Exercise While Working From Home: Tips for Staying Active
Updated: Sep 29
HIIT Workouts for People Missing the Gym
One of the best ways to get fit and stay fit is high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is a popular exercise regime that combines short intervals of intense activity followed by a shorter rest period. There have been a number of recorded health benefits associated with HIIT training, including a reduction of body fat in overweight individuals and improved cardiovascular, metabolic and mental health. Furthermore, HIIT has the potential to burn more calories in the same amount of time compared to other forms of exercise like resistance, jogging and weight training and it continues to help you burn calories after your workout is over.
Little equipment is needed, just an exercise mat and optional dumbbells or resistance bands if you want to increase intensity and add some strength training. HIIT also doesn't require a lot of space. Many exercises can be done within the confines of your exercise mat. Most importantly, HIIT workouts are also free. You can find plenty of high quality videos that range from 10 minutes to hour-long workouts from fitness trainers uploaded on Youtube.
Yoga For Those Who Prefer Lower Intensity
Those who prefer lower-intensity workouts with a focus on flexibility can swap HIIT and at-home cardio workouts for yoga. Yoga is great for strength building, flexibility and stress relief. It requires little equipment, requiring just a yoga mat and blocks or resistance bands. There are several types of yoga that can match your ideal training type, ranging from flexibility and meditation driven Yin yoga to the more difficult and intensive Ashtanga yoga. While your calorie burn depends on your body composition, you can expect to burn between 175 to 550 calories per hour.
Similar to the HIIT workouts mentioned above, you can easily find free full-length workouts on YouTube conducted by trained yoga professionals. If you are already a member of a yoga studio, you can see if they are offering online classes. They will help you adjust your positioning and give you tips throughout your practice that are similar to what you'd find in a typical yoga class (minus the in-person position adjustments).
Spring-Cleaning For Add Extra Caloric Burn
Believe it or not, doing chores around your house can be just as good an exercise as any. In fact, with the free time you now have, you can consider tackling that spring cleaning project as a way to freshen up your home and burn some calories. Even if you're strapped for time, a 30-minute daily cleaning routine can be added to a 30-minute exercise routine (or less if you're doing HIIT) to result in a pretty effective hour-long workout. '
However, as with other workouts, the intensity you clean with will be key to burning the most calories. For instance, you can try mopping, vacuuming, clearing out clutter and doing laundry. You can also combine minor exercise tweaks such as tightening your abs or doing lunges while you clean. A 150-lbs person can burn between 90 to 167 calories per activity like cleaning windows, redecorating, vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom.
Tai Chi & Qigong for Older Individuals
Older individuals who may not be able to perform moderate or high intensity activities should engage in low intensity workouts to maintain healthy levels of activity. Tai Chi and Qigong are certainly not new forms of workouts and most elderly in Singapore are familiar with them, but they are more useful now than ever. The slow movements of Tai chi can help relax your joints, improve flexibility and increase muscle strength. It also provides much needed meditation benefits, which can help reduce the stress and frustration that comes with being locked down. If you have a balcony, you can follow a routine outside and get some much needed fresh air.
Fun for the Whole Family: Dance Classes
If yoga and HIIT seem too formulaic and boring for you, you can consider learning a new dance. This requires a bit more space, so it may not be the best at-home workout for people living in smaller spaces. However, if you have the space, learning a new dance is a fun way to learn a new skill and improve your fitness level. Dance is a great cardio workout that can help you lose weight and improve your endurance. A 125-lbs woman can burn 330 calories after an hour of moderate intensity dancing.
Dance classes can also be a great way to encourage your kids to join in as well. While you can find tutorials on Youtube for free, you can support your local businesses by signing up for online dance classes that are hosted by Singapore's dance studios. These classes are relatively inexpensive, costing between S$8 and S$15 per class. You can learn a variety of dance styles including swing, hip-hop, urban, girl's style and K-pop.
Exercise is Necessary, But Exercise Caution
Exercise should be an important component to staying healthy during this circuit breaker, along with a healthy diet, social distancing and proper health coverage. There is no reason to quit your workout routine and lose any progress you've been making simply because you don't have access to gym equipment. However, you should be extra careful about your form and the way you're doing your exercises carefully to avoid injury. You should also avoid overcompensating the lack of gym equipment by doing harder versions of exercises that your body isn't ready for. Remember, staying active during this time is crucial to reduce stress, maintain a positive mindset and keep your body operating at prime levels to fight off infection.
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