Need some inspiration for a well-rounded workout at home? Here it is.

woman working out Some people love the routine and motivation they find at a gym. Others prefer the privacy of working out at home and the ease at which you can get it done. Due to the pandemic, even some gym lovers have switched to at-home workouts because they feel more comfortable exercising in their own environment.

Whatever your reasons for working out at home, it's sometimes a challenge to get in all aspects of a well-rounded workout, which includes these components:

  • Aerobic/Cardio Activity. These activities get your heart rate up, like walking, running, dancing, cycling, swimming, jumping rope or stair climbing. Cardio workouts help improve circulation because your heart beats faster, increasing blood flow. You're also breathing faster and more deeply, so more oxygen gets delivered to your body's tissues. Regular cardio exercise helps prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Weight/Strength Training. These exercises use weight for resistance. The weight can be something you hold in your hands (like a dumbbell), a weight machine, resistance bands or your own bodyweight. Weight-bearing exercises build muscle to guard against fractures and decrease your risk for osteoporosis.
  • Flexibility Exercises. Stretching and balance training help prevent injuries, alleviate joint stiffness, improve posture, enhance mobility and increase overall physical performance. These exercises include basic warm-up stretches as well as yoga, Pilates and tai chi. Core training, which targets muscles around the abdomen, spine, hips and pelvis, also helps improve balance, stability and strength.

All of these components can be done at home, with minimal (or no) equipment needed. Health experts recommend adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and two strength training sessions weekly. Although there are no formal guidelines for flexibility exercises, it's a good idea to stretch daily.

Looking for a bit of inspiration to workout at home? Here's a sample routine to try (just add a few minutes of warm-ups before you start and some stretching when you're finished for a complete workout):

  1. Cardio. Start with about 10-20 minutes or more of cardio. Do jumping jacks, jump rope, ride a stationary bike or take a brisk walk.
  2. Squats (20). Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and bend your knees. Pretend you are about to sit in a chair. Push your hips back as you lower yourself into position. Hold for as long as you can, then return to starting position and repeat.
  3. Dumbbell Rows (10 each arm). Bend forward at the hip with a weight in one hand, hanging toward the floor. Pull the weight upward, close to your chest. Lower to starting position and repeat.
  4. Plank (5 minutes). Lie on the floor on your stomach, balancing on your toes and forearms. Keep elbows directly under shoulders, back and neck straight, forehead facing the ground. Try to hold for at least 15 seconds at a time. Rest and repeat.
  5. Sit-Ups (20). Lie on your back with bent knees and feet anchored. Tuck chin into chest and interlace fingers at the base of your skull. Lift your upper body toward your thighs as you exhale. Inhale while slowly lowering yourself back down. Repeat.

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Date Last Reviewed: October 7, 2021

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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