There are lots of reasons why you might want to exercise at home rather than at the gym.
You might choose to work out in the comfort of your own home because it is cheaper than a health club subscription, or because it is more convenient, or because you feel slightly self conscious exercising in public.
Regardless of the reason, you are likely to be surprised by how much you can achieve. Home exercise can be effective, as long as you know what you are doing and have a proper program in place.
There is no doubt that having high-quality equipment available can help your exercise regime. There are now lots of stationary bikes, treadmills, cross trainers and rowing machines available, but these are expensive and you will need plenty of spare space in your home. Dumbbells and a weights bench can also be useful, but again you need to have somewhere to use them.
Fortunately, there are plenty of good cardio and strength exercises you can do without any specialist equipment. Many of them can be done in front of the television, so you can fit a workout in while watching one of your favorite shows.
Home Cardio Exercises
Pounding the pavement or getting on your bike are far from the only cardio workouts available. If you prefer not to brave the weather, there are some simple options you can do in your living room.
Perhaps the easiest choices are jogging-in-place and stair exercises. Both are great for getting the heart rate up and are simple enough for anyone to do, but there is a drawback – neither is very exciting.
For something a little more interesting, try a kickboxing routine. You don’t need a human opponent or even a bag for this, as kicking and punching air will burn around 100 calories every 10 minutes.
The schoolyard favorite of skipping rope is another simple and enjoyable choice. You will soon understand why boxing champions do this as part of their training, as it uses 110 calories per ten-minute session and helps to improve balance.
Strength Training at Home
There are lots of great strength exercises that you do not need any equipment for, as you simply use your own bodyweight as resistance. Classics such as crunches, press-ups, planks, squats and lunges are all effective and simple.
You can also use some common household items to help with slightly more advanced exercises. The back of a chair can be used for dips, while a broomstick laid across a pair of seats is a good substitute for a pull-up bar, and tins of food make useful dumbbell replacements.
It is also worth considering adding an element of plyometrics to your workout, as it will help to build lower body strength and develop your stamina. High impact exercises, such as squat jumps, burpees and standing long jumps, are all worth trying, as long as they do not cause you any discomfort.
One way to keep your home workouts interesting is to design a circuit – or perhaps one cardio routine and another strength session. Make sure you ease yourself in, with five circuits, each comprising 30-second sets of each of ten exercises, and then build up the workload from there.
Don’t overlook other things that can assist with your fitness regime. Consider your diet and alcohol intake, quit smoking and start meditating. Studies have shown that inhaling a few breaths between sets in your workout can reduce recovery times and increase the weight loss effect of exercise.