Home-based workout routines became the norm for many people during The COVID-19 pandemic
Home-based exercise became a reality for many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many people in lockdown had to rethink how, when and where they could exercise.
The subject of home-exercise and motivation was suddenly a topic on many people’s lips.
Gyms and health centres closed their doors
Businesses of all kinds closed their doors making even a walk to the shops something you did only when essential.
Your workout routine deserves to succeed
Whether you started a home workout routine or continued your exercise routine at home, you invested in your health. That’s worth a virtual high-five.
Now you’ve made a start and successfully added physical activity to your life you’ll be interested in knowing what the best types of exercise are for results and fitness.
Benefits of being physically active
If there were no benefits to exercise no-one would do it.
But there are lots of benefits with lots of people doing it. There are as many reasons why people exercise as there are people who enjoy physical activity.
Start with this article to see why everyone should add exercise to their life.
Exercise Tip no. 1
Research shows that 24-hour fat oxidation only increases when performed in a post-absorptive state.
Simply put – exercise before breakfast if you want to maximise the benefits of your workout AND burn more calories over the rest of the day.
You want to get more bang for your buck don’t you?
Making the benefits you get from your exercise last longer sounds like a major benefit of exercising in the morning to me.
But it’s not the only one.
Exercise Tip No. 2
Break your fast – breakfast – no less than 12 hours after your evening meal.
Intermittent fasting, or IF, is an eating pattern followed by many people in the public eye.
IF is credited with health benefits. Two main benefits being;
- IF may extend your lifespan, helping you live longer
- IF is good for your brain
But is a 12 or 16-hour fast really doable?
I think so, yes.
It’s done by counting your overnight fast as part of that number.
By restricting your food intake to an 8-hour window through the day, such as between 10am and 6pm, or 7am and 3pm (I would struggle with that one!) means you fast for 16 hours per day and fit in exercise BEFORE you break your fast.
That’s a win-win giving you weight management Tip 1 and 2 in the one hit!
adding exercise to your home-based exercise routine is a great idea
There are many types of exercise and they all fall into one of 4 basic categories.
- Endurance exercises also called aerobic exercise, endurance exercise includes any exercise that increases your breathing and heart rate. Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and jumping rope. This kind of activity keeps your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy and improves your overall fitness.
- Strength exercises are those that use some form of resistance such as weights, resistance bands and loops, and yoga. Yoga uses your own body weight to provide the resistance and that helps build strength.
- Balance exercises work your core muscles, lower back, and legs. Yoga and pilates are both great for building the strength of your core muscles. Lower-body strength-training exercises can also help improve your balance.
- Flexibility exercises are great at any age. Maintaining flexibility in your joints will pay huge rewards in later life. Once again our old friend Yoga appears on the list but there are lots of exercises to add to your daily home-based exercise routine to improve your flexibility. Here’s a link to give you inspiration.
Running is aerobically efficient making it great for your cardiovascular health as well as for burning calories.
It’s worth saying that someone weighing 260lbs will burn more calories than someone weighing
140lbs. That’s just pure physics. It takes more energy (calories) to move the extra weight.
The speed you run is also a factor in how much stored energy you burn.
get running with couch to 5k
NHS England has a great system for you to get into running safely.
Even in times of restricted access to the outdoors, such as during the COVID-19 outbreak, in most countries, people are able to go outside for exercise once a day.
By making three of those days, a running day is a great way to start to invest in your own health and fitness.
‘Couch to 5K’ is a running plan for absolute beginners. It was developed by a new runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his 50-something mum get off the couch and start running, too.
The plan will have you running 3 times a week, with a day of rest in between each run, and a different schedule for each of the 9 weeks covered.
You read that correctly. Skipping, or jumping rope, is an amazing calorie burner.
It’s also really, really, tough to do if you’re not already reasonably fit.
Start with a target of a couple of minutes (yes honestly) and build up your stamina. If you manage to skip non-stop for more than 1 minute first time out, I salute you. Seriously.
Like running, skipping is a high-impact cardiovascular exercise. That means that you will burn calories like a crazy person, build muscle, and in turn reduce the fat percentage of you body.
And it’s something you can easily do at home without major financial commitment.
If you’re interested in learning more about skipping as an early morning exercise, check out this article by livestrong.com here.
3. high impact interval training (HIIT)
One of the best known people in the UK promoting HIIT is The BodyCoach, Joe Wicks.
Joe Wicks has a fantastic YouTube channel that’s perfect for you to follow in the comfort of your own home. Joe does videos for people of all ages, from children to grandparents.
And if time is an issue for you, the good news is that the average workout takes just 20 minutes making it perfect to fit into your day.
It’s worth mentioning that lots of great video content was added to YouTube during the Covid-19 outbreak and that will stay there for use at any time.
Find an instructor you like the style of and get going. You won’t regret it once you start to feel fitter and sleep better due to the exercise you do.
Think about what is going to motivate you
If you’re not a natural runner, then running is a form of exercise that’s unlikely to appeal to you. Having said that, consider the Couch to 5K app and you may find that you enjoy running.
Then again, maybe you think that if you don’t have a video to follow or friend to work out with you just won’t do it.
If that’s the case then a HIIT video on YouTube may work well as part of your home-based exercise routine. The encouragement you get from the instructor added to the music and someone there timing you all add to the enjoyment.
I love them.
Earlier, we covered the 4 basic categories of exercise; endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.
You’ll remember that Yoga appeared in the list of exercises that fulfill the last 3 of those categories. It also burns calories making it a fantastic all rounder.
Yoga is a brilliant idea for your home-based exercise routine. You don’t need any equipment to get started and you can find loads of tutorials on YouTube to get you started.
One of the most popular Yoga instructors on YouTube is Adrienne. You can see a full list of her videos by searching on YT Adrienne or by clicking here.
In case you’re thinking that you’re not flexible enough for Yoga, don’t worry. Everyone starts at the beginning and you work at your own pace and stretch to your limits, not those of the instructor.
Which brings me to another major benefit of Yoga practice at home. Without having others around you, you’re much less likely to overdo it to be as flexible as they are.
5. Resistance based exercise
Adding resistance to your home-based exercise plan is really easy too.
Buying some resistance bands or loops is cheap and easy by searching on line. Amazon is a great place to start.
Both these options are a great way to add resistance to your normal workouts. The pack of resistance bands has differing levels of resistance and include a handy attachment to place the band safely in a door frame to give you something stable to pull against.
The loop bands go over ankles, legs or wrists to provide resistance when you’re doing squats etc.
This list is a start point
Add to it with your own ideas but whatever you do – keep active and enjoy your the physical activity you get and the especially the benefits they give you.