You don’t need to hit the gym or buy expensive high-tech fitness gear to get a healthy workout. All you need is your own reasonably motivated body and the will to turn a few common household items into your personalized equipment. So, turn on your favorite playlist, make a bottle of peppermint water and you’re ready to go!
In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to exercise regularly to relieve stress and stay healthy. For adults, the U.S. government recommends:
- 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly (that’s just 30 minutes a day, five times a week)
- Muscle-strengthening activity at least two times a week
Too much? Start with just five minutes. It all counts! Moderate exercise includes anything that gets your heart beating faster, such as walking, biking, even gardening. Get outside – just stay close to home and at least six feet away from other people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Muscle-strengthening exercise should work all of the major muscle groups in your body (hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms). Here are 10 great muscle-strengthening exercises you can do to feel the burn in the comfort of your own home.
Your home workout castle
You’d be surprised at how many household objects work really well as fitness equipment. Who needs a Stairmaster when you have your own stairs?
- Use a chair to do knee curls. A folding chair or dining chair can be used for a variety of great exercises.
- Strengthen your legs by doing wall sits. Count to 30. Repeat.
- Do calf lifts on your stairs or front doorsteps.
- Make your own dumbbells. Fill a gallon-sized milk container (8.5 pounds) or a 72-ounce bottle of detergent (5 pounds) with water and do arm curls. You can also put all those cans of soup to good use. Or lie on the floor and lift your dog (depending on its size and willingness to cooperate).
- Perform standing push-ups against a wall to strengthen your upper body.
There’s no need to set aside a special time for physical fitness. Instead, build these exercises from Self magazine into your normal daily routines. And you don’t need any equipment: your body weight provides the resistance.
- Crank out some squats while you’re talking on the phone.
- Complete a set of plankups while you’re waiting for the water to boil for your tea.
- Try a few standing oblique crunches while watching a training video for work.
- Ask a child to read you a story (if not in person, then Skype or Facetime work, too) while you do some lunges.
- Rock out some high knees while enjoying your favorite Netflix show.
Join the home workout circuit
Pick several of your favorite at-home exercises and do a circuit! Do five or 10 reps of each exercise, taking a 30-second break, or longer, between each one. Increase the number of reps as you get stronger.
Do one long circuit or break it up into shorter, more frequent circuits, at different times of the day. Either way, you’ll get the same great benefits of improved cardiovascular health, more energy, and a clearer mind to take on the day and sleep well at night.