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stay active at home

Best Tips to Stay Active at Home

Not going to the gym doesn’t have to stop you from exercising. You can have fantastic workouts and stay active at home with the right plan in place.

Everyone has their opinion of what makes the best exercise. But the truth is—a lot of the claims that there’s a “best” type of exercise is nothing more than personal opinion.

We often complicate exercise to the point it becomes dreadful. And we create unrealistic expectations and routines that are impossible to stick to.

The most important thing about making time for exercise is to find something you like and keep doing it.

But that may be harder for many of you right now. Your gym may be closed right now. Or if your gym is open, it’s harder to get in with limited capacity rules in place. 

And then there are reasons totally unrelated to being in the middle of a pandemic that influence whether or not you want to exercise in a gym.

Some gyms are intimidating, especially if you’re new to exercise. You may not live close to a gym. Or you may not have extra time to add it to your routine.

But the good news is that you don’t need a gym for effective workouts.

Whatever your reason for wanting to exercise at home—it can be done, and you can do it well.

So let’s break down everything you need to know about getting a great workout done at home.

How much exercise do you need?

Your ideal exercise routine depends on how much exercise your goals require.

Whether it’s weight loss, strength gain, or increased mobility, your exercise plan will be unique and depend on where you start and where you want to end.

But there is a minimum amount of exercise that’s recommended for every adult.

These are the CDC recommendations:

  • 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week + 2 days of strength training

OR

  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week + 2 days of strength training

The reason the CDC includes both aerobic exercise and strength training is that they have different benefits for your health.

Aerobic exercise—a.k.a. “cardio”—is any exercise that conditions your cardiovascular system. 

Your cardiovascular system is also called your circulatory system. It’s your heart and blood vessels that transport blood and oxygen around your body.

Cardio workouts keep your heart and lungs strong and healthy by targeting these systems in your body. When you do cardio your breathing intensifies and your heart pumps faster.

Some examples of aerobic exercises are running, swimming, biking, hiking, or power-walking.

On the other hand, strength training is any exercise that’s intended to build muscle.

These kinds of exercises are done in short bursts or for limited amounts of time (while cardio is sustained for longer stretches of time).

Strength training is an important component of your workout routine because it improves your balance, mobility, and bone density.

How to stay active at home

You don’t have to worry about missing out by not going to the gym.

Home workouts can be fun and effective. Even without a full home gym.

Here are the best ways to stay active at home. 

Take stretch and movement breaks throughout the day

Many of us don’t spend all day on our feet. If your work requires you to spend most of the day sitting, then you’ll benefit from short movement breaks in your day.

All these breaks do is get you up and out of your chair to get your blood flowing.

You can make them 5 or 10-minute breaks. Do some stretches, air squats, or just go for a little walk around your home or office. 

The key is to break up your day with bouts of movement until you reach 30 minutes of movement over the course of your day. 

You’ll not only get your body moving, but you’ll notice other benefits too.

Taking a short break away from your work can improve your concentration when you return. Plus, movement improves your mood—so you can return to your work feeling reinspired and content.

These breaks are good for days you don’t work too. Take some time to move between your Netflix episodes!

Follow workout videos online

Staying active at home is easier than ever thanks to the internet.

There’s a never-ending stream of workout videos online. Many of them posted by expert trainers who are so passionate about seeing you improve that they post short workouts for free. There are classes you can pay for online as well, but it’s worth checking out those free videos (often available on YouTube) to see what you like first.

Here are some of the best types of workouts to look for:

  • Yoga classes 

There are so many types of yoga classes out there. Your favorite types will depend on your ability level and 

You’ll find yoga classes that are slow-paced with deep stretches, moderate classes that challenge you just a little bit, and classes designed to get your sweat on and your heart pumping.

It’s worth finding a few different types of classes you can enjoy if yoga becomes your go-to for online workout videos. That way you get the benefits of a varied workout routine and yoga practice.

  • HIIT workouts

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This is a type of exercise where you go through phases of high-intensity exercise and rest.

These workouts are perfect to do at home. They don’t require equipment. They’re great for cardio (especially if you hate running).

  • Body-weight workouts

You’ll find a ton of strength training workouts that require nothing more than your body. Many of these videos range from 20 to 30 minutes that help you get stronger at tough exercises that require no weights at all. Movements push-ups, planks, or pull-ups.

So they’re great for building strength and require a minimal time commitment each day.

Sign-up to work with an online personal trainer or yoga instructor

Working with a personal trainer is one of the best ways to ensure you get results. They hold you accountable and they’re experts in designing training routines for a wide range of needs.

Now, with the rise in online training, there are so many ways you can get a trainer without ever stepping foot in a gym.

Some online trainers still offer very personalized plans online. While others offer a subscription to general classes for anyone to take.

Many online trainers offer more cost-effective online training programs on a month-to-month basis. And you can choose a level of personalization that’s right for you.

The reality is, it’s easier than ever to find a personal trainer. This means you have even more support options as you go through your weight loss journey.

Need help staying active at home?

If your goal is to lose weight, exercise will help you get there. And it’ll make you healthier in other ways, like elevated mood and improved heart health.

But it’s hard to figure it all out on your own.

Our weight loss specialists help you create and stick to an exercise plan that’s right for you. One that goes along with the diet and weight loss plan we create just for you.

So if you need support and guidance in your weight loss goals, reach out to your closest Valley Medical location today.

Sources

  1. “How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 Oct. 2020, www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
easily get 30 minutes of activity

How to Easily Get 30 Minutes of Activity Every Day

5 tips to easily get 30 minutes of activity every day so you lose weight faster and feel better

When you hear someone tell you to exercise more, it’s easy to feel a bit frustrated. 

You know you’re supposed to exercise. But the people who say that seem to just have more time on their hands and an easier time of it.

It seems impossible to gather up the willpower, summon enough energy, or even find something you enjoy enough to make a regular part of your routine.

And then there’s the time factor. Who has time to set aside an hour or more every day for exercise? 

But the good thing is that you don’t need that much time for a good workout. It only takes 30 minutes of activity each day to get you on the right path to a more active lifestyle, a healthier weight, and a happier life.

The recommended amount of exercise is 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Or 75 minutes of intense activity each week.

And when you break those numbers down it’s really not that much activity being recommended at all. 150 minutes, when broken down into more a more manageable chunk, can come to five 30-minute workout sessions per week.

It might sound too good to be true, that 30 minutes of activity is enough to get meaningful results from exercise. So let’s first dig into why it is.

Can 30 minutes of activity really be enough?

It might sound too good to be true, that 30 minutes is enough to get meaningful results from exercise. But you can do more in 30 minutes than you think. And get plenty out of it. Here are just some of the benefits of getting 30 minutes of activity every day:

  • Mood boost

The post-exercise endorphin rush is a real thing. And it’s why you can feel so fabulous after a run or a great lift.

  • Reduce stress

Norepinephrine is a chemical that moderates and improves our response to stressful situations. Exercise increases the amount of norepinephrine produced in our bodies–giving you the ability to better manage stress.

  • Improve energy levels

You might assume that exercise just makes you tired. But making exercise a habit actually improves your energy levels every day. Exercise delivers more oxygen to your brain, circulates nutrients to your muscle tissue, and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. This especially helps your body maintain high energy levels with less effort.

  • Improve self-confidence

Fitting a bit of movement into your day is one of the best ways to feel stronger and more capable on those days you feel a bit off. It’s easy to want to just zone out in front of the TV when you hit a snag you want to ignore. But going for a walk, a jog, or breaking out the yoga mat can get you back on track and feeling great about yourself.

5 tips to easily get 30 minutes of activity each day

So how can you make sure to get 30 minutes each day? If you’re busy or any exercise at all seems daunting to you–that’s okay. The key is to start slow and celebrate every win you have along the way.

You’ll have to try a few things before you discover what works best for you. So here are 5 common solutions that help others find time for exercise and be excited about it.

1. Break it up

Don’t have 30 minutes straight on some days? That’s okay.

While 30 minutes is a pretty short workout, with busy schedules even that amount of time can feel impossible. 

So instead, make time for 15 minutes of movement in the morning and another 15 in the evening. Even shorter time chunks like that are even easier to squeeze in.

Making time to move your muscles and get your heart pumping at all is better than not doing it.

You can also take a few minutes at your work desk. Do stretches in 5-minute chunks. That does wonders for your back and neck muscles that grow tense as we hunch over computer screens all day. It also helps you get the blood flowing to your legs and activates your muscles.

So on those super busy days, you can still find a few minutes here and there to get activity in. And over the course of the day, it’ll all add up.

2. Mix it up and tailor your workouts to your busy schedule

There are plenty of reasons to mix up your training routine. Some of those reasons have to do with building your well-rounded and overall health and fitness. But it’s also helpful so you can adapt to the busiest days of your week.

Some days are busier and you’ll feel more motivated to do yoga than you would be for a run. There might be days of the week that a workout class is open, while it isn’t on other days.

When you adjust your workouts to your routine and build in variety, you’re more likely to commit to the exercise you have planned.

3. Make it part of your commute

If you can ride your bike to work, that covers your exercise requirement and takes care of the practical necessity of getting to work.

4. Set up active outings with friends and family and partners

Making exercise a group activity is one of the best ways to make exercise enjoyable and to hold yourself accountable. 

It’s easy to do a lot of activities with others–any team sport, tennis, swimming, hiking, or dancing. Doing exercise with people you enjoy makes it more fun and gives you the added joy of making time to spend with the people who are important to you.

5. Do activities you like

Doing exercise that you truly enjoy is the most important piece of advice on this list.

Forget anyone telling you that you must do a specific exercise if you want to lose weight. Or that there are good and bad workouts depending on how hard you exercise, how fast you can move, or how heavy you can lift.

The important thing is doing something you love. Whatever brings you the most joy and gets you moving–do that the most.

Are there benefits to doing a mix of cardio and strength training? Yes. That’s why any personal trainer will recommend you do a mix of both.

But any movement is more important than doing the most specialized exercise out there.

If you aren’t sure what you enjoy yet, take some time to find what you enjoy. It could be swimming, hiking, walking, jogging, yoga, or playing basketball, tennis, or soccer. You might find that you love weight lifting. 

Just get out there and try a few things and when you find something you love, keep doing it.

Not Sure Where to Begin?

Any amount of exercise is easier when you have a support system.

And if you need that support network and expert guidance about how to pair exercise with a diet to get the best weight loss results, we’re here to help.

Reach out to our experts to learn more about your weight loss options and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Sources:

  1. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf