Exercise strategies and activities to help you work out at home

pt HealthAt-home excerises

Don’t feel like going for a run or leaving your house to go to the gym? We are often our own biggest barrier to getting moving, but it’s important to remember that a good workout not only makes you feel accomplished, it can also help you grow and give you mental and physical strength to get through life’s daily challenges. And guess what… you don’t have to leave your home to get a good work out.

At-home, body weight exercises can safely be performed by almost anyone, anywhere. If you do them in succession, you can achieve a similar increase in heart rate as if you were playing sports, jogging, or cycling. Now, let’s get moving!

The key is to be creative. Pick 3-4 exercises and perform 8-12 repetitions, 3 times in a row without resting. Or better yet, make them into your own high-intensity interval training (HIIT) intervals (HIIT). Here’s an example of a 10-minute HIIT workout for any fitness level that you can try at home:

  • 30 seconds each: squats, pushups, lunges, plank.
    • Low intensity option: ½ squat, counter or wall pushups, stepping up and down on a step, plank from knees. Reduce time to 20 seconds to start.
    • High intensity option: jump squats, clap pushups, shoulder tap planks. Increase time to 45 seconds.

  • 1 minute active rest (recover without sitting or lying down).
    • Low intensity option: march in place
    • High intensity option: run up and down the stairs or jog on the spot
  • Repeat 3 to 4 rounds

If you’re feeling extra energized, super-set the workout below immediately after the one above for a full body workout incorporating cardio, strength, and power in as little as 15 minutes.

  • Squat jumps or tuck jumps
  • Mountain climbers
  • Skater lunge jumps

Why not make family game night a fitness activity?  Here’s how:

  • Alphabet game: every letter of the alphabet is a different movement or activity. For example: A is for airplane yoga pose, B is for bouncing a ball, C is for ab crunches. Get the whole family to pitch in for the selection process so everyone gets something they enjoy.
    • Everyone has to spell their name OR the person to your right gets to pick the word you have to spell through exercise. This is perfect for the ultra-competitive family or where there are a variety of different ages or fitness levels playing along
  • Card Shark: assign one exercise to each suit in a deck of cards
    • randomly select a card from the deck, the number on the card is the number of reps you have to complete
    • everyone takes turns until the deck is complete

If this all sounds like too much effort, try engaging in family fun such as playing touch football, kicking a soccer ball, or even playing tag in the backyard.

Added bonus if there’s a good dusting of snow on the ground – the added resistance of trucking through the snow will increase your heart rate, burn more calories, and fire up your stabilizer muscles.  As adults we often forget the power of play both physically and emotionally – there’s no better time than today to return to play.

Exercising is a guaranteed amount of time you can set for yourself to forget about everything else the day has handed to you and do something for you. Endorphins released during exercise can also help manage stress. It’s time to try something new!

If you require a more personalized plan or if you’re dealing with discomfort, check our Locations page to find a clinic near you or book online to schedule an appointment with a clinician.

This blog post originally appeared on Lifemark.ca and was written by Melissa Matto, Clinic Director and Registered Kinesiologist at Lifemark Physiotherapy River Ridge.


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