How to continue your exercise routine at home

Posted at 8:47 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 10:47:07-04

BOISE, Idaho — Many gyms in Idaho started opening in late May, but if you're still not comfortable working out in a group setting, there are easy ways to keep up with your routine at home.

Allie Henderson, a Wellness Consultant with Regence, says if you haven't worked out at all since the pandemic started, start your journey by setting a goal.

"You might want to move it away from weight loss and shift it to improving your mile time, how many push-ups or sit-ups or squats you can get in a minute," says Henderson.

Henderson adds being at home together and picking up your exercise routine again is also a great way to role model healthy habits for children or create a support network with your friends.

"Activities you can all do as a group like playing basketball, going for a hike, soccer, or involve them with your workouts," Henderson explains. "Set up a challenge or competition with your friends. This is something you can all do individually from a distance. It's some motivation, it's accountability, and a little bit of that competitive edge to push you over."

For those looking for a more traditional workout, Henderson says many people will be able to see how powerful they really are using just body weight moves or picking up some common items around the house to use in place of typical weights and other gym equipment.

"I personally like to fill a backpack with some books or some heavier items and use that, holding it in the front while I squat or lunge, maybe doing some chest presses with it. Giant size laundry detergent containers or gallon size water jugs are also really good," Henderson says. "Just make sure the lid stays on securely."

Henderson says when it comes to putting together a home workout, now's the perfect time to get creative.

"Everyone seems to love toilet paper so get creative with that. Put it on the ground and as you're squatting, try to touch it each time to make sure you're getting low, or if you're doing Russian twists, move your feet up and over the toilet paper roll."

As far as timing your workout or counting out your reps, the typical recommendation is about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity per day or 20 minutes of higher intensity.

"So if we're doing more HIIT-type training, you can shorten that down. Since we're using our body weight or lighter weights, we're going to want to do more endurance-focused so anywhere from 12 to 20 reps at a time. I just like to tell people whenever your body feels challenged so maybe don't worry so much about reps at this time. Just go until you start to feel that challenge and then stop when you need to, but 12 to 20 reps should be that area," says Henderson.

Regence members can check their health plans to see if there are any discounts or offerings for local gyms or exercise plans. Many popular health and fitness apps are also offering premium or extended trial periods for free.