Healthy and Active at Home

April 26, 2021

The past year has brought on many unique situations that have challenged each one of us in very different ways. One area that has affected many of you is the lack of access to your preferred public fitness facilities.

For some, this has resulted in a significant decrease in overall physical activity levels (and overall health status). As health coaches, we have heard many clients say that they want to improve their health but some common barriers/beliefs/excuses keep coming up.

We are going to break down some of these commonly heard excuses and provide you with effective and efficient ways to stay active and fit at home without the need for any expensive equipment.

“GYM IS CLOSED AND I DON’T HAVE ANY EQUIPMENT AT HOME.”

You might be surprised to hear that you have everything you need at home to get in great shape. All you need is a bit of real estate (think 4’ x 4’) either indoors or outdoors. Bodyweight movements such as push ups, squats, planks, and lunges are great foundational exercises. These functional movements can be performed at any time, with no equipment, and produce great results. The great part about them is that you can modify them to align with your current fitness level.

Examples:

  • Squats to 90-degree knee bend---> Deep squats ---> Squat jumps
  • Lunges ---> Lunges to hops ---> Lunge Jumps
  • Push-ups from Knees ---> Push-ups from Toes ---> Clap Push-ups

Also, look around your home and yard because we bet you that there are pieces of “equipment” that can help you improve your fitness levels.

  • Use your couch to perform tricep dips.
  • Use your stairwell for “bench” step ups or put your back foot up on it and perform Bulgarian split squats.
  • Grab your young child (in a well supported manner) and perform squats for added resistance.
  • Use the sidewalk curb and perform dynamic toe touches to get your heart pumping.
  • See a hill outside or staircase in your house/apartment? Walk, run or hop up it to perform some inclined or declined movements. This is a great way to incorporate gravity as extra resistance.
  • Have kids? Use their toys to be more active in a fun, creative way. For example, go back to your grade school days and use their jump ropes or hula hoops.

“I NEED ADDED RESISTANCE TO SEE RESULTS”

Adding in super slow repetition training is a great way to overload your system and recruit large amounts of muscle fibres without the need for dumbbells, barbells, or other equipment. For example, perform a pushup at a 5 seconds up (concentric) & 5 seconds down (eccentric) pace to ramp up your bodyweight routine.

“I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!”

It can be overwhelming when you don’t have someone guiding you for the first time. Be rest assured that there are many solutions available for you.

  1. Any movement is good! Go for a walk. Jump up and down when you have a free moment. Perform your household chores and yard work manually (vacuuming or raking is a great form of exercise). Design your day so that you are getting up from a squat or seated position more often.
  2. Resort to the basics. The functional body weight exercises listed above are a great starting point for anyone.
  3. If you need a sense of accountability and direction, there are endless options available online when it comes to follow along workout programs. These take you through full workouts that you can perform with no equipment in the comforts of your home. They range anywhere between 15-60+ minutes per session.
  4. Med-I-Well Services provided virtual one-on-one personal training and group stretching, mobility, and workout sessions for organizations. If you and/or your organization are interested in sampling one of our customized sessions, please reach out to us!

“I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME”

Days can be busier now than ever before with everything you have to juggle. This can make it challenging to carve out extra time for yourself to fit in a workout. There are, however, many ways to effectively use smaller blocks of time and still fit in a fantastic workout.

HIIT(High intensity interval training) – This is a training protocol that alternates between periods of high intensity work (working at 70-100% of your max effort) and low intensity, active recovery. We’ve provided a great example for you here that will get your heart pumping.

Fringe Moment Movement – Our days are filled with “fringe” moments that provide ample opportunity to be active. Think of all those moments of “transition” within your day. If you used them as opportunities to fit in movement, you might be surprised how much more you are moving in the day and thus, how much better you feel! Here are some ideas:

  • While waiting for your coffee to brew, perform bodyweight squats.
  • While waiting for a meeting to start, perform inclined push ups against your desk.
  • While waiting for an appointment, perform seated stretches.
  • While on a phone call, walk around your workspace rather than sitting.    

“I AM ON KID DUTY 24/7”

This shouldn’t be seen as a barrier but instead as an opportunity! This is the perfect opportunity for not only you to be more active but also your children. Studies show that children are far more likely to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviours if they see their parents doing it. And the great thing about these findings is that this engagement in healthy lifestyle behaviours last well into their adulthood!

If you make activity a priority in your day, they will too! Make play time, active time. Go out and play with your kids. Play tag, create obstacle courses, throw a ball around or play a sport. You can even find family workout videos on Youtube or kids yoga (e.g., Cosmic Kids) to follow along to as a group.

You might be spending way more time together as a family than ever before. This time is precious. Take full advantage of the positive impact you can have on them, the fun memories you can create and the healthy behaviours you can instill within them.

IN SUMMARY

This year has been full of uncertainty and things that are out of our control. We hope you now see that these common barriers preventing you from being as active as you would like have some simple, effective and efficient solutions to them. We hope you start using them within your daily life to improve your overall health, fitness, and well-being.

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