How much exercise should you get? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should get at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise or 75-minutes of intense aerobic fitness a week, while kids should stay active for 60-minutes a day. However, we know it’s become challenging to stick to a regular fitness routine as gyms and fitness centers remain closed due to the Coronavirus, so we want to help by offering tips on how to tailor your workout habits to fit your time at home. But before we go any further, let’s go over a couple of essential things to keep in mind.
First, if you’re not regularly active or working out for the first time, start slow and exercise in shorter amounts. Second, choose the activities that work for you. If you need recommendations for age-appropriate exercises, read the following tips from our physical therapist that covers activities for every age.
When you’re ready, you can gradually push yourself by increasing your time or adding other activities into your training. Let’s get started by highlighting a few ways you can stay active at home during COVID-19.
Make exercise a household activity
By exercising together, your family can hold each other accountable while supporting your fitness goals as a team and having fun as a household. If your family is just beginning to get active for the first time, try adding jumping jacks, push-ups, or other activities you can easily do during the day as a group or between commercial breaks. If you’d like to try something new or more cardio-focused, throw a homegrown dance party after dinner, start a family boot camp, or make your own family-themed exercise video to burn off calories. The benefits of exercising as a family include:
- Family bonding: Family exercises let you and your family create healthy and long lasting memories through fun activities that allow you focus on your time together.
- Motivational: Working out as a family will keep you motivated and increases your commitment to your fitness routine.
- Builds healthy habits: Staying active as a family will help you grow healthier habits beyond your home gym together.
- Helps reduce household stress: Exercise releases endorphins, provides meditative qualities and reduces stress hormones like cortisol, all of which helps by reducing stress levels.
How do you start a family fitness plan? Make a goal sheet detailing which exercises you’ll do and start with 20 – 30 minutes of movement a day. When you feel comfortable, add new exercises and increase your workout routine as a team.
Try an app or online personal fitness trainer
Home fitness apps have revolutionized the way we exercise by being convenient, easy to use, and affordable, making them great motivational tools for staying active and burning calories at home. Need a recommendation that’s available on an Android or Apple device? Apps like Sworkit or Fitbit Coach offer pre-recorded workouts covering everything from core workouts, yoga or aerobics to help you develop a plan catered to your fitness goals and are available on both app stores.
If you need to take it a step further, you can buy a subscription for an online personal trainer by using an app like Trainiac, which lets you work with a coach digitally to customize a training routine tailored to your needs. Personal training apps like this one work by allowing you to share your fitness goals, adjust your plan, and send messages directly to your trainer as you make progress. While there are plenty of benefits of using a personal training subscription service at home, they tend to cost between $50 – $150 a month, depending on your needs.
Mix it up with 10-minute workouts
We covered the benefits of 10-minute work-outs by explaining how short bursts of intense activity can yield long term benefits for everybody. We also explained how these exercises are great because you can do them virtually anywhere, but more importantly, you can do them from the comfort of your home.
To complete a 10-minute workout, do a mixture of the following exercises for 30-seconds each, but remember to acclimate them to your skill level, and take 10-second breaks between each move:
- Jumping jacks
- Wall Sits
- Front planks
- High-knee running in place
- Push-ups with rotation
Practice yoga at home
The benefits of yoga include reduced anxiety, lower back pain, increased quality of life and much more. Another advantage is that it’s one of the easiest ways to get a full-body workout at home with little to no upfront costs.
There are plenty of free or affordable online resources available on YouTube or on your smartphone’s app store that will help get you started. If you’re looking for instructional videos, Yoga with Adriene offers hundreds of free lessons on YouTube that support any skill level and cover most yoga styles. Alternatively, you can download an app like Glo that lets you access a global network of instructors, over 4,000 classes and personalized yoga training you can from the comfort of your home.
NWPC supports your well-being
If you have questions on how to adapt or start a fitness routine at home, or need personalized medical advice on how to protect your health during COVID-19, NWPC is now offering Telehealth visits that let you see your physician virtually. You can schedule an appointment to speak with your Portland doctor by calling 503.659.4988 or learn more about our Telehealth visits here.