"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Stuck at home?

You can still get a great workout.

The winter months present many challenges to maintaining your fitness in a typical 12 months. This 12 months, with the COVID-19 pandemic, hitting the gym or attending your regular exercise class could also be harder than ever.

Designing Your Exercise Plan

Dr. Frates, president-elect of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, says any exercise plan should deal with three different areas. These include aerobic activity, to enhance cardiovascular fitness; stretching to extend flexibility and range of motion; and strength training, constructing muscle and protecting against bone loss. Below is a sample of the chances in each category you can use to attain your exercise goals.

Aerobic activity

To get your heart pumping, you'll wish to take part in not less than 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity per week (that's, a level where you possibly can talk but not sing). If you possibly can't hit the elliptical machine on the gym, you continue to have several options. Start with something so simple as walking around your own home. If you're able, go up and down the steps for a more intense challenge, says Dr. Frates. “Walking helps build strength in the muscles around the joints, which helps support the joints,” says Dr. Frates. This can be an incredible exercise if you've arthritis.

Cycling is one other joint-friendly alternative for increasing your aerobic capability. Again, if you've arthritis, many exercises can put stress in your knee joints, which may cause pain, but biking is just not considered one of them. If you're exercising at home this winter, consider investing in a transportable pedaler, a small set of bicycle pedals (without the bike) that rests on the ground. These devices can cost lower than $50. With your paddler, you possibly can squeeze in an efficient workout when you're watching television or working in your computer.

Cycling is an incredible approach to start with exercise, and in case you prefer it, you possibly can eventually upgrade to a stationary bike and even take a web-based spin class to get a more intense workout. , says Dr. Frates.


In addition to aerobic activity, you'll also wish to search for exercises that stretch your body to make it flexible and increase your range of motion. Maintaining flexibility will help ensure your joints move freely. It may improve your posture and reduce your risk of injury.

Tai chi and yoga are two options that require a cheap mat or soft rug to start, in addition to online exercise videos. If you've trouble with traditional yoga exercises, you possibly can try variations of chair yoga, which is able to can help you stretch and strengthen seated muscles, avoiding stress on painful joints, says Dr. Fritts. will Tai chi, often called meditation in motion, is an ancient Chinese practice consisting of a series of slow, flowing movements that promote each well-being and rest. As an exercise, it's part balance, part flexibility.

“It's good for variety. It's also good for the brain in helping to lower your stress levels,” says Dr. Fritts.

When performing stretching exercises, make sure you take heed to your body to avoid over-stretching, which may result in injury. A slight stretch within the muscle is superb, but stop in case you feel a sudden or sharp pain.

Strength training

To keep your body and joints strong, it is best to squeeze in not less than two days per week of strength training, targeting different muscle groups: your legs, your arms, and your back and core.

An easy approach to do that at house is to make use of a resistance band. These are mainly large rubber bands that provide resistance to extend your muscle strength. You should purchase them online or at a sporting goods store. There are many video exercises available to get you began using resistance bands, says Dr. Frates.

If you don't have resistance bands, you need to use objects like soup cans as an alternative of weights, or select exercises that use your personal body weight to supply resistance.

You might also wish to try Pilates, a low-impact, full-body strength workout that also helps improve flexibility. Pilates is frequently done in a studio with a live instructor using special equipment, but you possibly can do it at home using a yoga mat and online videos.

Strengthening exercises not only protect your bone health, but additionally speed up your metabolism and improve your balance. Additionally, constructing strong muscles helps protect and stabilize your joints, which may prevent injury and reduce discomfort, says Dr. Frates.

How to Stay Pumped About Home Workouts

Getting motivated a few home exercise routine could be difficult. There's nobody there to push you, and it may possibly be tempting to skip your each day session in favor of the couch.

Get a workout buddy. “One of the best ways to stay motivated is to find a friend who can work with you remotely or in person,” says Dr. Frates. If you possibly can't meet face-to-face (preferably outside), try video conferencing. Or join the identical online yoga class and follow it out of your separate homes.

Invest in a private trainer. If you've the resources, consider hiring a private trainer to work with you remotely or create an exercise plan so that you can follow. “If you can afford it, it provides fantastic accountability,” says Dr. Frates. You're less prone to skip a workout in case you've paid for a session with a trainer who's waiting to work with you at a particular time.

Try a web-based class. Dr. Fritts says that many exercise classes at the moment are held in practice. Research has found that folks usually tend to follow through with exercise once they're paying for it, so there are advantages to investing in a proper class. But there are many free classes online too in case you prefer.

Stick to the schedule. Plan exercise into your week similar to you'll meetings or appointments. Blocking off time for a session reduces the possibility of falling victim to a busy day.

Chart your progress. Even something so simple as a calendar you employ to log your workouts will help keep you on target. “Put it where it's visible and check off the days you hit your goals, so you can see how you're doing,” says Dr. Frates.

Enjoy yourself. Find activities that you simply enjoy. If you sit up for them, you're more prone to stick to them. Remember, movement doesn't just involve jogging or traditional exercise. Try something latest, like hula hooping, says Dr. Frates. Dancing or gardening also qualify as exercise.

Add music. Any workout could be more fun with the addition of some upbeat music to get you within the mood. Put together an incredible playlist that can make you sit up for understanding daily.

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