Unlike last year at this time during the COVID-19 pandemic, gyms and health clubs are open, and capacity guidelines continue to increase as more and more Americans are vaccinated. It’s a positive sign for so many, but if you’re not ready to go back (completely understandable), or maybe you’ve found you actually like working out in the privacy of your own home, know this: You can absolutely get in an efficient at-home workout with little or no equipment.
Even better news: Your new exercise routine doesn’t have to be a complicated, extensive endeavor for you to feel (and see) benefits. A simple, 20-30 minute daily exercise routine is enough to get your heart pumping, sculpt muscles, burn some calories and lower inflammation levels. Why is this key? Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s philosophy centers on the idea that it’s inflammation that accelerates the aging process inside your body and on your skin. The stress and anxiety from this trying time can contribute to the inflammatory cascade that damages cells. Exercise can help combat it. Plus, it boosts endorphins – the feel-good chemicals – in your brain. More proof positive: A study published in Brain Behavior and Immunity showed that just 20 minutes a day of moderate exercise is enough to stimulate your immune system (pretty important right now) and trigger an anti-inflammatory response. The best type of anti-inflammatory exercise? Cardiovascular workouts such as walking and jogging, weight training and flexibility exercises such as yoga, stretching and pilates.
So, where do you start with an at-home workout?
Here are some easy ways to create a simple exercise routine to get your heart pumping without hitting the gym.
Log In To Sweat
With the explosion of at-home workouts in the past year, so many gyms and virtual exercise programs are still offering free trials and good introductory rates to access their workouts online or via apps. You can try barre classes, strength workouts, yoga and more all from your living room using your smartphone or computer. FYI: Some of these programs require a credit card and charge after your free trial period ends. If you’d rather not pay, keep reading for some truly free options.
You don’t have to rely on or pay for a virtual gym membership to get in a good workout — just step outdoors. Getting outside for some fresh air and vitamin D continues to be encouraged by top experts during this health crisis. Break out your bike or lace up your walking or running shoes and hit the pavement or your local trails. Aim to get in at least 20 minutes of blood-pumping cardiovascular exercise most days of the week.
Use Your Body Weight
You don’t need fancy weight machines or dumbbells to build lean muscle mass. Doing exercises that require nothing more than your own weight can be just as effective. For example, hit the floor and do some push-ups. Even if you do them on your knees, your arms, shoulders and core will get a workout as you push up from the floor. Lunges and squats also rely on your body weight. For the triceps – the small muscle group in the back of your arms – pull up a chair or use the edge of your couch to do some tricep dips (grip the edge of the seat with your hands, walk your legs out in front of the chair, then using your arms, lower yourself up and down). Aim for three rounds of 10 to 15 reps of each of these bodyweight exercises three days a week. And don’t forget about planks: one of the simplest and effective bodyweight exercises. In a push-up position or down on your forearms, hold your body up parallel to the floor—your head should be in line with your feet. Challenge yourself to see how long you can hold it, working up to a full minute (or more) at a time.
Make Use of Some Household Items
If you want more of a challenge but don’t have the equipment, search your home for some substitutes. A broomstick can double as a non-weighted body bar for twisting core exercises or shoulder raises while you squat. Doing single leg lunges on a hard surface with your foot on a paper plate will help you slide into a deeper, more effective lunge. Do bicep curls and tricep extensions with water bottles—even cans of soup work well in a pinch. Need something heavier? Grab your hefty bottles of laundry detergent and pump some, um, soap. For indoor cardio, climb up and down your stairs for 20-minutes to mimic the stair climber machine at your gym. Of course, turning on the music and having a dance party works, too (and boosts your mood instantly).
Think Beyond The Workout
To really reap the benefits of an exercise routine, a healthy diet is also key. Your body needs the right nutrients to power through your workouts and to feed your muscles so they can grow. One way to make sure that happens is to take dietary supplements. The *Health & Weight Management Supplements are designed to support lean muscle mass as you diet and exercise with alpha lipoic acid, DMAE, and L-Carnitine and other vitamins and nutrients. Take with food morning, noon, and evening. The *Skin & Total Body Supplements are a blend of potent antioxidants, omega fatty acids, calcium and nutrients essential for supporting healthy skin and joints, the latter being especially important for those who exercise regularly. Take once daily with a meal. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The Wrap Up
You don’t need to hit the gym to get in a good workout. Breaking a sweat at home will help you stay fit, boost immune function and keep cell-damaging inflammation at bay. To support your at-home workout, don’t forget to take muscle- and skin-nourishing supplements.