If you’re staying at home lately, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your healthy exercise routine. While nutrition is key to reaching your weight loss goals, keeping active is a great way to support your efforts and to stay motivated. So, you’ll want to get moving, even if you aren’t able to go to the gym. And here’s some good news: There are plenty of toning and tightening exercises you can do, right in your living room.
So if you’re inside and still want to break a sweat, try these five at-home workouts you can do to help you lose weight. They’ll keep you on track, plus you’ll get a rush of feel-good endorphins.1 Let’s get started!
Remember to always consult your physician before starting a new exercise routine.
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Indoor Workout 1: Yoga
Whether you’ve always wanted to try yoga or you’re a seasoned yogi, now’s the time to start working on an at-home practice. Yoga is a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles, because many of the poses require you to hold the positions and balance.2
Yoga could also help lower your stress and boost your mood. The mind-body exercise requires you to take deep, slow breaths, which may help you feel more at ease.2 (Here’s how to try diaphragmatic breathing at home.)
A quick search online will give you plenty of different yoga poses and lessons. Many routines will include classic moves like mountain pose, child’s pose, cat/cow pose, downward-facing dog, bridge pose and warrior one.3 You can find short workouts (starting at 15 minutes) as well as full hour-long workouts online. Plus, you can choose routines for beginners as well as those for yogi veterans.
And if you’re really a yoga newbie (hey, we’ve all got to start somewhere!), you may want to video chat with a certified yoga instructor — this way you can have some one-on-one attention, and your instructor can watch you virtually to make sure you’re doing the poses correctly. Want to try it on your own first? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Yoga to learn some strengthening poses.
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Indoor Workout 2: Strength Training
There are plenty of good reasons why you’ll want to start strength training. Not only does strength training help build muscle, but it also may help reduce body fat — which makes it an ideal exercise for weight loss. Plus, doing strengthening moves may help boost your metabolism.4
You don’t need any fancy gym equipment to have a good strength-building workout — movements that use your body weight are a good place to start. Consider doing a mix of exercises, such as squats, tricep dips, planks, lunges and push-ups (you can do push-ups on your knees for a modified version).
Do a round of those exercises (with 12 to 15 repetitions of each move). For a lengthier workout, repeat the circuit one to two more times — with a minute or two of rest in between circuits.
If you have hand weights at home, you can do exercises with them as well, such as pressing the dumbbells up into the air and bringing them back down again. If you don’t have hand weights, you can always use cans of soup.
If you’re new to strength training, don’t sweat it! Check out these 6 tips to start a strength training routine.
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Indoor Workout 3: Intervals
Have you ever wanted to take a bootcamp class? You can make a do-it-yourself version at home, using a “High-Intensity Interval Training” (or HIIT) workout.
HIIT workouts are very efficient, which makes them a great choice when you’re short on time. In fact, in one study focused on reducing visceral fat and overall body weight, three HIIT sessions per week were just as effective as daily 30-minute sessions of moderate exercise.5
During your HIIT workout, you can include multiple “high intensity” exercises like jumping jacks or jumping rope for a short period of time — like 30 seconds — followed by a two to three-minute rest period between each set, followed by another bout of high intensity moves.6 Don’t forget to warm up before working out and cooling down when you’re done!
So what counts as a “high intensity” exercise? It’s when you feel like you’re out of breath, and your heart is beating faster than normal. A number of exercises can get your heart rate up. Consider:
- Jogging in place
- Pedaling fast on a stationary bike
- Stepping up and down on a bench or stairs
- Doing high knees or glute kickers
You don’t have to do the same exercise over and over — you can mix and match moves to keep things interesting.
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Indoor Workout 4: Kickboxing
You don’t need an at-home punching bag to give kickboxing a try! You can jab, punch, and kick in the air to tone your body while getting great aerobic exercise.
So put on some high-energy music, search online for “kickboxing moves” and start your workout! The key is to perform a sequence of moves and repeat them to get your heart rate up.
Research shows kickboxing may help enhance physical fitness and improve upper-body muscle power.7 What’s not to like about that?
Photo by Morsa Images on iStock
Indoor Workout 5: Spin Workouts
Have a stationary bike collecting dust in your garage? Now is the time to brush it off and get pedaling for a calorie-burning cardio workout.
Some companies allow you to stream spin class workouts (which usually requires a subscription). Or you can create your own workout by doing intervals of 30 seconds of pedaling fast, followed by one to three minutes of easy to moderate pedaling, for 30 minutes.
Be sure to blast some of your favorite music so you can get into the rhythm — and make the workout feel more like an actual spin class. You can also do a similar workout if you have a treadmill or elliptical machine at home.
What are the benefits of cardio exercise like cycling (or using the treadmill or elliptical)? Beyond supporting weight loss and weight maintenance, it may help everything from lowering your odds of a stroke, controlling blood sugar, improving good cholesterol levels, and fighting osteoporosis (just to name a few perks!).8 If you’re lacking equipment, an online dance workout is another great option.
At-home workouts are just one part of staying healthy and working toward your weight loss goals — a balanced diet and personalized support can help, too. Fuel up and enjoy a great workout with delicious meals from Jenny Craig: Chat with a coach online to get started!
What’s your favorite at-home workout? Let us know in the comments!
Leslie Barrie has a health writing and editing background, and holds her master's degree from Columbia University Graduate Journalism School. Over the past 10 years, she has worked at various magazines in New York City, such as Woman's Day, Health, Seventeen, and more. When she's not writing about health, she likes living it — she enjoys running, hiking, swimming, and yoga (even though she's not the best at it, it helps her to relax!).
Favorite healthy snack: a piece of dark chocolate with a handful of almonds
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
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