The new year is upon us – a traditional time for many to sign up to the gym for the first time, or to renew a lapsed membership, following the annual Christmas overindulgence.
Whilst the ongoing global pandemic has put a spanner in the works and closed many gyms, you can still keep to your 2021 fitness goals by exercising at home.
Here are five ways you can get fit at home this January…
NHS 10-minute workouts
Whether you’re short on time, or want to start with a workout which is challenging but manageable, the NHS 10-minute workouts could be perfect for you.
There are six individual routines which all exercise a different muscle group – including abs, legs, arms, back, heart and stomach – to give you a comprehensive workout over the week. Best of all, these routines require no equipment, and are valuable either on their own or when bolted on to existing workouts.
If you stick at it, you can expect to see improvements to your general health and fitness in short order, and all in a way which doesn’t take too much time out of your day.
For more information, click here to visit the NHS website.
Go for a daily walk
Another way to keep yourself active without the need for gyms or specialist equipment is arguably the simplest of all for many people: go for a 20-30 minute walk every day.
Walking is often overlooked as a form of exercise, but the benefits are impressive. With relatively little effort you can improve the health of your heart and respiratory system, strengthen your bones, improve your balance, help manage conditions like high blood pressure, alleviate joint and muscular pains and reduce body fat.
On top of all that, walking lets you see the place you live in an entirely different way. Rather than rushing through in a car, bus or train, you can really see the places and people around you. You’ll discover shortcuts, shops and beautiful little parts of the city you might never have otherwise found.
Take up yoga
For thousands of years, yoga has provided a combination of physical and mental exercise to people around the world. Its millions of practitioners are hooked on the benefits. Whether you are young or old, fit or not, yoga is a great way to keep body and mind in good shape at home.
You don’t even need much equipment – just a basic yoga mat and some space – before you can start practicing. Most importantly, there is no need to rush with yoga; slowly building up your ability over time in a measured way will yield great results in the long run.
Sound like the right challenge for you this January? One of the simplest ways to get on board and start your yoga journey is by following along with one of the many yoga experts on YouTube who produce daily videos. The most well-known of these channels is Yoga With Adriene, but there are literally thousands of alternatives – one of which will be perfect for you.
HIIT (High-intensity interval training)
At the opposite end of the spectrum is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a type of cardiovascular workout which alternates short, sharp blasts of particular exercises with short recovery periods – to be repeated until you are too exhausted to continue. Needless to say, HIIT is somewhat less peaceful than yoga.
The popularity of online HIIT videos exploded during the first lockdown of 2020, and has persisted ever since as people realised how good it made them feel and carried on. One of the most popular channels belongs to Natacha Océane who provides no-noise, no-equipment, low-impact training sessions for people of all abilities.
And, as with yoga, there are thousands of trainers out there creating new routines and exercises every single day, so you’ll undoubtedly be able to find the one who is right for you.
Support local fitness instructors
Now, finding online fitness courses is all well and good. Whether you use any of the suggestions above, or have been following along with Joe Wicks or another equivalent, making use of popular online fitness channels certainly has its upsides.
However, they’re not for everyone. Many people want something more tailored for them – after all, everyone’s body and goals are different, and a generic exercise plan might not be a great fit. If this is the case for you, then it’s a great opportunity to support a local fitness instructor and hire them to design personalised training sessions just for you – letting you help out a local business at the same time as getting into shape.
And that’s that! No matter your skill level or commitment to getting in shape, there are plenty of ways you can exercise and get in shape from the comfort of your own home starting now.