Effective Ways to Get Physical Activity at Home

by The Cooperative
Physical activity is essential for all facets of life, from how our bones and muscles support us to how effectively our brains retain information. In general, it is recommended that adults obtain at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days per week. At least two of those days should include muscle-strengthening activities.
You may be asking, “When a gym membership is not realistic, how can I exercise effectively?”
The answer: “In the comfort of your own home!”
The following can provide realistic alternatives for achieving your fitness goals:
  1. Establish a home gym system. There’s no need to spend thousands on gym equipment to increase your physical activity. There are multiple avenues you can explore at home:
    1. Utilize inexpensive equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or a yoga mat. They can be stored easily and often require little space.
    2. Get creative! If you don’t own any equipment, use items around the house for added muscle resistance – water bottles or canned goods can act as weights, while a large towel can assist with stretching exercises.
    3. Use your own body! Perform body weight resistance exercises such as squats, pushups, lunges, and crunches. Start with low to moderate intensity, then gradually increase your repetitions and sets. For example, start with 1-2 sets of 10 per muscle group, then increase as you build strength.
  2. Take it online. Uncertain of where to start? Search the web! There is an enormous library of free and inexpensive exercise videos online that feature aerobics, strength training, dance, and yoga, amongst various others. Be sure to pursue videos that align with your specific fitness level, range of motion, and personal interest.
  3. Scope out your neighborhood. Research your neighborhood's walking or biking trails for a close-to-home cardio option. Join or launch a weekly walking club with your neighbors. If you work remotely, take a walk during your lunch break. The options are right in front of you!
  4. Maximize your downtime. Consider the amount of time you spend scrolling on your phone or watching TV. Why not move your body simultaneously? Do jumping jacks during your favorite show or walk in place while checking your phone. If you’d prefer to remain seated, perform a series of air punches or leg lifts on the couch. There’s your activity!
  5. Tie it into your daily routine. Allow your task list to guide you through movement. Try the following to increase your steps AND get your heart pumping:
    1. If you have stairs, find a way to use them. For instance, if your laundry machine is downstairs, take a few extra trips to work those leg muscles.
    2. Tackle some chores while you’re at it. Sweeping, vacuuming, gardening, and yard work all count toward physical activity. Consider it a two-for-one deal—you’ll cross tasks off your to-do list while also gaining health benefits.
    3. Promote an active family routine. Take an evening bike ride with your kids, challenge them to a race, play tag in the backyard, or have a dance party in the living room. You can be physically active while serving as a healthy role model for your kids.
Physical activity can be performed without stepping outside your home, whether you’re using equipment, videos, or your body weight. Just five minutes a day can improve your health and lower your risk of chronic disease. Today is the perfect time to begin!
By, Coach Kaleigh

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