Girls and guys, it’s February now...have you started your inevitable New Year’s resolution to get fit? That’s okay if you haven’t! But if you’re looking to get started ASAP, you can do it right there in your home. At-home workouts are amazing for so many reasons. It’s private, you don’t have to look good, you can sweat and puff and pant as much as you like without having to feel self conscious. You can blast whichever music you like, and you can fit a workout in whenever you have a spare sliver of time.
Read on for some quick workouts to complete at home, a few tips for healthy eating, and of course...what to wear for ultra comfort.
The best home workouts you can do under 15 minutes, for guys AND girls
High Intensity Interval Training is a fast and furious way to get a workout under your belt well within a 15 minute time allowance. It focuses on short, hard bursts of activity at full exertion, with short breaks to catch your breath in between. It gets the heart rate up and is awesome for burning calories fast.
Here’s a simple HIIT routine using nothing but your bodyweight:
Do each exercise for 40 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. Take a break for 1 minute then repeat the circuit 2 more times for a total of 3: (Jump squats, Jump rope, Mountain climber, Burpees, Bicycle crunches)
Keeping your core muscles tight and strong is really important for many reasons. It helps to keep your posture tall and straight. It helps to support your back and prevent back aches and pains. And if you’re lucky, you might get some definition going on in your tummy area.
Try this simple at-home core routine a few days a week: (Plank ups 12 reps x 3, Side planks 12 reps x 3 each side, Dead bugs 12 reps x 3, Bicycle crunches 20 reps x 3, Leg raises 12 reps x 3)
Lower body strength workout
Getting the legs and glutes strong is not as hard as it seems, despite those muscles being the largest in the body. All you need is your bodyweight and a little bit of space to get some full extension going on!
Try this routine to tone the lower bod: (Lunge walks 16 reps x 2 (i.e. 8 each leg to equal 16), Reverse lunges 16 reps x 2 (i.e. 8 each leg to equal 16), Squats 12 reps x 2, Side lunges 12 reps x 2, Hip raises 15 reps x 2, Donkey kicks 15 reps x 2)
Resistance band upper body workout
Buy yourself a resistance band, they are super affordable and provide resistance for when you need a little more of a challenge. A band is so much easier to store at home than a set of dumbbells, and you can stash it in your bag whenever you go traveling.
Give this resistance band upper body workout a try. It works the back, the biceps, the triceps and the shoulders. You’ll need something steady to loop the resistance band around for exercises such as seated rows, otherwise you simply hold the band down with your feet:
(RB Seated rows 15 x 2, RB Standing curls 15 x 2 , RB Tricep kickbacks 15 x 2, RB Shoulder press 15 x 2, RB Press ups 15 x 2)
Combine with a healthy diet
A healthy diet is just as, if not more important than regular exercise when it comes to optimum health. You don’t need to go overboard with restrictive diets and obsessive calorie counting, as you’ll only end up tired and hungry. Instead, aim for a varied diet filled with whole, plant-based foods, free range proteins and lots of fiber in the form of beans, lentils and chickpeas. Make sure alcohol, baked goods, fast foods and sugary foods are kept to a minimum, eating occasionally as a special treat.
Quick-tips for a healthy diet to pair with your at-home workouts:
-Eat oats for breakfast to kickstart the metabolism with slow-burning energy
- Stick to whole grains and healthy carbs such as quinoa, brown rice and whole bread
- Avoid processed food as much as you can and buy fresh, whole-food as close to the original source as possible
- Don’t get sucked into diet foods, they’re often just packed with sugars and preservatives
- Eat lots of fresh, in season veggies and make sure to eat as many green plant foods as you can
- Eat nuts and seeds for fat-filled snacks (healthy fats, that is.
- Keep takeaways, sugary treat foods and alcohol as occasional treats to enjoy every now and then, when the craving really strikes, but aim for a diet which is 80% super clean and 20% a little bit more lenien.
- Keep your portions under control and fight the urge to overeat for the sake of it (it’s fine, we all do it!). Finish eating just before you feel full
When to do an at home workout
Honestly? Whenever you can. The beauty of working out at home is that you can and should do it when it suits you best. Morning workouts have the benefit of getting your metabolism pumping for the rest of the day. It’s also a great feeling to get your workout done and out of the way at the beginning of the day. But evening workouts have benefits too, especially if you find that your energy levels are naturally higher in the later part of the day. Evening workouts could be ideal for you if you find that you are stressed or tightly wound after a day at work.
What to wear
The number one priority is comfort, absolute comfort.
Long leggings - full-length leggings are great for HIIT workouts and lower body workouts as they completely eliminate the risk of chafing. Not everyone has a “thigh gap” (what a horrible phase that was!), and legs come in contact with each other during fast and hot workout sessions. Even better, high-waisted full-length leggings are a great choice as they will never creep down as you jump and run.
Bike shorts - bike shorts are great for hotter seasons as they keep your legs cool while still protecting from chafing. As they are designed to be nice and tight, they’ll be less likely to slip down.
Sports bra - you will need a sports bra, especially for HIIT workouts and anything which requires jumping. The added support just makes things a lot more comfortable!
Loose, long top - a loose-fitting, breezy old top is a great option for at-home workouts as it lets your skin breath and sweat. Definitely a great choice for less strenuous workouts such as core and strength routines.
Tighter top for HIIT - exercises such as burpees and mountain climbers can cause loose tops to jump all over the place and sometimes end up above your head. This is super embarrassing in the gym (I’ve exposed by tummy to many gym-goers and it’s not fun), but it’s also annoying at home. To avoid having to keep adjusting your top during at-home HIIT workouts, go for a more fitted top which will stay put during vigorous movements.
Don’t let time, money or transport constraints stop you from working out! Save money, save yourself the gym commute and workout in the cozy comfort of home. As long as you’re working hard, practising proper technique and slowly pushing yourself, you’re doing great.