The global pandemic has had everyone locked indoors. Though restrictions are starting to relax, most gyms aren’t allowed to operate yet. It is safer to stay home now, even if the local gym or fitness studio is open, as the virus tends to spread more on these facilities.
It is essential to keep fit, especially during these times. Switching to a home exercise routine is the perfect alternative for people to stay active in their homes. All situations and households are different; what works for one person might not be convenient for another. Thus, it’s best to consider working out at home.
It is possible to complete a full-body workout at home without the use of fancy equipment. For example, doing push-ups is the best exercise that targets the upper body. Squats will shape the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Sit-ups are a classic abdominal exercise with variations shaping different regions of abs.
While those exercises are certainly enough for regular body maintenance, investing in essential equipment allows for better control, helping the body receive a more efficient and safer workout. What equipment to purchase largely depends on the available space of the room.
If there is dedicated space for a home gym, it is possible to buy equipment that uses more space, like a training bench and stationary bike. But if not, other alternatives accomplish the same job. To help narrow down the choices, here are five elements to a well-rounded fitness routine and a few items to aid in those.
- Aerobic fitness— the foundation of most fitness training regimens is an aerobic activity, commonly known as cardio or endurance activity. Aerobic exercise encourages breathing quicker and more profound, allowing blood to carry more oxygen. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity spread throughout the week for most healthy adults. An alternative is 75 minutes of intense cardio or even a combination of both. If there is space, a rower can lead to a rigorous workout. If not, a jump rope is perfect. Walking up and down the stairs could also get the heart pumping.
- Strength training— also called resistance training, these are physical exercises designed to improve bone and muscle structure, often associated with using weights. Dumbbells are an obvious choice for this as it doesn’t take up a lot of space and it is one the most flexible pieces of gym equipment. It is a worthwhile purchase as it is highly effective for targeting specific muscles. Other purchases to consider are a barbell set and resistance bands.
- Core exercises— the core muscles are comprised of the muscles in the lower back, abdomen, and pelvis. This type of exercise promotes stability and balance and improves the spine and posture. Core exercises are usually performed by a yoga or fitness mat; these exercises include sit-ups, crunches, and planks.
- Balance training— these exercises help maintain control and balance over one’s body. Older people must incorporate these exercises into their routine as balance usually deteriorates with age. Medicine and balance balls are fun and inexpensive ways to build credit. It’s a versatile tool enjoyed by both beginners and athletes. A kettlebell, on the other hand, has an off-center gravity which is perfect for training balance.
- Flexibility and stretching— these exercises improve the range of motions of the joints, enhancing poise and posture. It is ideal for stretching before and after a workout to warm up and cool down the muscles. Stretch bands are fundamental for this as it significantly enhances the quality of these exercises. It is also lightweight and easy to store.
Indoor Air Quality
One underrated difference between a professional gym and a makeshift home gym is the indoor air quality. Most gyms ensure that they install an appropriately designed ventilation system for their premises. Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent high humidity, uncomfortable temperatures, and that sweaty, unpleasant odor. If the ventilation is notably lacking, it could cause a dangerous accumulation of carbon dioxide levels creating a suffocating effect. This is mainly a problem in smaller, enclosed rooms.
Working out causes a person to intake more air than usual. Therefore, it is vital to have access to fresh and clean air to accomplish healthier exercise. Dust and debris can accumulate in the air filtration system and mold from all the moisture, so it is wise to consult a professional duct-cleaning service.
With commitment, discipline, and proper planning, working out at home doesn’t have to be a lesser choice but rather a viable alternative than going out to the gym.