Upon hearing that your local gym or health club closed, as we practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, you may have felt a moment of panic. Of course, it was the right call, but if you’re someone who relies on group exercise classes, a personal trainer, or professional machines and weights to motivate you through your daily workout, it’s understandable that you may be feeling a little bit lost having to do it all on your own. Or, perhaps you’ve never been much of an exerciser—your busy life always seems to get in the way. But now that you have a little extra time in your day, you’re ready to start a routine. Whatever the case is, 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
So many gyms and virtual exercise programs are now offering good deals or even free workouts via their social media pages, websites or 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 (while practicing proper social distancing, of course) has been encouraged by top experts during this health crisis.
It’s an ideal time to dust off your bike or break out 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 body weight exercises three days a week. And don’t forget about planks: one of the simplest and effective body weight 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
Don’t sweat the pause in your gym membership, but do sweat at home to 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.