Home Workout: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started
For many of us, the hardest part of exercising is getting started. And if you are going for a home-based workout routine, you might be confused about what equipment to purchase or which exercises to start off with. So, here’s help and some direction. Keep this checklist in mind before beginning your fitness journey at home.
It is always a good idea to get medical clearance before starting an exercise program. Getting a physical examination and/or screening that looks to identify possible cardiac issues is suggested prior to exercising. You can also fill out a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) available online and show it to your doctor to expedite the process.
No equipment needed
Walk into any gym and you’ll likely be astounded by the different types of exercise machines. But you don’t really need any fancy equipment for an effective home workout. If you have a floor and a wall, you’re actually good to go. While there is nothing wrong with having weights, resistance bands, and other equipment at one’s disposal, it is most certainly not a necessity for beginners.
Also read: Should You Work Out Every Day?
Start slow and steady
If you are new to exercising, the most important thing is to start slow. The dictum “no pain, no gain” does not hold true in the domain of fitness. It’s common for a first-timer to feel some form of discomfort during the initial days of an exercise program. But it should not be to the extent that they are in pain or can barely move the next day.
So, when you are flagging off an exercise routine, regardless of whether it is cardio or weight-based, start with an easy level and slowly mark your progress.
If it’s been a while since your last session, start working out 3 times a week, with at least one day of rest in between. Increase your workout days/workout duration gradually.
Want to know the secret to success in the world of fitness? It’s continuity. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how much weight you lift; unless you are doing it consistently, you will not get the results you are looking for.
The best way to have continuity is to make workouts a scheduled part of your day. You must not think of exercise time as optional. Add it to your calendar, just as you would schedule lunch or an important meeting.
Lastly, the best time to work out is in the morning when there is minimal chance of any disruption. However, should you plan to exercise after work, it is ideal to go directly from the office to your workout. If you go home and sit on the couch first, the chances of you actually getting off to go exercise are minimal.
Take the gym outside
Just because you’re exercising at home doesn’t mean that you have to stay inside. In fact, one of the benefits of not being at a gym is that you can go exercise at a park or even your front yard. Once you learn some basic bodyweight exercises, pretty much anywhere can be your gym.
5 exercises for beginners
If you are wondering which exercises to start off with, here’s help. These exercises focus on multiple muscle groups and various movement planes, making them perfect for home workouts.
1. Push-ups (standard or modified on your knees)
A pushup is a compound exercise that works on your upper-body as well as the core. It engages muscles in your chest, shoulders, back, abs, triceps, and legs.
2. Jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are a good way to get a total-body workout. It works your muscles as well as your heart and lungs.
3. Body weight squats
Squats engage muscles in your upper as well as lower body. They are beneficial for strengthening your muscles and improving overall exercise performance. A bodyweight squat is the most basic form of a squat and uses your body weight for resistance.
4. Side-to-side lunges
Lunges are effective for strengthening your lower body muscles. There are many variations. However, a lateral or side lunge is particularly good for engaging your inner thigh muscles.
This is a popular exercise to work your core and abdominal muscles. It also engages your pelvis and shoulders. Planks are not only great for muscle strengthening, but also to help with stabilization and balancing.
Last but not least, your exercise program should be fun, whether you workout at home or go outside. At the very least, you shouldn’t be dreading it. At the end of the day, this is what will keep you coming back for more and reaching your fitness goals.
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2. Marcin A. Benefits of Jumping Jacks and How to Do Them. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/jumping-jacks (accessed Feb 15, 2021).
3. Chertoff J. What Muscles Do Lunges Work? Healthline. 2019; published online on Apr 9. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/lunges-muscles-worked (accessed Feb 15, 2021).
4. Lindberg S. 7 Benefits of Doing Squats and Variations to Try. Healthline. 2019; published online on Sep 11. https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/squats-benefits (accessed Feb 15, 2021).
5. Quinn E. How to Do a Plank. Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/the-plank-exercise-3120068 (accessed Feb 15, 2021).