Looking for fitness ideas? We know the mental and physical benefits of staying fit. We feel mentally and physically better and we get a good night’s sleep. Yet we don’t all seem to get the amount of exercise we need to keep fit. There are plenty of reasons why you might skip a workout. No time around work and kids or maybe no spare money to buy at-home equipment.
Luckily, you don’t need a gym or equipment or even a lot of spare time to fit exercise into your week. There are so many workouts you can do at home. Some only need ten minutes of your day.
Are you ready to learn more?
There’s a yoga style and pace for everyone. If you like to gently stretch your body you’ll love Yin or Hatha. It’s calm and relaxed. If you’re into building your strength then power yoga will really push you.
There’s an abundance of classes accessible online. You can go to YouTube and find a class that suits you best. Eventually, you might create a routine of your own!
You don’t need much for this. A mat would be nice, but essentially a soft surface will do.
To really benefit from this, you could incorporate your fitness tracker, if it comes with an app for breathing or meditation. Devices like the Fitbit Charge 4 come with a native relaxation app, so check it out!
Pilates does require some equipment but luckily, there are two kinds and the other, much like yoga, only needs a towel or mat. There are about 34 classic movements and you can work your way through, and memorise them, to build your own routine.
Dance (like no one is watching)
For almost every style of music there’s a dance. If you’re into pop, hip hop or ballroom dancing, you can go it alone or with a partner right there in your living room. Dancing is known to do wonders for mental health as well as physical. You can burn up to a whopping 500 calories during an hour of dancing.
Have you succumb to the temptation of TikTok yet? Why not teach yourself one of those dances all the kids are doing?
You can curate a playlist on your music streaming service of choice and simply hit play. You can also look up instructional videos if you want to learn something specific.
If you’re keen to know how many calories a genre of music burns for you, you’ll need a reliable calorie counting fitness tracker. The Nike FuelBand is an excellent tracker to monitor this for you. Check out our review here.
We’re willing to bet not everyone has heard of this. Barre looks gentle, but really it’s a beast of a workout. Focused on improving your core strength and cardio endurance as well as your balance. You can use a wall or even ironing board for balance. If you’re in need of hand weights we all know you can grab a can of beans for that. You won’t want anything heavy; you’ll be burning after a 20 minute session.
If you’re thinking of picking this style of workout up, and you want to monitor your activity levels, we recommend the Garmin Vivofit 4 to start. It’s a no-frills activity tracking device for those who love to keep fit.
HIIT stands for “high-intensity interval training”. It’s wonderful for blasting through some calories in a short space of time. The premise of HIIT is to go as hard as you can in very short bursts. You might go burpees for 45 seconds then spend the remaining 15 seconds of that minute resting, then you go again for a given number of sets.
Again, YouTube is your friend. You can easily create your own routines, too. Squats, jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers and push ups will be enough to get an all round body workout, all in one spot!
You will hugely benefit from using a smartwatch or fitness tracker that can record your sessions here. Knowing your heart rate zones will help you alter your sessions to suit your fitness goals. We recommend you check out our comparison of Garmin and FitBit, where you’ll find links to some great watches with heart rate zones for monitoring how you’ve performed during your workouts.
A plank is another dark horse. It looks easy, but it’ll have you sweating in 30 seconds or less. It works wonders on your core and upper-body strength. There’s more than just one position. You can try multiple positions and improve as you go. Variants like the side plank, for one.
You can utilise your traditional timepiece for this exercise. Or, if you have a chronograph, you can time yourself incredibly accurately. The Omega range is perfect for this, and we wrote about it here.
Bodyweight leg day
If you’re keen on trying planks, you can incorporate some bodyweight leg work into the mix, too. As planks are the best thing for core strength, squats and lunges are the best for your lower-body. Again, two moves that look easy, but they’re a challenge. Try 10 in a row. If you’re just getting into fitness, this should be quite hard. Aim to add one or two more reps each time you workout.
You can easily fit these into your day. You can do a few reps whilst you wait for the kettle to boil or the microwave to ping. If you’re working from home, there’s ample time to squeeze a few lunges in between meetings or emails.
Climbing the stairs
If it’s wet and miserable outside and you live in a house or apartment block, guess what? You can get a great workout by climbing the stairs. See how fast you can complete all the steps, or mix it up by taking two at a time, or turning left to right as you go.
You could incorporate this into a HIIT workout by doing a set of stepping followed by 45 – 60 seconds of jumping jacks or squats. This would be a great workout for your legs and bum.
If you’re used to big outdoor adventures, your altimeter watch will come in handy for this kind of exercise. You can read our recommendations for altimeter smartwatches here.
Did you know you can use your sofa to exercise? It’s as simple as tightening your entire body, every muscle you can, during the ad breaks and releasing when your show comes back on.
You can go from sitting to standing during the breaks, too. This will get your heart rate going and will give your thighs a good blast.
If you want to work your arms, you can also do tricep dips by holding onto the sofa.
If you were born in the early 80s or before, you’ll likely remember Tae Bo, a set of home workouts in the 90s. It was a mix of taekwondo and boxing, hence the name. It was awesome for improving cardio endurance, flexibility and balance. Essentially, it was what we know as kickboxing today.
If you’re into fast-paced movements that get the blood pumping, kickboxing could be for you. The official Tae Bo YouTube channel is still running. You can do most of the classes without a punching bag or gloves.
Check out our review of the Moov Now. A no-frills fitness tracker that acts as a personal trainer on your wrist. Perfect for those reaching a new personal best.
If you find it a challenge to get to a gym or if leaving your house isn’t easy, don’t feel downhearted. There are so many options to get a great workout into your routine, in your own home. Best yet, you don’t even need any equipment for the most part. Working in some of our suggestions will not only boost your physical fitness, but your mental health too.
What will you try first?