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10 Best At-Home Exercises to Do When Gyms are Closed

With many gyms closed during the pandemic, people have to find alternate ways to keep our bodies fit and our minds sane!

Luckily, there are many at-home exercises that can get your metabolism going, your endorphins working, and your body in shape to withstand any crisis.

Here are ten suggestions for exercises you can do anywhere to stay healthy.

  1. Walking 

You need to maintain your cardiovascular fitness, no matter what is going on in the world. Good cardio health gives you better endurance, lowers your weight, and helps protect you from everything from heart disease to depression.

Try to get in about 30 minutes per day, five days a week of moderate exercise for optimal health.  You want to get your heart pumping and the sweat flowing. Several easy options for cardio include walking the dog, running in the park, swimming, or bicycling. 

So long as the weather is nice, this is a good excuse to get outside, which is so motivational. There is nothing better than fresh air and nature to inspire you! 

  1. Stairs

Maybe it is raining out or you don't have time to get outside for a 30-minute workout.

Do you have stairs in your house or apartment building? You can get your heart rate up by running up and down a staircase, which will also work out your thighs and gluteal muscles.

Stairs are also useful for giving your hips and calves a good stretch after a workout.

  1. Planks 

No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can usually find a time and place to get down on the ground and plank! 

Planking has numerous benefits for health and fitness. It is great for strengthening your spine and back muscles to prevent future injuries.  It also works wonders for your core, those stomach and pelvic muscles that are so important for both external and internal fitness.

Planking also boosts your metabolism and will improve your posture, flexibility, and balance. 

  1. Squats 

You do not need a gym to do many exercises.  Even if you are used to using weight machines, you can replicate many of the moves at home for the same effect.

Squats are key to strong legs and firm butts. You can do them with your back against the wall, increasing the time as you progress. You can also do them carrying heavy books if you do not have weights at home.

As with most weight-bearing routines, make sure you do some warmups before exercises and get your muscles loose and ready. 

Even with gyms closed, it is still possible to overdo your exercise routine and cause injury to yourself. It's a good thing that places like Integrated Physical Medicine are still open for chiropractic or massage, to help injuries heal.

  1. Push-ups 

Push-ups are a time-tested way to strengthen your pectorals, back, and shoulders. If they are good enough for the military, they sure are good enough for us!

Just make sure you are using the correct positioning for this exercise and not throwing your back out.

Different hand positions can shift the emphasis to the triceps. Try some backward pushups, or do them against a wall to protect your solar plexus. 

  1. Make Your Own Weights! 

If your wellness routine depends on weightlifting, never fear: you can get the same effects with stuff you find lying around your house! You can exercise without equipment if you use a little ingenuity.

Big sacks of kitty litter weigh a lot and can provide sufficient weight for squats and lunges. Use gallon bottles of milk or bleach for your bicep curls and bench presses.

For fun, you can also use a big dog or a toddler, although the laughter may hinder your workout.

  1. Sit-ups 

No excuse for not doing your sit-ups, no matter if your gym is open or not. You can get your abs in great shape in the comfort of your very own bedroom.

Again, this is another exercise that frequently causes injuries when not done properly. Watch a good pilates video or another instructional tool to help you take the strain out of your neck and spine, and keep the focus on your tummy. 

  1. Pull-ups 

Do you have one of those old-fashioned pull-up bars or even a strong overhead beam in your garage? Work on pulling up your own body weight every day. It's tougher than it looks! 

With the need for real arm and back strength, the traditional pull-up or chin-up can often be a real challenge for women. Don't give up!  You will have such a sense of accomplishment once you do even one! 

  1. Lunges 

Lunges are another lower body exercise you can do to help keep your legs, butt, and back firm. Do them in front of a mirror so you can keep an eye on your posture. 

Place a book on the top of your head to test your balance,  or hold those bags of kitty litter in each hand to create a real challenge! 

  1. Stretching

Just because you are at home instead of at the gym or club, do not forget the basics, like warming up, cooling down, and stretching. Keeping your muscles agile and flexible is as important as strength and endurance, especially if you want to prevent injuries.

Believe it or not, yoga and other stretching programs can be as intense as running or weightlifting. Your muscles benefit from the lengthening process, especially as you get older. Plus flexibility and balance are keys to functional fitness, keeping you able to enjoy all sorts of activities well into your senior years.

At-Home Exercises: Stay Fit When The Gym Is Shut Down

There is no excuse for avoiding exercise, even in a pandemic. There are all sorts of at-home exercises that will benefit everyone from the triathlete to the beginner.

You can even exercise with your family, to keep you on track and accountable. It can also be a fun way to bond and stay healthy together.

For more information on how to stay well in mind and body, keep checking back.