With gyms and leisure centres closing their doors, health and fitness fans have been turning to exercise routines you can do indoors to keep themselves fit during lockdown.
These difficult times have put paid to many people’s plans. Organisers of sporting events up and down the country – from park runs to marathons – have had to put them on ice for the time being.
And with people having nothing to train for – and in some cases nowhere to train – they’ve had to improvise by working out in their living rooms and gardens.
Internet fitness gurus have launched daily exercise classes for people of all ages and abilities to help keep them healthy and active.
And there are many apps available, on both your mobile phone and smartwatch, which can get you up and moving and burning those extra calories.
There are many benefits to exercising at home.
For one, you don’t have to pay any expensive gym fees or health club memberships.
You can also exercise in your own time, at your own pace, without anyone watching or passing judgemental looks. It’s great if you love keeping fit but haven’t quite built up the confidence to flex in the gym.
However, if you are new to exercising, have limited space, or simply don’t know where to start, developing your own home workout routine can be a daunting challenge.
To help you get started, here are some of our favourite exercise routines you can do indoors.
YOUR INDOOR PRE-EXERCISE ROUTINEBefore you undertake any form of exercise, but especially at home, you must prepare in the right way. Just because you are exercising indoors, doesn’t mean you can take shortcuts or cut corners. So, before you start, make sure you are wearing comfortable sports clothing that aren’t going to get in the way of your physical activity. Slouchies, pyjamas and onesies are fine for a duvet day, but if you are working out, at least try and look the part.
Before you start, a pre-exercise snack such as an energy bar or protein shake will help ensure you don’t run out of energy before you’ve even worked up a sweat. Also, ensure you drink plenty of water to make sure you are hydrated and keep a sports bottle handy for a mid-workout drink.
And always make sure you warm up properly before you start doing the hard stuff. Give all your key muscle groups a stretch and get your blood pumping before you start your routine. This will reduce your chances of pulling a muscle, straining something or tiring yourself out too quickly.
THE BEST INDOOR EXERCISE ROUTINEChances are if you are exercising at home, you may be limited for space or not have the type of equipment to hand that you can access at a gym.
So, the following exercises can be done by anyone indoors, with minimal equipment. They are designed to give you a full-body workout to help you tone up your muscles and elevate your heartbeat to improve your fitness levels. They can even contribute to weight management when done in conjunction with a healthy diet.
Between each exercise, take a couple of minutes to relax and allow your breathing to return to normal.
ROCKET JUMPSAfter a gentle warm-up, you should start your routine with some rocket jumps.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent and your hands on your thighs.
Jump up, lifting your hands above your head in the shape of a rocket and stretch your entire body. Bend your knees on landing to cushion the impact, reposition your feet and repeat.
Aim for at least two sets of 15-20 repetitions (reps).
STAR JUMPSStand straight with your arms by your sides, and your feet close together. Bend your knees slightly.
Jump up and stretch your arms and legs out while you are in the air, in the shape of a star, and bring them back in before you land.
Again, bend your knees slightly on landing to cushion the impact and go again.
Aim for another two sets of 15-20 reps. If you want to make this one more challenging, try holding a bottle of water or a can of beans in each hand.
SQUATSStand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides. Straighten your back and tighten your abdominal (tummy) muscles.
Now, lower your body by bending your knees until they are almost at a right angle, so your thighs are parallel with the floor.
Keep your back straight and don’t let your knees lock, then straighten your legs and stand back up.
For a more challenging squat, hold the position when you have lowered yourself down for a few seconds before straightening back up.
Two sets of ten reps should give you an excellent lower body workout using squats.
BURPEESBurpees build on the movement you did for a squat, to bring your upper body muscles into play.
From the same standing position, drop into a squat, then place your hands on the ground.
From there, extend your legs back into a push-up position. Hold for a second, then bring your legs back into a squat and jump back up, with your arms extended over you heard to complete the exercise.
Do two sets of 15-20 burpees to round this routine off, then warm down with some gentle stretches.
OTHER EXERCISES YOU CAN DO INDOORSThere are plenty of other exercises you can do indoors to stay fit and healthy.
Dancing is a fun way to get the whole family moving, just stick on your favourite playlist and go crazy.
If you have a set of weights, then doing some curls, lifts and crunches will help you stay nice and toned. Don’t forget your protein afterwards.
And if you’re looking for something less strenuous, then both yoga and Pilates are good options. You can even use your favourite essential oils as part of your routine to help you relax and unwind.
Whatever you choose, always remember to stay safe and don’t overdo things.
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