Exercise is nothing but physical activity done in a structured, planned and repetitive manner. The importance of regular exercise in maintaining health and preventing disease is well known. But many of you might be of the impression that walking is the only exercise that can be done without equipment. While brisk walking is a great way to stay fit and can be done almost universally, there are infinite numbers of other exercises that do not require any equipment and can be performed at home.
In this current situation of being confined to your homes due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the work-from-home demands for many of you, keeping yourself active and exercising regularly should be your main goal. This habit of exercising will not only help avoid a sedentary lifestyle but will also help you be more productive in your work. Go ahead, read on and find out how to perform exercises at home without any equipment.
A robust exercise routine should include a warm-up phase (5-10 minutes), an active aerobic exercise phase (30-45 minutes) and a cool-down phase (5-10 minutes), adding up to a total of at least 40 minutes of exercise. This regime should be followed on at least 5 days weekly.
Warm-up is a pre-exercise phase which involves active movements of all joints right from your head to your toes. A good warm-up prepares you adequately for the exercise phase and also helps avoid injuries to muscles, joints and ligaments. Here are 6 warm-up exercises everyone should do. Each warm-up exercise should be done 10 times.
Aerobic exercises that you might have been doing are walking, running, cycling, swimming etc. Some alternatives that can be done inside your house are:
On spot marching or jogging can be done for 10-20 minutes. Each of the other 5 exercises can be done for 15 – 30 times (repetitions) per set for 2-3 sets. For step up & down, you can use your stairs as a platform to climb up an down. Repetition is the number of times you perform a particular exercise and Set is the number of cycles of repetitions one completes. A rest period of 30-60 seconds is advised in between each set.
Cool-down is a post-exercise phase which involves active stretching of the major joints to avoid muscle cramps or soreness after exercising. Each stretch position should be held for about 20-30 seconds and repeated 2-3 times. Remember to be gentle while releasing from the stretched position to avoid muscle catch.
Those who are acquainted with exercising in fitness centres and groups can perform these home exercises easily. However, beginners should take note of the following precautions to avoid injuries and other complications while exercising at home:
- Start with 5-10 repetitions and take adequate rest in between each set
- Total exercise time may be 15-20 minutes to begin with and gradually go up to 30-40 minutes within a months’ time
- Keep a log of your exercise duration and the occurrence of pain, swelling, discomfort etc.
- If you experience giddiness, chest pain, breathlessness or abnormal heartbeat, please stop the exercise immediately
In conclusion, you do not need modern equipment or machines to exercise but you definitely need the knowledge on how to perform the exercise, need to allot time for exercise and need dedication and determination to stay healthy without an external push.
Cardiac Wellness Institute has initiated the HeartHealth@Home program where we are open for online consultation and also provide home-based heart health programs and fitness and diet guidance for individuals. Please feel free to contact us for further information.
In fact, once you master these basic exercises, you can start incorporating strength training exercises and core strengthening exercises at home. I will guide you on these exercises in my subsequent blog post. Until then, STAY HOME, STAY FIT!