Sometimes a workout in the comfort of your own home is ideal! Perhaps it is too cold outside, the gym is too crowded, or you only have a short window of time available to exercise. Whatever the case may be, you can perform these 3 easy exercises at home in a small space. They will engage all major muscle groups, and burn calories while helping you feel healthier overall.
The first exercise is a push-up. This may sound intense, but you can do some form of a push-up regardless of your current fitness level. If you feel ready, then you can perform a full push-up. Start face down with your arms extended below you, creating a straight line with your body. Your arms should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your hands in alignment with your chest. Slowly lower your body towards the ground and back up, pushing with your arms and chest.
To modify this exercise, you can perform it by starting from your knees, or an even easier modification would be to perform a push-up on the wall. This is done by facing the wall and creating an angle with your body, placing your hands on the wall. By creating the angle, you are reducing the amount of body weight being used as resistance in the exercise. You can progress from this starting point by taking one step back each time you perform wall push-ups, adding a little resistance and making it a little more challenging.
Push-ups are incredible exercises to do since they engage a great portion of the body. No matter which version you choose, balancing the body will occur and this will engage your core stabilizing muscles. Having a strong core is beneficial in almost every function of daily life, and it is great to do push-ups daily if you can.
If you are looking for tips to feel healthy, developing your core strength is the best way to feel stronger and more functional in your everyday routines. For example, lifting a child out of a car seat or twisting to buckle a seat belt, can all be performed easier with the proper core strength.
Since a push-up engages your chest, back, and nearly every muscle in your arms, this makes it a phenomenal exercise to develop upper body strength as well.
Another great workout to perform at home is a basic squat. This is excellent for developing lower body strength, which can prove to be beneficial in many aspects of daily life as well. A squat simultaneously engages the muscles of the thighs, hips, and buttocks. One added benefit is that by developing strength in these lower body muscles, this will improve your ability to lift heavy objects in your daily life.
To begin, step your legs out into a wide stance, slightly further than hip width apart. Keep your back straight, bend at the knees, and lower your bottom like you are sitting in a chair. Focus on keeping your knees aligned with your ankles, and push up from the heels to engage your glutes. A squat can be very effective using only body weight. To make it more challenging, you can hold onto dumbbells or another weighted object such as a gallon jug of water, which weighs roughly eight pounds. Consider too the many squat variations to challenge you even further.
3. High knees
If you have ever heard of high knees, then you may be thinking there is no way you could jump off the couch and right into this advanced level of exercise. However, this is another great exercise that can be done with modifications to accommodate any fitness level.
High knees are very similar to running in place. The difference is you pull your knees up high in front of your body at the same time. This can be done in short bursts of 30-90 seconds in between strength exercises for a complete and well-rounded workout. If you experience joint pain from running or other high impact cardio exercises, then you can alter the move to walking in place while pulling the knees up high. Otherwise, start off with shorter bursts and work your way up to longer times.
Putting it all together
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on most days of the week. To turn these three exercises into an easy at-home workout routine, you could combine them in the following way:
- 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of push-ups with a 30-second rest in between
- 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of squats with a 30-second rest in between
- Alternate 10 push-ups, 30-60 seconds of high knees, then 10 squats. Rest and repeat this sequence.
Remember to drink water throughout your workouts. This helps you stay hydrated, since you will need extra water during physical activity to avoid getting dehydrated. If you have children, then you can involve them in these exercises as well without the use of any added weight. You can also switch up your exercise days with some fun activities for you and your little ones, like a dance off or jumping rope.
For more information
It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor when you start a new exercise program. For more information or to speak with a doctor about starting an exercise program, contact ARcare to request an appointment.