If you’re like most people right now, you’ve been spending a lot more time at home than usual. With our days at home full of Zoom calls and Netflix, it’s easier than ever to give in to the temptation to sit on the couch all day, but it’s still important to keep yourself moving.
With a little ingenuity, you can create a temporary home gym in your living room to help you stay active until the Y reopens. Here are our tips for making the most of exercising at home:
Make Time to Stretch
If you’re working from home or spending more time than usual sitting, it’s especially important to stretch throughout the day. Stretching can help improve circulation and posture and relieve stress. Stretching is also an important component of any regular exercise regimen. Start with a light warm-up to get your muscles ready to move with dynamic stretches and then cool-down after your workout with static stretches to help your muscles recover
Try DIY Weights
While dumbbells are a staple of strength workouts, you probably already have everything you need for a well-rounded workout in your home. Soup cans and water bottles are a great replacement for small hand weights and you can use gallon milk jugs as a replacement for heavier weights — simply fill with water, rice, or sand until you find the right weight.
Use Your Body Weight
Bodyweight exercises are great for building muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. Whether you’re doing push-ups, squats, planks, burpees, or lunges, you’re using gravity to get a great full-body workout. You can add more variety into your routine with a few extra items lying around the house. Try using a chair to do tricep dips, grab a washcloth or paper plates to use as sliders, or throw in a wall sit for an extra challenge.
Take Your Cardio Outside
Spring weather means you can get outside every day for your cardio. Walking, jogging, or running around your neighborhood are an excellent way to get your heart rate up, enjoy some fresh air, and beat cabin fever. Just remember to keep plenty of space between yourself and others who are also enjoying the sunshine. On rainy days, try jogging up and down your stairs, if you have them, or try a virtual workout.
Build Workouts in the Mobile App
You can build a complete workout plan in the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties’ mobile app. Join others in the workout of the day, try a pre-made template designed by the Y’s health and well-being coaches, or build your own custom workout. Each individual workout includes detailed instructions for performing it safely and an animated explainer to show you how it’s done.
Bring the Y Into Your Living Room
The Y may be closed, but we’re still here to help you stay active and healthy. Join a virtual group exercise class from the comfort of home on our Facebook page or follow along with an on-demand class on YMCA 360. Even though we’re separated and spending time at home, you can still connect with your Y community online. Until we can gather again, we hope you’ll enjoy these tips for using items around your house and some creativity to stay active!