Everyone needs to exercise, at least every day. There are a lot of benefits that come with working out regularly. It reduces the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes or heart diseases whilst strengthening the immune system and your bones.
As we grow and our responsibilities increase, we tend to push important things such as exercising to the backseat of our priorities.
People tend to conjure the best of excuses for why they do not exercise regularly. But the truth is everyone has to work out habitually. If a proper plan is put in place, you should be able to navigate some time off on your frantic schedule to make room for your health.
The best path to living a healthy and long life is to have a fitness plan which includes regular exercise. Starting exercises at the gym is ideal because you will have all the equipment available alongside qualified instructors who will guide you.
However, if you don’t have access to a gym because of proximity or can’t make it to the gym for any other reason, there is no need to stop exercising. Instead, you can turn your home into a workout zone.
Fitness is free, and once you have your body, you can exercise at any given location. Bear in mind, exercising outside the gym can be more challenging because you do not have a guide.It’s essential you understand your body and not stretch yourself. You can start small with light intensity exercises before you graduate to more demanding ones.
You do not need a lot of equipment for cardiovascular exercise. Instead, you can take part in cardio training at home by working your body weight.
There is a school of thought that suggests that bodyweight workouts can’t build muscle. Well, they can. A recent study was conducted to look at how effective the push-up can be when it comes to body building techniques. The study revealed that, compared with a similar load to 40%1RM (rep max) bench press, the press-up was effective for muscle hypertrophy and strength gain.
Your body weight is great for cardio, too. Research done by the University of Pristina shows that there is a negligible difference to your health when comparing bodyweight exercises to jogging.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends people engage in 150–300 minutes of moderate physical activity a week.
If you’re wondering how you can reach those workout minutes, here are the best exercises you can easily replicate at home. These exercises depend on using your body. Hence, no need for extra equipment.
The workouts listed below give you the chance to burn calories whilst improving the health of your heart. You can time each set for about 45 seconds to 60 seconds, then rest for about 30 seconds before moving to the next set.
As your fitness levels increase, you can decide to increase the duration of sets and the total number of sets. It all depends on how your body feels and how much you can take in terms of load.
Marching at one place
Marching at one place can seem easy on the eye on the first attempt. However, once you continuously do it, you start to feel the impact of the exercise.
This exercise raises the rate of your heart and improves cardiovascular health. Moreover, the calm nature of the exercise makes it a good choice for warming up or for cardio.
You can choose to increase the intensity by increasing the speed of the march or by raising your knee higher.
Jogging at one place
Jogging at one place is an upgrade on marching in terms of intensity. In addition, jogging at one place is a very simple yet effective cardio exercise that can also be used as warm-ups.
All you have to do is stay grounded at one place and bounce lightly from one foot to the other. Of course, you have to also swing your arms from side to side at the same time.
When it comes to popular exercises at home, pushups are definitely up there. Almost everyone has relied on them at a point in their lives.
This exercise requires your muscles to sustain your body weight, which builds upper body strength and arm muscles.
These are steps to follow if you want to do pushups well:
- Similar to that of the plank exercise, you lift your body off the floor with your arms. Your core should be tight, shoulders pulled down and back, and your neck straight.
- You start a rep by lowering your arms whilst bending your elbows and slowly moving your body towards the ground. When your chest gets close to the floor, you push your body back up and start again. Make sure to have your elbow not too far from your body during the reps.
- You can do as many reps as you can.
If you find it difficult to do the standard pushups, you can compromise by dropping into an adjusted stance on your knees. You still repeat the same steps lowering your body and pushing yourself up in this adjusted position.
Squats are very effective exercises that can be done anywhere without the need for any equipment. It improves the strength of your core whilst making you more flexible at the same time. The intense nature of squats helps burn a number of calories.
These are steps to follow if you want to do squats well:
- Stand straight with your feet open as wide as your shoulders.
- With your arms by your side, tighten the grip on your core and your chest, bend your knees whilst pushing your hips back.
- You bend your knees and lower your body as if you’re sitting in a chair whilst you move your arms in front of you. Once you get into a sitting position, pause for a couple of seconds.
- Complete as many sets as you can with reps of 10.
Jumping jacks are beginner cardiovascular exercises that a person can do almost anywhere.
These are steps to follow if you want to do jumping jacks well:
- You start by standing straight with your shoulders as wide as your shoulders.
- You lift your arms to the side as you increase the width between your feet whilst you jump.
- Jump again to close the width of your feet back to shoulder width whilst you move your arms back to your body.
- You can increase how intense jumping jacks are by doing it faster or jumping higher. However, you can also reduce the level of intensity by doing slower jumping jacks.
Skipping is also a very good form of cardiovascular activity. It builds up your core as well as the strength in your legs. Another health benefit of skipping is that it improves reflexes and makes you much sharper.
You can change between jumping with both feet and jumping from one foot to the other to increase the difficulty.
Burpees comprise intense exercises which help you quickly burn calories whilst making your core stronger.
With burpees, you’re able to build more muscle and also improve your levels of concentration.
The ability to execute an explosive exercise such as burpees which involves three exercises all in a single motion makes you mentally focused.
Burpees improve your level of blood flow, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and brain function. So, if you’re looking to improve cardio and your core, then burpees are your answer..
These are steps to follow if you want to do burpees well:
- Your starting position will be to stand straight and keep your feet as wide as your shoulders.
- You squat and stretch out your arms in front of your body.
- Jump back whilst you drop into a position to do pushups.
- Complete one pushup and jump to your starting position.
- Jump high into the air as your swing your arms behind you.
- As you land, you get back into a lowered position ready to squat.
- You then repeat the same steps. Do about 10 sets of 15 reps for starters.
- To get the most out of burpees, don’t pause during reps.
How to get the most out of home workouts
With cardiovascular workouts, you must also focus on the intensity of the exercises you perform to make the most out of them. Aside from effort, consistency is crucial because that is how you will see sustained improvement.
Make sure to get some physical workout for at least three days a week to keep yourself active and healthy.
Make sure to eat well and consume a lot of protein and water if you plan on working out.
The fact that you exercise at home doesn’t mean that you are not prone to any form of injury. Here are some ways to make sure you’re safe when you exercise at home:
- Ensure there is enough room for you to move freely
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing
- Make sure to warm up with low-impact exercises before you start with high-intensity ones.
- Take regular water breaks to stay hydrated
- Don’t push your body too far beyond its maximum heart rate
- Cooling down is as important as warming up. Stretch the muscles after your workout to avoid body pains.
Invergo, Joseph J.; Ball, Thomas E.; Looney, Marilyn Relationship of Push-ups and Absolute Muscular Endurance to Bench Press Strength, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: August 1991 – Volume 5 – Issue 3 – p 121-125
Roberts, Christian K et al. “Effects of Home-Based Exercise Training Systems, Combined with Diet, on Cardiometabolic Health.” International journal of exercise science vol. 12,2 871-885. 1 May. 2019
Ratamess, Nicholas A., et al. “Comparison of the Acute Metabolic Responses to Traditional Resistance, Body-Weight, and Battling Rope Exercises.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 29, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 47–57, 10.1519/jsc.0000000000000584. Accessed 26 Mar. 2020.
Gander, Jennifer C., et al. “Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness with Coronary Heart Disease in Asymptomatic Men.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, vol. 90, no. 10, Oct. 2015, pp. 1372–1379, 10.1016/j.mayocp.2015.07.017.