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Having the opportunity to spend more time at home is a good thing.
Home can be a place that reminds us to slow down and relax. Home gives us a sense of comfort and security. But, home can also give us energy and provide us with better health when we learn how to stay active at home.
Your home can be your gym
We often think about gyms, running trails, and yoga studios as our only settings for physical fitness.
Fortunately, home can also be a place for health and fitness. Whether you work from home or just need a weekend around the house, being physically active is important to our daily health.
Even when you’re cooped up indoors, the CDC still recommends at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise and 2 days of strength training per week.
That’s as simple as five 30-minute walks around your neighborhood.
Being at home does not have to be synonymous with sitting still
Working an 8+ hour day from a desk? Going stir crazy not putting your gym membership to use?
Take a deep breath!
There are plenty of ways to stay active at home by simply getting up throughout the day to prevent prolonged sitting, and there are even more resources to still get in your daily workout without a gym.
Regular activity throughout the day not only provides health benefits such as decreasing your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, but is also shown to increase productivity, improve quality of sleep, help curb food cravings, and boost mood and self-esteem.
The keys to staying active at home
So, what are you waiting for? Get started today with creating new habits to stay active at home using these simple tips and resources:
- Download a free fitness app that allows you to choose your workout based on time, muscle group, intensity, and other categories. Filtering your workout makes it easier to get started and avoid procrastinating. Most fitness apps have both a free and premium version for more options. Try the Nike Training Club app, Down Dog apps, or Daily Workouts app.
- Explore free online workout videos. Having an instructor’s voice talk through each exercise and provide motivation helps us work harder and make it to the end. Find free fitness videos on FitnessBlender.com, PopSugar Fitness, and YouTube that suit your fancy.
- Follow fitness warriors on social media. IG T.V. and Facebook Live allow fitness pros to showcase their workouts and classes for free. Follow along with some of these top IG sweaters.
- Create your own at-home workout circuit. Try ACE Fitness’s Top 25 At-Home Exercises. Use bodyweight exercises, simple equipment, or turn household items into exercise equipment.
- Start a daily exercise challenge. Aiming for a certain number of push-ups, bodyweight squats, or crunches over the course of a day helps break up the day with small bouts of movement. Try accumulating 100 push-ups in a day or work up to holding a plank for 3 minutes. Expert tip: Make it a competition with your bestie, roomie, or significant other. Bring it on!
- Make a dedicated workout space. Put together a distraction-free exercise space and use this space to get in the zone.
- Have a virtual workout with friends. Use Zoom video conferencing or FaceTime to coordinate a group fitness class or team workout.
- Break up the day with 10-minute sessions. If you get distracted or bored easily trying to exercise at home, this tip is for you! Break down your workouts into 10-minute sessions throughout the day to keep you focused. Don’t worry, it adds up!
Make movement a daily habit
Pump up the jams and get motivated to move! Give these strategies a shot for keeping your exercise routine a top priority.
- Set a reminder on your phone or computer to get up and move. Expert tip: Use the Pomodoro timing method and timer (computer timer or app) to keep you on track in moving and productivity. Take a 5-minute break every 25 minutes to do a bodyweight exercise or take a walk around the house.
- Do it first thing in the morning. Try to squeeze more movement into the early part of your day before you come up with excuses to skip a workout later on.
- Get your family, roommate, partner, or spouse involved with you. Exercising in a group is always more fun! Expert tip: Create a friendly competition with your exercise group to encourage hard work and more success.
- Find an accountability buddy. Lean on each other for motivation and support to stick with it.
- Make it an appointment on your calendar so it’s non-negotiable. Scheduling your workout or lunchtime walk helps you visualize your day and prevents you from “losing track of time.”
Read the actionable steps below for more how-to’s on getting active and staying active while at home.
Why are you home?
Are you working from home, staying in for the night, taking care of sick kids all day, or just spending the weekend at home? The reason you are at home helps determine your schedule and makes you aware of any barriers that might prevent you from exercising or moving throughout the day.
Consider making a purchase
Based on what you have, you may want to buy a fitness app, online memberships, or home fitness equipment (see links above).
Make exercise a non-negotiable
Make a calendar appointment for your workout and don’t be late! Choose a day and time that works best for you and your schedule. Hint: Exercise first thing in the morning to avoid excuses later in the day. But, of course, find what works for you to make exercising regularly at home a priority.
Set reminders to move
Prolonged sitting is a no-no, but moving for 2-5 minutes every hour is a win! Set reminders on your phone or work computer to get up and move at least once an hour. Fold laundry after answering 5 emails, take your conference call for a walk, or do push-ups during commercials. Read more on how to Create Movement Throughout the Day.
Keep track of your success
Visual reminders of your progress will motivate and encourage you to stick with it. Put a printable calendar on your refrigerator or stay accountable using social media to document your efforts.
About the Author
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
Shannon is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and Group Fitness Instructor with over 5 years of experience working in Corporate Wellness specializing in overall health, nutrition, and fitness. Throughout her journey to becoming an RDN, she grew her passion for culinary nutrition by teaching and developing hands-on cooking classes for all ages in the community.
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