How to Start Working Out at Home

Working out at home has so many benefits. It’s easy to fit quick workouts in throughout the day, you don’t need fancy equipment and no expensive memberships are required.

Create Your New Exercise Routine

The first step is to make a fitness routine that works for you. A balanced workout routine includes:

  • Cardio exercise
  • Strength training
  • Core exercises
  • Balance training
  • Flexibility and stretching

Next, set aside time to exercise. Block time on your calendar and set reminders so it’s easier to stick to. Only have 10 minutes? No problem — there are lots of exercises you can do in a short amount of time. Any activity you can do throughout the day will add up over time.

Select a Variety of Workouts

Now, it’s time to choose your workouts! Choose some of your favorite activities like yoga, running or floor exercises, or look to the internet for inspiration. There are lots of great, free online workout classes, podcasts and resources available.

As you plan your workouts, keep in mind that harder isn’t always better. A smart routine varies the intensity from day to day — and even within a workout. Here are the parts of a good training plan:

  • Light intensity: You can talk or even sing without trouble. Do it during your warm-up or cool-down.
  • Moderate intensity: You can talk but can’t sing. This should be most of your cardio.
  • Vigorous intensity: You can only say a word or two without a breath. Do this for short intervals.

Mix It Up

As you select your workouts, make sure to include a good variety. If you do the same thing again and again your body stops being challenged. And that can lead to an exercise “plateau” where you stop improving.

But that’s not the only reason to experiment with different workouts. It’s also fun! One study found that people who did a different workout every two weeks stuck with it more than people who did the same thing week after week. This can be as simple as choosing a new online fitness class to try or adding in one new strength training exercise each week.

Ready to get started? Here are three ways to incorporate more movement into your day.

Practice Better Balance

When you think about strength, you often think of the big muscles. But while your calves, quads and hamstrings may be powerful, lots of smaller muscles are needed for balance.

And better balance helps prevent falls, trips, slips and other injuries. The best way to work on it? Practice.

  • Try to stand on one leg for a minute. Stand near a counter in case you need to grab on.
  • Got it? Close your eyes.
  • Too hard? Keep practicing.
  • Easy? Stand on a pillow.

Get Stronger On the Go

Squeeze in simple strength exercises throughout your day. Try any of these for one minute:

  • Do 20 crunches or glute bridges before you even get out of bed in the morning.
  • Do squats or hold a chair pose while you brush your teeth.
  • Do heel raises to strengthen your calves while on the phone.
  • Drop and do some push-ups right now.

Try an Interval Workout

Interval workouts are great if you’re short on time. How does it work? By alternating harder and easier bursts you can get faster, fitter and leaner. Best of all: It can work with any mode of cardio and at any fitness level — it’s based on your personal effort.

Here are three different interval patterns to try:

  • 1 minute hard/1 minute easy
  • 4 minutes slightly hard/2 minutes usual pace
  • 30 seconds as fast as you can/4 minutes as slow as you’d like

Choose one of the above, warm up for about five minutes, and repeat your intervals for as long as you like.