With colder weather approaching and numerous experts recommending against congregating in large groups, it looks like exercise will be moving to indoor, at-home sessions this winter.
But, don’t let the lack of location variety become an excuse to stop moving! The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, per week.
- it lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and Alzheimer’s, several types of cancer, and some complications of pregnancy
- it improves cognition, including memory, attention and processing speed
- it lowers risk of weight gain, obesity and related chronic health conditions
- it improves bone health and balance, with less risk of injury from falls
- it reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In an effort to help Americans stay active, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created tips for exercising at home including workout videos, dancing and active video games. Household chores can also be considered physical activity.
HHS’s Move Your Way Activity Planner helps participants create an exercise routine and identify activities that can be done at home.
The American College of Sports Medicine lists the following tips for getting exercise while indoors:
- Walk briskly around the house for 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times per day.
- Dance to your favorite music.
- Jump rope.
- Use home cardio machines.
- Perform yoga – deep breathing and mindfulness can also reduce anxiety.
- Find ways to do simple muscle strengthening exercises around your house such as squats, push-ups, and lunges.
- When watching TV, exercise during commercials.
Here are a few additional resources to jump-start your new physical activity routine:
- American College of Sports Medicine provides suggested aerobic and strength-training activities.
- Cooper Institute has free videos with tips to help you get active.
- National Center for Health, Physical Activity and Disability features inclusive videos that people with disabilities can do at home.
- National Academy of Sports Medicine shares 9 bodyweight exercises you can do without equipment.
YMCA features Your Y at Home resources for kids and families, adults, and older adults.