Even before coronavirus forced fitness clubs to close, there were plenty of reasons for working out at home. Joining a gym can be expensive, the closest health club isn’t always convenient, or perhaps you have more of a homebody personality. Fortunately, you can get a fantastic workout without leaving your house. Prof. Gal Dubnov-Raz, Director of the Sheba Sports Clinic, shares the following advice on how to make fitness a regular part of your healthy lifestyle.
Taking the first step
To begin, choose a favorite, comfortable exercise that you can stick with. When doing this, it’s important to consider your basic fitness level, size and space available in your home, types of screens for you to use and the other residents in your home.
“It can be easier to stay motivated when enjoying exercise as a family, so consider picking an activity that interests everyone,” said Prof. Dubnov-Raz.
*Important reminder: Before starting any physical fitness routine, especially if you are over 45, suffer from a chronic condition, or had injuries in the past, consult with your doctor.
To start working out at home, set a regular, convenient time and day for your physical activity (of course, every day is also a great option!). When it comes to what you should do, some of the simplest and most accessible activities are outdoor walking and cycling, as well as exercises that don’t require special equipment. Strengthen and stretch your body with crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and jumping jacks. Do several sets and repetitions, according to your individual ability.
Other fitness options to help you get in shape include apps and YouTube videos. You’ll find plenty of aerobic workouts, strengthening exercises, yoga, Pilates, boxing, kickboxing, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts, and more available for download or streaming. These resources also give you a wonderful way to try something new, like Tai Chi or Zumba. If you enjoy it, remember to share it with your friends!
Start small and track your progress. Focus on just one week at a time, making sure to get in the workouts that you planned. Once you reach the end of the first week, look back and take another step forward by aiming to add an additional workout or just a few extra minutes of exercise over the next week. Your long-term goal is to improve with time.
Follow fitness recommendations
- Beginner adults: In general, adults should perform moderate exercise (comfortable efforts with slightly faster breathing), for a minimum of 150 minutes a week = 21 minutes per day. Examples of moderate exercise include light cardio or fast walking.
- Serious trainers: Once you build up your strength and tolerance, it’s advised to do intense, strenuous activities for about 75 minutes a week. This includes activities such as kickboxing, HIIT, Zumba, and running.
- Children and teens: Moderate exercise for about 60 minutes per day is recommended.
Everyone is encouraged to also add strength training for all body muscles into their fitness regimen, two or three times a week. To do this, move your body against any type of resistance, such as free weights (dumbbells), your body weight, or resistance bands (also known as workout bands).
What if you’re not a newbie to exercise?
“If you’ve trained properly in a gym or club before all the coronavirus madness forced you to exercise at home, it’s vital to know that aerobic fitness and strength diminish after two weeks of complete rest,” said Prof. Dubnov-Raz. “But don’t worry, when you return to routine, your body will return to being as strong as it used to be.”