Working out at home has many upsides. It’s convenient, accessible, and quick, but sometimes knowing what to do when you work out at home can stop people. They aren’t sure what type of activity to try or how to start it. Here are 10 types of workouts you can and should try at home, and how to decide what the best one for you is.
Consider your goals
To determine what the best at-home workout is for you, think about why you are starting this workout routine in the first place. We all have different driving factors that bring us to fitness—weight loss, heart health, mental recharge, fun, mobility, etc. While you may have multiple reasons for starting a new exercise routine, taking a step back and recognizing the ‘why’ can help you determine activities that align with your journey.
Decide on your space
What space you decide to use and the equipment you decide to invest in will have a lot of say in your activities. For example, if you have a whole at-home gym space or extra space in a room, you may decide to invest in a bike, treadmill, or weights. However, if you are just rolling out your mat in the corner, something like a bodyweight or pilates class might be better.
Pick something fun
This might sound obvious, but if you are already dragging your feet on the idea of starting this new fitness routine, you might want to consider a different activity (which is partly why we wanted to give you a few to try)! Fitness that’s fun becomes more rewarding both physically and mentally, and with so many exercise options, there is something out there for everyone.
What are some cardio workouts I can do at home?
If there was an award for underrated activities, walking would win it. Walking is often overlooked for higher-intensity workouts or activities as they burn a lot of calories. Despite that, walking remains a great choice for exercise and losing weight. Walking can help you get in shape, lose weight, and maintain weight loss. Walking is accessible and can be done at home in your neighborhood or on a treadmill.
Perhaps the most straightforward way to stay in shape is by walking more or adding cardio to your routine. Walking is an easy way to add cardio and can benefit anyone. If you are adding walking to your routine, consider—
10,000 is the number you are likely to hear as far as step count goals, although if you are starting at a much lower step count, find a baseline and then add 1,000 steps each week. 1
The thing about running is you really only need a pair of running shoes. So even running a little bit, or going for a jog, is a great option for cardio and can help you get in shape.
Although it requires some investment, you may also want to consider a treadmill because you can walk or run no matter the weather.
Biking is another cardio option that has a lower impact on your joints. Many people love biking because they can build strength in their legs and core while still getting in tons of cardio. Biking is also great for athletes looking to build up endurance or intervals. You can do all types of rides from any bike at home that will pump up your heart rate and get you in shape.
4. Quick cardio segments
When we say quick cardio segments, we are referring to any burst of cardio you can do on your own. This might look like jumping jacks, lunge squats, burpees, or other activities. You may find that scheduling a time to work out is challenging, but you can get in a full workout by doing quick cardio segments throughout the day.
Exercising can be challenging for some people because it ‘feels’ just like exercising. But many activities, like dancing, make exercising feel like something different.
Dancing can be incredibly active and an easy way to burn some calories! Dancing can look like any style, from hip-hop to salsa, and all are accessible and fun ways to move. If you like dancing, consider adding a dance class or a night of dancing to your routine.
What type of exercise uses your own bodyweight?
The other category of workouts that many people enjoy, and that we recommend you try is bodyweight workouts. While many of these activities could be enhanced by adding weights or other equipment, it’s unnecessary to get started.
6. Strength training
When you think of strength training, you might think of equipment and weights, and while this is great (and you should definitely try that as well), there are quite a few exercises that build strength without weights. Pushups, squats, and calf raises are all examples of things you can try.
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is a popular form of strength training these days. HIIT is a high-intensity period of work, where you work to your full potential interspersed with rest. So instead of a slow steady output throughout your workout, you are working at your max potential and have some rest. This also could be applied to cardio activities.
Tabata is similar to HIIT because its period of intensity it’s followed by rest, but Tabata is more structured. It is a timed workout with “active” time and “inactive” time. Tabata is often 20 seconds of active work and 10 seconds of rest, repeated anywhere from 8-20 times.
Some beginners love Tabata at home because it can be done in a small space, it requires no equipment, and you can usually get a lot done in even 20 minutes.
Pilates is a low-impact strength and mobility workout. Pilates focuses a lot on the core. You work small muscles with small movements, think focused, and a slow workout with lots of burns, of course! Pilates is great for people looking for more mobility and strength.
Yoga is also a low-impact strength and mobility workout. Similar to pilates, you will do specific postures to tone the body. However, yoga often focuses on other aspects such as breathing with the movement or holding poses to build strength or flexibility.
How can I exercise online?
In addition to all the types of workouts to try, we recommend trying different ways of working out with those activities. One option that is fun and entertaining at home is online workouts. This could range from online classes to a virtual training app to more!
The great thing about the internet these days is that there is so much information. For example, if you are looking for free workout videos, you can likely go to YouTube or Instagram and access different types of workouts.
Virtual training app
Virtual training apps allow you to access a different world of fitness. One where you often get to explore different places, connect with people, and be challenged all from home. With a virtual training app, you can have fun and work out at the same time.
How can I run a 5K at home?
If you want to, you can even complete a 5K from the comfort of your own home! You can do so by signing up for a virtual 5K event and downloading an online running app like Vingo to train for the event.
Registration for virtual running events is often offered on event websites like Eventbrite, social media, or through popular running websites, and you can complete them on your own treadmill at home while you run at your own pace.
With Vingo, you can train for your virtual 5K and have fun at the same time by picking from a variety of routes and exploring virtual real-world places around the world. You can even invite your friends or family members to run with you as you prepare for your 5K.
Key Takeaways:While getting in shape at home is possible, it requires exercise and movement! However, what that movement looks like can be up to you. While walking and cardio are great ways to lose weight, you could also opt for bodyweight exercises, or even better, a mix of the two!
Whoever you are, adding more movement to your routine can help you get in shape and stay in shape, and trying these at-home options is a place to start.
- Rieck, T. (2020, Mar). 10,000 steps a day: Too low? Too high? Mayo Clinic Press. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/10000-steps/art-20317391
- Gordon-Larsen P, Boone-Heinonen J, Sidney S, Sternfeld B, Jacobs DR, Lewis CE. Active Commuting and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: The CARDIA Study. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(13):1216–1223. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.163
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