For some, the gym can be a great environment to get exercise. For others, the gym can be expensive, have inconvenient hours, or maybe even get temporarily shut-down, forcing you to find exercise elsewhere! In any case, here are a few simple tips to get some exercise, no matter where you are.
There are two types of exercise you should aim to incorporate into your weekly routine; aerobic and muscle-strengthening. Also known as cardio and resistance.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends getting 2 1/2 hours of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
At-home vigorous intensity:
- Jog or run around the block
- Bike ride with hills
- Quick jump rope
- Youtube: HITT workouts
- Youtube: HIGH Fitness workouts
Try including muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) 2 or more days per week.
To get the most benefit, work your muscles to the point where it’s difficult for you to do another repetition. If it’s too easy, add weight using items you have at home. A case of water bottles, a gallon of milk, or a backpack filled with cans of food can all be weights if need be!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Heavy gardening
- Yoga apps like Down Dog or Alo Moves
Don’t forget to include flexibility training in your weekly routine! Increasing your joint’s range of motion enables your body to do more daily activities, an important part of functional fitness. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends the following:
- Stretch at least 2-3 times/week
- Stretch for 60 seconds each exercise by means of 2-4 repetitions i.e. touch your toes for 15 seconds, 4 times
- Stretch intensity should result in a feeling of tightness or slight discomfort
- Include each major joint area (shoulder, girdle, chest, neck, trunk, lower back, hips, legs, ankles)
Exercise is a great way to improve both your physical and mental health. Following the recommended guidelines will strengthen your heart, muscles, and bones, and even reduce stress!
New to exercising? Visit with your physician first, and start slow.
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