting the back and abdominal muscle groups. If you’ve never learned to ride a standard bicycle, a stationary bike is a great alternative.
Until my mindset shifts to wanting to go to the gym to workout, again, I’m going to stay committed to exercising at home. You can tone, sculpt muscles and burn calories just the same as going to the gym. Get started today and write out your at home exercise routine. What are you waiting for?