Rebecca is a bubbly freelance journalist who writes about tech, health and lifestyle.
Restrictions may have lifted and they may be opening their doors, but there’s no shame in admitting that the gym isn’t for everyone. Whether you’re shielding, working from home or balancing a busy schedule with no time left to take out of your day, worry not. Working out from home doesn’t mean you can’t still sweat and enjoy a powerful workout, perfect for targeting those abs and glutes for that post-pandemic body.
If you’re sick of following those YouTube Cardio workouts and want to inject some new gym-style exercises into your daily routine look no further. We have collated our favourite tips and tricks for the ultimate home workout, full of household hacks to turn your home into the ideal makeshift gym.
Why Exercise Is Important During The Pandemic
With a pandemic that continues to throw new twists and turns into daily life, maintaining a routine that is stable and consistent is imperative in order to restore some balance into your daily schedule. Whether you’ve shifted to remote work or are experiencing inconsistent changes to your pre-pandemic schedule, exercise is a great way to add routine back into your life, while also reducing stress levels and improving mental health.
With studies showing that currently, less than a quarter of the U.S population receive an adequate amount of exercise, now could be your time to factor in a handful of simple workouts a week for a healthier future post-pandemic.
Introducing frequent exercise into your daily routine is known to improve your physical health, especially if you’re currently working from your sofa cushions. In fact, as the WFH wave continues to render many homebound, screen time is quickly increasing, making it more important than ever to step away from your computer in order to reduce the effects of blue light eye strain and screen fatigue.
For those of us sitting for up to 8 hours a day, taking 30 minutes to enjoy some light exercise not only boosts productivity and increases our fitness level but also improves our health and wellbeing in the long run.
A study by NCBI stated that higher levels of physical activity dramatically reduces your chance of getting cardiovascular disease by an estimated 25% due to regular activity lowering blood pressure and improving your cholesterol levels.
If you’re looking to embrace a happier and healthier lifestyle from the comfort of your home, read on to find out how to turn your cosy couch into the ultimate fitness machine.
5 Household Hacks, Perfect For A Home Gym
The AHA recommends that the average person should engage in vigorous physical activity at least 3-4 times per week in order to remain healthy. If you’re looking to step up your sweat game, tone that muscle and enjoy a free gym experience without leaving your front door, you may be surprised to find out that most people already own every piece of gym equipment you need for a successful workout. From weight building beverages to workout walls, it’s time to introduce these clever gym hacks into your exercise routine.
Essentially a weight can be made out of anything. When you take in those heavy bags of shopping or pull that six pints of milk out of the fridge for that WFH cuppa, you’re lifting weight in the same way as you would at the gym.
Therefore, finding the perfect household items to replace kettlebells and dumbbells has never been easier. Here are just some of the many weight training companions currently sitting in your kitchen cupboards.
- Soup Cans - Whether it’s creamy chicken or classic tomato, soup cans make the perfect small weight companion for light workouts and cardio enhancers. Use them for low-weight cardiovascular exercises to aid fat burning or high-repetition routines such as upper body extensions and bicep curls.
- Laundry Detergent - For a moderate workout, laundry detergent bottles make great kettlebell substitutes for working on those glutes simply perform the kettlebell swing and squat to feel the burn, while keeping a firm grip on the chunky handle.
- Beer Bottles - Yes, you heard correctly. It’s time to work for that celebratory drink as glass beer bottles make ideas dumbbell alternatives for barre exercises. Better still, their narrow body aids easy gripping for a safe and booze worthy workout.
Chairs & Sofas
Although they are designed to be sat on, both chairs and your favourite sofa cushions can be used to aid a sweat worthy workout from the comfort of your living room.
For high success repetition exercises, fold-up chairs are one of the stars of a household gym, proving to be both durable and portable for any workout routine. Enjoy performing glute builders such as tricep dips by simply wrapping your hands around the edge of the seat behind you and extending your legs before lowering yourself down to the ground to feel the burn.
Your sofa can also aid balance-based exercises in the same way as a BOSU ball thanks to its cushioned unstable surface. Simply start your squats while standing on your sofa for a powerful muscle-strengthening workout.
The Weighted Backpack
Transport yourself back to your school days with this next hack. Embrace your eleven-year-old self who carted around 20 pounds worth of books from class to class. Now that definitely felt like a workout. For a simple calorie busting solution, introduce a weighted backpack to your daily routine and feel your heart rate rise.
Simply add cans and books to a study bag design and strap it on while working out. Adding extra weight to your squats and lunges will produce more defined results without the need to go to the gym.
Walls & Stairs
You won’t find a house without one of these, making them an easy household essential for a successful workout. Walls can aid a long list of exercises, including wall crunches and wall sits. Because of their stability and durable nature, they are great for retaining balance and accompanying a set of repetition workouts.
Stairs are also your best friend if you’re looking to build up those glutes with minimal effort. Simply walking or running up the stairs is a great way to get your heart pumping, your fat burning and your thighs growing without spending a penny.
The Towel Yoga Mat
You don’t need a roll mat in order to perform a successful workout. If you have a clean towel laying around it’s time to lay it across the carpet for the ultimate makeshift yoga mat. Whether you’re practising your downward dog or performing ab exercises with a workout video, this workout aid into the mix will improve balance and provide soft comfort for a more intense training session.