When you want to get in some exercise but the weather is keeping you indoors, we have a workout that requires only some open floor space and you! You can do an indoor workout in your living room, bedroom or wherever you have space.
The American Council on Exercise recommends that your exercise routine(s) should include three exercise categories:
This gets your heart beating faster by using your large muscles. Walking, jogging, bicycling (or a stationary bike), swimming, rowing and dance exercises are good aerobic activities.
These exercises work your muscles and make they stronger. Strength conditioning also helps your bones to become stronger. You can use free weights or your body’s weight.
These activities stretch your muscles. They help improve your flexibility and joint range of motion.
Unfamiliar with the term? This involves doing a succession of activities that get your heart rate up. Circuit training incorporates strength training without breaks in between.
Here’s an example of a circuit training workout you can do at home. For strength training, you can use light free weights. If you don’t have free weights, you can fill one or two milk jugs or large plastic bottles with water and they’ll do the trick. Or you can skip the exercises with free weights. You’ll still get a great workout.
Warm up — It’s a good idea to warm up before working out. A good warm up ramps up your blood flow and stretches your muscles before you start. This can help prevent injuries.
Start by walking in place for a while. After you’re going, bring your knee up to your chest as you walk. Warm up until your body feels warm and you start to sweat. When you’re ready:
Go through this routine once when you’re getting started. Over time as you get stronger, you can increase to two or three time through the routine.
If you’d like to boost the challenge, do 30 seconds of jumping jacks or running in place between each exercise.
When you’re done with your workout, give yourself a hearty congratulations! You’ve just reduced your risks for a number of medical problems.
You can do a workout like this two or three times a week.
If you’re trying to lose weight, the American Council on Exercise notes you can burn more calories by working out more often. It’s important that you schedule one day off each week to allow your body time to recover.
Keep in mind that exercising muscles helps them burn more calories even when you’re not working out!
The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that you exercise moderately for 150 minutes each week. Moderate is defined as a level of intensity where you’re just about to break a sweat. Exercising for 150 minutes (two and one-half hours) a week is a great goal to aim for.
Before you begin an exercise program, check with your health care provider. This ensures you’re fit to do the activities you plan.
Letting your health care provider know about your plans also gives you some accountability. Most of us won’t want to report on our next health care visit that we failed to follow through on our exercise plans.
As you progress in building your fitness, more professional guidance is available online. The Aurora Sports Medicine Institute is a great resource.
Call your health care provider right away if during or just after your workout you:
Additional resource: MedlinePlus from the U.S. National Library of Medicine