These gym-optional exercises will keep you moving no matter where you are.
Whether your gym is closed or you just aren’t ready to share space with others yet, there are plenty of ways to keep moving. Or maybe you’re simply seeking new ideas to get your heart pumping? Keep reading.
The current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity plus 2 days of muscle-strengthening exercises per week. That may sound like a lot, but if you break it down, that’s just 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
And remember: The best activity is one that you enjoy and will do regularly. So, take a moment to see what’s the best fit and don’t be afraid to switch things up. These ideas might help you get started.
Exercise Tip 1: Go outside
Gyms may be closed, but the outside is open wide. If you live in an area where it’s safe to do so, take advantage of the great outdoors!
- Find spacious, uncrowded streets or parks and experience nature while moving your body. Walk, jog, run, or roll to get your steps in each day.
- If you can do so safely, take along some music to stay motivated along the way.
- Don’t let the weather hold you back. Work out in the early morning and late evening during the hot summer months and bundle up for cooler temperatures. Remember to use sunscreen and wear sun-protective clothing throughout the year.
Exercise Tip 2: Add props
Incorporating simple, inexpensive, and sometimes fun equipment can keep things interesting.
Here are a few options to try.
- Resistance bands. Keep resistance bands with different tension levels from easy to difficult near your office workspace. Pull them out for a muscle-strengthening mini-workout while on (non-video) conference calls.
- Hula hoop. This blast from the past is a path to hours of fun movement. Have friends, family, or neighbors nearby? Engage them in a hula hoop challenge. See who can hula hoop the longest or walk the farthest while keeping the hula hoop in action!
- Jump rope. A $10 rope can help improve balance and strength while getting your heart rate up. Start with a basic jump, and for those who are able, try progressing to single-leg jumping and high knee jumps. Once you reach your highest heights, increase the speed or duration.
- Roller skates or blades. These speak for themselves. Don protective gear such as kneepads and a helmet and hit the road for some balance building and leg strengthening fun.
- Bike. Dust off your bike, pump up the tires and take a road trip. Biking is a great way to explore your city or a local park while getting a workout that’s easy on the joints.
Exercise Tips 3: Get moving online
For guided instruction, look for mobile app- and web-based fitness classes. There are a variety of paid and free classes online.
If you miss being part of a group class, look for “live” classes that use your mobile phone’s accelerometer to determine how fast or slow you’re moving. These running and walking classes are excellent for feeling more engaged and connected. Keeping the pace (or lagging behind) is a surefire way to get a shoutout from the live instructors.
There are also live yoga classes complete with music and modifications from start to savasana. Now is an ideal time to learn something new. Try out an on-demand dance, barre, pilates, cycling, or bootcamp class, and you may find that you exceed your physical fitness expectations.
Exercise Tip 4: Create your own weights
You can certainly buy dumbbells or other weights to use at home, but you might have trouble finding them if inventory is low.
Use what you have around the house. Fill a water jug and use canned foods for hand weights. Do pull-ups, push-ups, tricep dips, and chair exercises for a full-body workout using just your body and the floor or a chair.
If you’re already pretty fit and want to take training up a notch, consider plyometrics.
Plyometrics exercises are often called jump training. These high impact exercises are most suitable for those who already have a strong fitness routine. The best part is you can do these anytime, anywhere since you don’t need any equipment – just your own body weight. Plyometrics are also ideal if you’re running short on time since you get a good workout in short bursts.
To get started, you might try squat jumps, box jumps, burpees, or clapping push-ups. Work up to these strenuous exercises gradually – increasing either duration or intensity over time and not all at once.
Whatever you decide to do, be creative, take it slow, have fun, and be safe.For more information, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @Theralogix! Don’t miss an article! Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll let you know when our next article comes out.