The Best Home Workout Program

Physical exercise offers fantastic benefits for your body and mind. The benefits of regular exercise range from improved sleep to reduced anxiety, better weight management, and a lower risk of death. Today, we’ll dive into how to create the best home workout program for you.

Physical fitness is not just crucial for a healthy body but imperative for a healthy mind and emotional well-being. Unfortunately, a complete change in routine (thanks to the pandemic) has led to a paralyzing anxiety and less time being active. Yet, the truth is there’s no substitute to self-care via regular exercise! So, why not a home workout?! 

Working out at home is easier than you think

You don’t need a gym membership, equipment, or oodles of free time to incorporate exercise into your life. The best home workout program for you is all about tuning int your own needs and schedule.  

Working out at home has obvious advantages (i.e. free and no need to drive!). But there are obstacles too. Distractions from the phone, the kids, the dog, the Internet and the refrigerator can derail your workout. And that’s if you can get started in the first place. When you’re at home, it’s easy to find something else that needs to be done. The most important thing is that you stay consistent!

A good way to stay motivated and avoid distractions, the experts say, is to exercise early in the day. Morning exercisers are more likely to stick with their workouts. (I can totally vouch for that even though I used to completely resist morning exercise!)

PRO TIP: Get your workout over with first thing in the morning, then get on with your day.

best home workout program
Guidelines for setting up the best home workout program for you

Here’s a guide to a few exercises you could try at home.

The 5 elements of fitness.

An effective fitness program typically has five components, all of which you can do at home

  • A warm-up.
  • A cardiovascular (aerobic) workout- you can vary this with strength.
  • Resistance (strength-building) exercises- you can vary this with cardio.
  • Active flexibility moves.
  • A cool-down.

A warm-up could be an easy walk outside or on a treadmill, or a slow pace on a stationary bike. For the cardiovascular portion, walk or pedal faster, do a HIIT workout (high intensity interval training), or jump rope — whatever you enjoy that gets your heart rate up.

A cool down should be lower intensity exercise that helps you lower your heart rate. Moves will probably be similar to your warm up. I personally love doing a handful of yoga stretches with deep breathing to finish off my workouts.

Caucasian woman practicing yoga at home Free Photo

Getting started.

If you’re a beginner, aim for 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least three times a week, and 20 to 30 minutes of strength work three times a week. Be sure your strength workout covers all major muscle groups, in your upper body, lower body, abdominals and back. Shoot for three sets of 10-15 repetitions of each strength exercise for the best home workout program.

PRO TIP for LIFTING: Pick a weight that’s heavy enough that you feel the burn by the time you are finished with your reps, while still keeping good form!

No matter what type of exercise you do, be sure to start slowly and gradually increase your workout time and intensity. And don’t forget to listen to your body. It’s also important to stay tuned in to what motivates you by setting goals and intention that have meaning for you.

How to build the best home workout program

With the 5 elements of fitness in mind, the next most important step is creating a balanced exercise program. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Incorporate upper body, lower body, core and/or combo strength training moves that address all the major muscle groups in the body.
    • At the very least, try to include an exercise or two for some of these commonly neglected areas a few times per week: the lower abs, hip abductors, the rotator cuff (shoulder), and mid-back.
    • For some good starting exercises, look here.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect workout. Find moves and techniques that work best for your body!
  • You don’t need equipment, unless you decide you want to grab a few things to set up a home gym (like resistance bands, mats, or weights), you can just use your body to get started!
  • Choose workouts that you enjoy. Exercise should be fun so don’t feel stuck in one mode of fitness. Mix it up, try new things, and enjoy!
  • Consistency is king. Even if you can only commit to 5 minutes per day, you make significantly more progress as your body learns a new habit. You can then gain momentum from there and maybe start making other healthy changes, like better sleep, meal plans, and mindfulness.

Tips for home exercisers.

Here are some other tips for home exercisers to adopt a best home workout program.

  • Challenge yourself and avoid boredom. At home, you won’t have the variety of equipment and classes that are available at a gym. So surf the Internet and browse fitness magazines to check out new workouts and make sure you’re exercising correctly. YouTube and Pinterest are both great resources for planning your weekly workouts.
  • Find a virtual exercise partner or recruit a family member at home to keep you accountable. You’ll be less likely to find excuses when you’ve arranged to work out with a friend. You can also sign up for an online fitness program or find a virtual personal trainer for accountability too.
  • Schedule your workouts. Look at a planner and write out your exercise appointments one week, or even a month, in advance. If something comes up and you have to change one, reschedule it immediately and stay on track.
  • Use a journal to track your home fitness progress and jot down any breakthroughs you may have. When you have a bad day, write that down, too, to help you to find patterns you can break. For example, you may find an egg-white omelet gets you through your morning workout better than a bagel.
  • Set goals, like training for a race or losing 20 pounds (remember to get specific). Give yourself mini-rewards along the way: a new fitness magazine, those workout pants you’ve been eyeing, or a new pair of sneakers.
  • Perhaps most important, make exercise as integral to your life as sleeping and eating. You have to think of it as a lifestyle change. It doesn’t end. Get out of the mind frame that exercise is something you’re only going to do for a period of time. Embrace it and enjoy!
best home workout program

Troubleshooting your workout routine

If it’s challenging for you to get up the motivation to go to the gym or if leaving your house isn’t an option, you don’t have to skip exercise. Getting in a workout or two at home is likely to make you feel better, both physically and mentally.

Chatting with many people that have been forced to workout at home in the past few months, they have been pleasantly surprised at how convenient it is now that a routine has been established.

If the past few months have been tough, don’t throw in the towel or feel like your exercise routine is a lost cause. There’s no need to feel guilty, just decide that today is that day you make a change! Start with one squat or one minute and then build from there, I promise you won’t regret it!!

Along with letting you workout from the comfort of your living room, another great thing about equipment-free exercises is that there’s nothing to lose. If you find that kickboxing, Pilates, or yoga videos just aren’t for you, you can simply move on to something else without any financial commitment (many online workout programs are totally free, have free trials, or have a very small per month fee).

What are your favorite exercises to do at home?

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