Simple Exercises to Keep You Active at Home
If you’re currently stuck at home, you might be concerned about how your mental health or fitness regime may suffer as a result of not being able to get outside or go to the gym.
We’ve put together some ideas for really simple exercises that you can do at home in order to help you stay active and get those endorphins pumping!
The warm up and cool down
The most important parts of any workout are the warm up and cool down as they help to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself while you’re exercising.
Marching on the spot for a few minutes is a great way to get your heart pumping and, when combined with some simple stretches, will help to ensure that all of your muscles are warmed up and ready to go.
When you’re cooling down, you need to focus on stretching as many of your muscles as you can.
This includes your arms, calves, hamstrings, back and bum – be careful not to overstretch, however, as you can really hurt yourself!
No equipment? No problem!
Not everyone has a set of dumbbells at home and if this is the case, then you can easily use a couple of water bottles or tins of food instead.
If you prefer to work out without weights, then there’s also a really long list of exercises that you don’t need any equipment to do!
There are sooo many that fall into this category, but we’ve picked out some of our favourites that are perfect for even beginners:
A plank is such a versatile exercise and not only helps to improve your muscle strength, but is also fantastic in terms of developing a good posture.
If you’ve never heard of or seen a plank before, then you’ll need to lie face down on the floor, before pushing yourself up to rest on your forearms (or on your palms with your arms straight if you prefer!) and your toes.
Keep your body in a straight line parallel to the floor and then hold it for as long as you can!
You should be aiming to hold your plank for around 60 seconds and repeat this 3 times.
It might sound easy, but this position is more difficult than you may think, so don’t worry if you can’t hold it for longer than 10 seconds at first – practice makes perfect after all!
To perform a standard push up, you’ll need to start in the plank position before you lower yourself to the ground and then back up again!
It can be quite difficult to get right at first and so, if you’re struggling to do push ups in the traditional position, then try a modified position on your knees instead.
This is still super effective, but is a little bit easier to master!
Try to do between 2 or 3 sets of 10 push ups, remembering to allow yourself a break.
This exercise is exactly what it says on the tin; simply lie down flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat, and then sit up!
Make sure that you keep your hands behind your head and when your chest reaches your knees, slowly lower yourself back down to the floor again – focus on using your core and not stretching your neck!
Start off with 3 rounds of 15 sit ups to begin and then increase this amount as and when you feel able to do more.
Lunges are a fab way to challenge your balance, as well as improving the strength of your legs and glutes.
They’re so simple to do and you’ll need to start by standing with your shoulder width apart and your arms by your side.
Step forward with your right leg, bending your knee and stop when your knee is above your foot and your thigh is parallel to the ground.
Return back to your starting position and then repeat with your left leg – easy!
Aim to do around 3 rounds of 10 lunges and if you want to make things a little harder, then hold some weights or dumbbells as you do.
They may not look like it, but squats are a really fantastic way to burn some calories as they engage some of the largest muscles in your body.
You probably do squats everyday during your daily routine without even realising it.
Whether that’s sitting down in a chair, unloading the washing machine or getting something from a lower shelf.
Start by standing straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and then, keeping your chest and chin up and your back straight, slowly lower yourself down as if you were sitting on a chair.
Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause for a moment before slowly lifting yourself back up to a standing position.
Start out with 3 rounds of 10 squats and work towards achieving 3 rounds of 20 squats.
Burpees are kind of like a hybrid of squats and push ups and they’ve got a bit of a reputation for being difficult!
To do this exercise, start with a squat, but instead of rising back up at the end, you’ll need to pop your legs out behind you into a plank position in order to perform a push up.
Bring your legs back up underneath your chest, jump up as high as you can and then repeat.
If you’re struggling with this exercise, then you can modify it a little bit and just raise your arms above your head instead of jumping!
Try to do 3 sets of 10 to begin with and then increase from here. Don’t feel bad for having to modify this move, as it’ll still be super effective!
We’ve saved the easiest one for last!
No doubt you’ll remember star jumps as being a firm fixture of your childhood PE lessons, but they’re so ridiculously effective that it’s the perfect exercise for adults as well as kids.
To do a star jump, stand with your arms at your side and then jump up in the air and land with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms spread wide above your head – you should look just like a starfish!
Aim to start with 3 rounds of 20 star jumps and then work upwards from here if you feel like you’re able to.
There are sooo many different free workouts that are suitable for beginners available over on YouTube.
Whether you’re looking for cardio, yoga or strength training, there’s something out there for everyone to help you stay active at home!
Many gyms and exercise studios are also now holding online versions of their classes so that you can join in from home and nobody has to miss out.
Have a look in your local area to find out which of your regular classes might be doing this, or you can even go further afield and join in on one from elsewhere in the world.
The NHS has a page dedicated to 10 minute workouts that will each focus on a different area of your body (like cardio, arms/legs, abs and bums) which can all be done really easily from home.
The most important thing to remember is that if you’re feeling well and healthy, you should try to keep yourself active as much as possible.
If you start feeling unwell, then don’t worry about exercising so much and just try to rest as much as possible to allow your body to recover.
Don’t forget, you can join our Facebook Group for support!