You know you need to work out, we all know we should exercise more…but time and energy are always in such short supply. And that’s not to mention the considerable cost of joining a gym, hiring a trainer, and buying all the workout gear.
But you know what? Putting so much pressure on yourself to meet the demands of the trendiest exercise regimen is massively demotivating. In the end, all you really need is comfy sweats and 30 minutes a day to spend on self-care.
Following you’ll find the best exercises to do at home to stay fit, broken into categories according to your fitness goal. They require no equipment whatsoever, just your body. Rotate through them all each week and before you know it, you’ll be in the best shape of your life!
Cardio is really anything that gets your heart pumping. It could be as simple as walking or jogging in place while you watch television. Climbing stairs is another excellent form of cardio. The key is just to keep at it for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
Once you get in the swing of it, you can vary your movements to keep things interesting. Try pumping your arms as you march, stepping side to side, and adding some kicks. No one’s watching, so do whatever feels good!
There’s no need for huge, fancy machines or even hand weights to build your strength. You can use your own body weight. Classic strength-building moves include pushups, squats, lunges, toe touches, and planks.
Do ten reps of each exercise before moving on to the next move, and complete the entire series three times. You can work out anywhere, but using a yoga mat or even a towel provides a bit more padding for your joints.
Flexibility helps you navigate your daily life with greater ease, whether reaching up to a top shelf or bending over to pull clothes out of the washer. It also keeps the joints looser so that you don’t experience pain with movement.
Yoga is an excellent form of flexibility training, with the added bonus of calming and centering your mind. The only equipment you need is a yoga mat, but a towel will do, as well. There are plenty of free yoga videos available online which will guide you through a traditional sequence of poses.
And though some yoga purists insist that the poses should always be done in a specific order, there’s no reason you can’t design your own preferred yoga routine once you know the moves.
Do you ever wish you had more stamina to power through your day? Endurance training can help with that. In essence, endurance training is simply combining cardio and strength training into one exercise session.
Try alternating cardio with strength training, such as stair climbing followed by pushups, jumping jacks and then squats, jogging in place then dropping into a plank. These combos are ideal because they are all compound moves, meaning that they engage multiple parts of the body at once.
Aim to go as hard as you can until your muscles are burning and you’re sweating, then rest for 30 to 60 seconds and go again. Endurance training is about pushing yourself to the limit.
Now, if you find yourself getting into hard core weight lifting or other endurance sports, this strategy may not be ideal. You might do better with cardio and strength training on different days. But at that stage you’ll likely have a trainer designing workouts for you.
If you are trying to lose weight, exercise is only one part of the equation. You will also need to pay attention to your caloric intake to ensure that you are burning more than you consume.
When it comes to exercise for weight loss, HIIT training is an excellent choice. Short for high intensity interval training, HIIT routines have you going all out for a short period of time (it varies, but often somewhere in the range of 20-45 seconds) followed by a rest period that’s equal to or shorter than the exertion interval.
HIIT burns an incredible number of calories in a very short time, which makes it attractive to busy people who struggle to find time to exercise. It is great for beginners because the periods of exertion are short and followed by rest. HIIT routines can also be made increasingly more difficult as your fitness level increases.
Whatever your fitness goals, there is a way to accomplish them from the comfort of your own home. No equipment is necessary, but as you advance you may find that you want to buy a jump rope, set of hand weights, or high end workout gear. You may even find yourself venturing out on challenging hikes with friends or signing up for a half marathon. But even if you never do leave your house, it’s so worth it to invest in yourself.