Gyms are reopening but if you’re not comfortable going back yet or your gym hasn’t reopened, there’s no need to fret about losing your hard-earned fitness and endurance. It might be more challenging to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight, but there are many ways you can stay fit at home or outside.
Moving Is What Counts
Simple exercises are sometimes the best and HelpGuide shared some easy exercises you can do at home. The mental health and wellness nonprofit organization says the key to staying healthy is to keep moving and stay active whenever and wherever possible. Here are some tips:
Making a lot of phone calls throughout the day? Unless you’re in a Zoom or other type of video meeting, try moving around while talking. Movement can be light stretching, walking up and down the hallway, anything that moves your muscles without making it hard for you to talk. You may want to make sure your end is on mute though!
Sitting too long? If you have stairs in your house, who needs a stair climbing machine at the gym? Just go up and down your own stairs a few times throughout the day. And as much as chores aren’t usually a fun thing to do, you can also up your exercise game while you vacuum, sweep, or clean the different areas of your house.
At-Home Spin Classes Work too
If you like to cycle and enjoy spin classes, you can still do this at home. Spinning bikes are becoming increasingly popular, and some offer online coaching or videos, to make your spinning as close to a class as possible. If you can’t afford a spinning bike or exercise bike – or you just don’t want to buy one – you can always turn your outside bike into stationary one. Many sports stores sell bars and other devices on which you can mount your bike so you can pedal for miles, but not leave your neighborhood.
If you’re looking for tips on how to set up an exercise bike for the best use and results, experts over at CNET can help. They start with how to set up the bike properly. In the article, certified fitness trainer Karen Asp said, “Setup on the bike is key. That includes checking that your seat is the right height (not too high or too low), and the seat is far enough forward or handlebars are set to a level that’s comfortable for you (if you’re new, I recommend higher height to start).” You also need to be mindful of your form when using a bike. Brooklyn-based spin studio Spiked Spin founder Briana Owens said in the same article, that your shoulders should be “relaxed away from the ears” while your spine is in a “neutral position.” You also should engage your core during a routine to get the best results.
Other tips include:
Put your bike near a window or a place that you enjoy being in. You’ll be more likely to use it there than if it’s in a dark corner.
Set attainable goals. Without instructors pushing you, it’s up to you to make and keep your goals. Be realistic. An hour of cycling alone is long. Maybe shorter 20-30 minute sessions would work better.
Find a fitness app you like. Not all apps are alike, so it can take some trial-and-error to find one that fits your needs. Some provide live and on-demand classes, others just prompts and timers. Using any of these apps can give you a psychological boost since you won’t feel alone in your fitness journey, according to Asp.
Strength Training Is Not Just for Body Building
Strength training is commonly done to increase muscle strength but many people may find this type of exercise overwhelming and challenging. But did you know that strength training actually does more wonders to the body than just strengthening the muscles? According to Harvard Health Publishing, doing this type of exercise lowers your risk of having a heart attack or ana stroke. The stronger the overall muscles get, the better your heart can perform since your body is able to distribute oxygen and nutrients in the bloodstream to different organs.
There are several videos and articles online that demonstrate these strength training exercises. If you are unsure how to do certain ones, check to see if your gym offers online coaching, so a personal trainer or athletic therapist can demonstrate the proper techniques.
Keeping active helps both the body and mind – and it doesn’t have to be expensive or in a gym.