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Missing your gym? Not sure you are doing a good job working out? We know being active is important as it: reduces our risk of illness, reduces stress levels, and helps us sleep better. It’s probably more of a challenge now for many. My home does not have the machines and all the weights I used at the gym. I ask myself am I getting in a good workout? 

You may have received some online links you can use for working out. I have found some work better than others for me. When I started looking to find some good programs, I discovered some gyms are allowing anyone to use their online workouts right now. Check out the free online videos from the YMCA. They have a variety of types and offer categories for different levels of fitness and/or ages. If you choose one that is too hard, you can always modify it to fit your fitness level by slowing down your tempo or doing less repetitions. Check with your health care plan as some are offering free online options right now. If you have not been working out in the past, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before you start a new routine. 

Your workout routine should optimally include cardio, strength and stability, and flexibility. Getting your heart rate up is the important thing during cardio. Walking in place or dancing can work inside, while running or biking are better suited for outside. If you have a treadmill or bike you are in luck since you can use them anytime in any weather. Since I do not have machines at home, using some inexpensive videos helped me kick up my routine. Besides the above guidelines, the American Heart Association has these suggestions:

CARDIO EXERCISES

feet of person walking up stairs
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Squat Jumps
  • Jogging or Marching in Place
  • Stair-Climbing or Step-Ups
  • High Knees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Star Jumps
  • Burpees

Add some strengthening exercises, to keep muscles and bones strong. Below are some you can do without any equipment:

STRENGTHENING AND STABILITY EXERCISES

Person doing a push-up starting in the top position and then at the bottom position
  • Plank and Side Plank
  • Pushups or Modified Pushups
  • Sit-Ups or Crunches
  • Hip Lift or Bridge Position
  • Triceps’ Dips on a Chair
  • Lunges
  • Squats or Chair Position
  • Wall Sits

Check out the American Heart Association handout as you can do the above exercises as a circuit to incorporate cardio and strengthening into the same day.  Don’t forget to stretch after you warm up with some light walking in place perhaps, and before you really start exercising, then finish your session with some stretches. After a workout is the best time to stretch since your muscles are warmed up.

To increase your flexibility, try some Yoga, Pilates, or a similar type of workout. It seems as we get older, we are not as flexible as young kids. I don’t know how or when I lost it, but I can’t do what my granddaughter does. Flexibility is important to reduce our risk for injuries, so make sure you make time for it.

Our Live Healthy Live Well team is offering a one-time online session on exercising at home without any equipment.  Please join us on Thursday, April 30 at 12:30 pm at osu.zoom.us/j/93822958724                                             

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

References:

American Heart Association. (2018). https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-infographic

American Heart Association. (2020). https://www.heart.org/-/media/aha/h4gm/pdf-files/home_choose_circuit_workout_infographic.pdf?la=en&hash=91B1E339932789FB796B6E5D28100F87E5B48DF6

Department of Health and Human Services. What’s Your Move? https://health.gov/themes/custom/healthgov/src/microsite_resources/myw_microsite/pdf/PAG_MYW_Adult_FS.pdf

Nieman, D. C. (2011). Moderate Exercise Improves Immunity and Decreases Illness Rates. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 5(4) 338-345. Available at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1559827610392876

YMCA.  (2020). NewsCenter. Available at:   https://www.ymcasd.org/about-y/news-center/general-health-membership-miscellaneous/virtual-membership-work-out-anywhere-anytime

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Do you have a regular exercise routine? If so, maybe you feel like you are in an exercise rut- you’re tired of doing the same thing over and over but you don’t know how to mix it up. Or, maybe you have found a form of exercise that you really enjoy, so you feel compelled to keep doing what you have been. While finding an activity you view as fun rather than work is central to sticking with and benefiting from an exercise program, it’s still important to mix up your exercise routine. When we continuously repeat the same activities, our muscles become accustomed to the movement and fail to be challenged.

Personally, I have spent the past year attending hip hop fitness classes. While I very much enjoy these classes, I know my body would benefit from other types of movement. Maybe that means trying out another fitness class, like kickboxing or cycling, taking a morning walk or jog, or adding pilates or weight training to my fitness routine.

To reap the biggest benefit from your exercise program, experts suggest you include at least three different types of activity in your workout routine. See the infographic below to learn more about the different types of exercise.

Types of Exercise

To create a well-balanced exercise routine, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity in at least 10-minute increments throughout the week. Add 2-3 sessions of strength training per week, with each session containing 1-3 sets of 6-10 exercises, each set containing 10-12 repetitions of each exercise.  (Repetitions are the number of times you perform a specific exercise without stopping. A set is a group of repetitions). Perform stretches 2-3 times per week, perhaps after your cardio or strength workout. Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds. You may wish to do multiple repetitions of each stretch.

As you get comfortable in a routine and feel the need to mix things up to challenge yourself, consider increasing the frequency, duration or intensity of your workouts. For strength training exercises, this may mean increasing the number of reps or sets you complete, or the amount weight you use to complete your sets.

How will you mix up your workout routine? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!

 

Author: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

 

Sources:

Harvard Health Letter (2017). The 4 most important types of exercise. https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/the-4-most-important-types-of-exercise

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2011). What Does a Well Rounded Fitness Program Include? https://healthandwellness.vanderbilt.edu/news/2011/09/what-does-a-well-rounded-fitness-program-include/

Werle, C., Wansink, B. & Payne, C. (2014). Is it fun or exercise? The framing of physical activity biases subsequent snacking. Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. https://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/research/it-fun-or-exercise-framing-physical-activity-biases-subsequent-snacking.

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