The best at-home workouts

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Sarah Henderson
19 Apr 2021 @ 01:04 pm
in category: Contracting Life

Gyms and swimming pools have reopened this week and we know plenty of you have been taking advantage and getting back into your fitness regimes. However, group classes won’t be starting until 17th May at the earliest so if you usually spin, Zumba or abs blast then you have a little while to wait yet. Equally, we know many of you simply don’t feel comfortable attending a space such as a gym yet and that’s fine.  

Lots of our contractors (and Kingsbridge HQ colleagues) have told us they have exercised less over lockdown and are feeling a bit out of shape. This is nothing to feel guilty of (we have been in a global pandemic after all), but with lockdown rules easing we know many of us want to look and feel our best. We’ve put together some ideas for at-home workouts to boost your physical and mental wellbeing. 

Get flexible 

Yoga is great for both building physical fitness and relaxation, whether you’re a complete beginner or someone who can do crow pose without breaking a sweat. You don’t need much to get started: comfortable clothes that you can move in, and a yoga mat which can be picked up relatively cheaply. You might want a cosy blanket for Shavasana as well. Yoga With Adriene has a wealth of free tutorials on YouTube and her practices can be adapted to any ability level. 

Raise your heart rate 

A lot of people feel daunted when they hear the word ‘cardio’, but it doesn’t have to be a scary prospect. Joe Wicks the Body Coach (of lockdown PE fame) has an amazing YouTube channel packed with free workouts for different abilities, including HIIT workouts, abs blasters, and even workouts for seniors. There’s bound to be something there to get you moving.  

And if you prefer a bit more rhythm in the mix, Simone De La Rue’s YouTube channel is full of free dance cardio workouts to get you grooving your way to better fitness. 

Play your way to fitness 

Since the Nintendo Wii got us all exercising with Wii Fit back in 2007, games consoles have been taking a keener interest in our health. Today, most consoles have some kind of fitness game available, such as Ring Fit Adventure, Fitness Boxing (both Nintendo Switch), Just Dance 2020 (Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One), Knockout League and BoxVR (both PS4). Bear in mind that some of these need additional peripherals such as VR headsets, but they’re a brilliant way to get some exercise while having some fun. 

Weight it out 

Weights aren’t just for the gym and home dumbbells are a great way to burn fat while toning your muscles. You can get fixed weight or adjustable dumbbells. As the names suggest, fixed weights are self-contained and come as single pairs of one weight. Adjustable dumbbells, meanwhile, look like a smaller version of the traditional barbell: separate disc-shaped weights that slide on to either end of a bar and are held in place. These tend to come in sets with a range of weights. 

Either way, they’re perfect for slower weight-based exercise that focus on specific muscle groups. Kettlebells, on the other hand, are designed for more dynamic workouts which work several muscle groups at once. So make sure that you look into the right kind of weight for the workouts you plan on doing. 

Hoop to it 

Weighted hula hoops have increased in popularity during lockdown as they provide a fun workout without much expenditure. They come in sections that are pieced together and can be dismantled easily, meaning you don’t have to find somewhere to store a large hoop. They also come in smooth and wavy versions. The idea behind the wavy version is that it bumps against your muscles as it spins, stimulating your core. However, beginners may find this painful so a smooth version may be better to start with. 

There’s a bit of a learning curve with a hula hoop as it takes practice to keep it spinning for any length of time, but it’s fun and there are plenty of online tutorials to help you get a handle on it. The Hula Dancercise YouTube channel has a wide variety of free workouts, including guides for total beginners. 

Walk (or run) to fitness 

OK, so it’s technically not ‘at home’ but getting out for a walk is a hugely beneficial exercise that’s great for both your physical wellbeing and your mental health. The NHS advises a brisk walk of around three miles per hour to feel the benefits – even if you only walk for 10 minutes per day. If you need motivation, you could even look at a fitness tracker to keep count of your daily steps and ensure you’re walking enough. 

And if you feel like upping the pace, you could even consider running. The Couch to 5K programme is brilliant for those new to running, or even those who just haven’t run for a while. It starts you off slowly with just 60 seconds of running followed by a 90-second recovery walk, and gradually builds you up to running for 30 minutes without stopping. There’s even an app for iPhone and Android to keep you on track. 

Look after yourself 

The pandemic has given us all a stark view of how important it is to look after our health, so even if you can’t re-join your fitness class at the moment, or don’t feel ready to go back to the gym, you may well want to keep your exercise regime up at home. 

But remember, looking after yourself isn’t just about exercise. It’s about making time for relaxation and self-care, keeping on top of things such as health insurance, and ensuring you eat a balanced diet. So, let’s emerge from lockdown healthier, happier, and with a renewed zest for life. 

This is not a sponsored article and neither Kingsbridge nor our staff has received any kind of promotional gifts or payment for featuring the above products or services.  

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