How to work out at home

March 26, 2020 | by Sindhu Pazhampally
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

This blog was originally posted in 2020. Some information may be out of date. For the latest updates on vaccines, testing, screening, visitor policy and post-COVID support, visit

When you’re stuck indoors, it doesn’t take long to go stir crazy.

Sitting on the couch watching movies is only enjoyable for so long. At some point, you should get moving — for your mental health as much as your physical health.

But where to begin? Here are a few categories of movement to include in your at-home workout:

What types of exercise should you do every day?

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity weekly. That breaks down to at least 21 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per day. Shoot for one of the below:

  • 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week at moderate pace
  • 3 days per week at vigorous pace
  • A combination of each for 3-5 days per week

What are some examples of cardio you can do at home?

If you want to get aerobic activity indoors, try a brisk walk on a treadmill, use a stationary bike or follow along with a workout on YouTube or on a DVD.

You can also take a 20-minute walk or jog outside, keeping a six-foot distance from anyone you don’t live with.

One high-intensity cardio option you can do at home is High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT.

Add weight-bearing exercise

Two or three times per week, add some weight-bearing exercise to your routine.

If you have equipment such as hand weights or resistance bands, that’s great! If not, no worries – you can use water bottles or cans of soup for hand weights. Use towels or paper plates for sliders. Try using a gallon milk jug as a kettlebell.

Bodyweight exercises are just as effective. Try squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups and planks.

Don’t forget to stretch

Daily stretching is important to maintain or improve joint range of motion. It also aids in a healthy muscle/tendon relationship throughout the body while enhancing posture and movement.

Some athletic trainers are offering virtual sessions, which may include safe stretches to enhance your flexibility and fitness.

Generally, do your stretching exercises after your finish your cardio and/or strength training. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds; older adults may see greater benefit holding the stretch for up to 60 seconds. Stretch only to the point of tightness or slight discomfort.

What else can you do to stay active at home?

Besides the recommended cardio and weight-bearing exercise, keep active by doing housework, such as cleaning off surfaces and vacuuming, dusting and sweeping.

Yard work is also a good way to stay active, as well as clearing out the garage or your basement.

At Edward-Elmhurst Health, our top priority is the safety and protection of patients, staff, physicians and the community. For updates on our planning and response efforts as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, please check

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