Healthspan staff October 10, 2018

You CAN stay fit, get in shape and break a sweat without leaving the house. 

As the nights draw in and temperatures cool, it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise. Whether it be going to the gym or taking a jog outside, it’s not as easy when winter shows its face. But, working out at home can deliver all, if not more, of the benefits of a gym workout.

Why are home workouts so great?

  • Gyms aren’t as popular as they used to be – research claims Brits waste £558m a year on unused memberships.
  • Working out in your living room – or whichever room you deem fit – means little to no preparation is needed. Plus, there’s no commute and it’s free.
  • If you do want to incorporate workout equipment, it’s extremely affordable and readily available.
  • Staying at home also means there’s no chance of gym intimidation. This feeling of intimidation can often hold us back from giving 100% to our workout. At home, you can relax, safe in the knowledge that no-one is watching or judging.

Here are some home workout suggestions that we think are perfect for these winter months when you just don't want to leave your warm cosy homes...

Body-weight High Intensity Interval Training AKA HIIT

HIIT will raise your heart rate and help you lose weight. According to research, it’s an anti-ager too.1 HIIT involves short spurts of all-out activity followed by a short recovery period. It could be 30 seconds of star jumps followed by 20 seconds of rest, repeated continuously.

At home, an easy way to practice HIIT without equipment is simply with bodyweight movements. All you need is a timer. Try Interval Timer (Free on iOs and Android).

Take a look at:

Our top move: Burpee
Squat down and place hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your feet. Jump feet back together so you’re in a straight plank position. Then jump feet back in towards chest and jump up,arms in the air. Continuously repeat.

Want to track the number of calories you burn during a workout? Try the NutriCoach® Activity Tracker.

Flexibility workout

No equipment needed for this. It won’t cause your heart rate to soar but it’s a great way to improve the range of motion in your joints, relax muscles and prevent injury when you undertake more strenuous workouts. Ideal for anyone who spends all day sat in one position, and it’s equally ideal for anyone who exercises a lot.

Take a look at:

Our top move: Butterfly Stretch
Sit tall on the ground, soles of your feet together, knees out to the side. Holding onto your ankles, slowly lean your torso forwards towards your feet, pressing knees towards the floor. Hold for 20 seconds and release. Repeat three times.

Low Intensity bodyweight workout

Sometimes, we don't have the energy for a full-blown, high impact workout. Or, you may be recovering from an injury and therefore unable to push your body to its limit. A low intensity workout is a great way to get moving, without putting too much stress on joints or muscles.

Take a look at: 30 moves in 30 days
This simple workout is designed for anyone over 50 who has never exercised, or who has been inactive for a while.

Our top move: Forward Lunge
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step left leg forward and bend down so left knee is bent, with thigh parallel to the ground and left knee parallel to left toes. Rise back up by pushing through left foot. Repeat on the other side. Ensure your torso stays upright throughout.

Stair Workout

Unless you live in a bungalow or one storey flat, a stair workout is a brilliant way to get your heart rate up whilst toning up your legs. Moving up and down stairs helps to build power and strength in your thighs, calves and bottom, plus it can help your core muscles too, essential throughout life to avoid injury and improve posture. Be sure to pump your arms throughout to boost calorie burn and give your arms a little workout!

Take a look at:

Our top move: Stair Jumps
Instead of stepping, stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and jump with both feet onto the next step. Keep going up the stairs as fast as you can.

 

And for after? Try a Hilo Bar, packed with essential protein for muscle recovery, and they taste great in caramel or mint chocolate flavour. 

Plyometric Workout

Plyometrics is pretty much jump training. Great for fat burning, building strength, and improving co-ordination, it’s ideal if you’re short on time. It’s much like a HIIT workout (see above) as it’s high intensity with recovery periods but it involves a lot of leaping, bounding and jumping. A word of warning though; avoid plyometrics if you’re heavily pregnant or have just given birth as it can put a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor, plus certain hormones, such as relaxing, make your joints a little less stable.

Take a look at:

Our top move: Broad Jumps
You’ll need some floor space for this. Start in a standing position, squat down and jump up and forward as far as you can, using your arms for momentum. Land on both feet. Every time you jump, try and beat your previous landing point.

Resistance Band workout

OK, so this one does require a piece of equipment. A resistance band allows you to perform basic exercises but with – funnily enough – added resistance! So, it’s like strength training without weights. Resistance bands are great for toning and increasing the intensity of your workout.

Take a look at:

Our top move: Bicep Curl
Stand on your band, holding both ends in your hands. Slowly curl up your hands towards your shoulders, as you would do during a weighted bicep curl. Hold the curl position for 3 seconds then slowly lower your hands back down. Try doing 10 repetitions at a time.


References
1 Stokes, KA (June 2002) The time course of the human growth hormone response to a 6 s and a 30 s cycle ergometer sprint, Science Sci;487-94.

 

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn't possible, supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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