Exercising from home
Exercising from home can be challenging. We don’t usually have the equipment of a commercial gym available nor the space. Add to this potential distraction from other family members and a general desire to simply ‘switch off’ at home and you’ve got a potent cocktail for not doing much!
However, the benefits of exercise are too good to be ignored. People who get adequate amounts of exercise see reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, fractures and falls, mental health problems, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and even some cancers. It boosts your mood, your fitness and strength and improves your sleep and pain! If you need more convincing, this excellent piece from Exercise Right is a good read. If the benefits of exercise could be packaged up in a pill, then it would be a trillion-dollar pill.
During those times when exercise options are limited due to weather, life and family commitments or global pandemics, sometimes we have no choice but to get the benefits of exercise from a workout from home. And believe it or not, it can be fun! A home exercise program can be a great opportunity to work on something new or discover a different way of moving. Sure, maybe absolute strength is going to be difficult to achieve but with some lateral thinking, you can still get real benefits such as mobility, general or task specific conditioning, endurance or muscle growth. You could use exercise to learn a new skill or improve your performance of a functional task.
If equipment is an issue have a look at this post from bicycling.com. It provides some nice out-of-the-box ideas on things you can use at home. With some imagination, almost anything can become exercise equipment. A personal favourite of the staff at Vibe for home exercise is the suspension trainer. You can buy one online or make one for yourself from some rope or ratchet straps. Check out this list of suspension trainer exercises to try. Some of these are pretty advanced so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If all that’s not enough we haven’t mentioned the single best tool you have at your disposal. Your body! Body weight exercises are an excellent, no-excuses way to get moving. For something a bit different try these animal walk/crawl movements.
Whatever you choose, it should be difficult but achievable, which will vary for everyone. To ensure we get the benefits of exercise listed above we should be aiming to achieve 150 minutes of moderate intensity or higher physical activity per week. We should be aiming to do resistance-based training at least twice a week and if you have kids they need to be doing even more! When you break it down it’s 30 minutes most days of the week.