How to Workout at Home

April 7, 2020

Dr.Varalakshmi Niranjan MD MBA ABOM

The pandemic COVID-19 is changing our lives dramatically. We are advised to work from home and stay there during evenings and weekends as well. While important in terms of the effort to stop the spread, this does mean that our workout options are limited. Gyms are closed and workout routines are disturbed with social distance. The biggest question in everyone’s mind is how to workout at home effectively?

There are quite a lot of possible answers floating around out there. Some gyms are offering online video classes. Some television channels are offering free exercise videos. Some fitness websites are offering tips to enhance at-home workouts. YouTube is packed with exercise videos. This creates an information overload for all of us. It also creates confusion about how and where to start. This article will give you some simple guidelines to follow to handle the information overload and enable you to start exercising at home.

Let us follow the simple acronym that is used widely for goal setting. It is called SMART.

SMART GOAL SETTING FOR WORKING OUT AT HOME

 

S-Specific

 

Be specific in your goals. It can be specific days of the week because your schedule has changed now. Mark it in your calendar the specific time as though you have an appointment with your doctor or fitness instructor for specified time.

 

Example

I will do workouts at home Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5 p.m. this week.

 

M-Measurable

 

Measure your goal with time. Start with 20 minutes per session and increase to more minutes based upon your fitness.

 

Example

I want to workout at home for 30 minutes, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5 p.m, Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.

 

A-Achievable

 

Your workout plan should be achievable both in terms of type of exercise and time. If you don’t have any equipment at home, you can do resistance training with body weight. If you can’t walk outside because of weather come up with alternative for cardio like climbing stairs, walking indoors and jumping jacks. If you have muscle aches and pains do restorative yoga.

 

Example

I want to workout at home for 30 minutes, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.  I will complete three days of cardio and two days of resistance training.

 

 

R- Realistic

 

The above plan should be realistic for your fitness state. If you are a beginner start slow and increase the time and repetition. If you have exercised before, continue at the same level and set a goal to increase it. If your schedule will not allow you to exercise as planned have a contingency plan to increase the time on another day or add an extra day. If you have to stop working out for health reasons restart at lower intensity and then advance.

 

Example

My back up exercise day this week will be Sunday. I can make up any minutes or activities I missed or did not complete.

 

Time Bound

 

Your goals should be time specific with respect to weekly workout planning. You can start with 150 minutes per week and then increase to 300 minutes or 450 minutes per week. Distribute this time throughout the week and make sure you take a rest day. You can also have time goals related to a specific exercise or activity.

 

Example

I want to log 250 minutes of physical activity this week.

I want to do 30 jumping jacks in 1 minute.

 

Sample weekly schedule

 

Monday 30 minutes of cardio – Brisk Walking

 

Tuesday Rest
Wednesday 30 minutes of cardio – Video workout from YouTube

 

Thursday Rest
Friday 30 minutes of Cardio- Brisk Walking

 

Saturday Bodyweight training using YouTube video
Sunday Yoga stretching using YouTube