Indoor Exercises You Can Do To Help Your Mental Health
01 February 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has made exercising outdoors or at fitness centres really challenging. Yet staying fit is very important. Weekly strength training and aerobic exercises can help you combat coronary heart disease, reduce your chance of type 2 diabetes, and improve your mental health.
According to health organisations, exercising has many benefits. When we exercise, certain 'happy' chemicals like serotonin and endorphins get released. These chemicals are known to reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression. They can also boost your self-esteem.
Completing the recommended amount of activity in the current circumstances, however, is quite tough. Therefore, we've put together a list of aerobic exercises and strength moves that will target different muscle groups. Try combining several of these at home exercises to create your indoor exercise routine.
Aerobic Exercises to Target Different Muscle Groups
Hamstrings, Quads, & Calves
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift one knee to your chest then switch to your other knee. Continue the movement, alternating legs at a running pace, ensuring your feet are lined-up directly below your knees. This aerobic exercise is called High knees and it targets your abdominal walls, hamstrings, quads, and calves.
Chest, Legs, & Abs
If you've never heard of a burpee, you're in for a treat. This full-body exercise targets all muscle groups, including abs, chest, arms, quads, hamstrings, and calves. So be sure to include burpee - one of the best aerobic exercises - in your fat-burning workout at home.
Drop into a squat with your hands underneath your shoulders. Kick your feet behind you so your legs are fully extended and you're in a raised plank position. Jump your feet back towards your hands and then jump into the air with your arms above you.
Glutes, Hamstrings, & Quads
Jumping is one of the best aerobic exercises you can find. You can do several types of jumps such as star-jumps, where you jump your arms and legs out into a star shape, and tuck jumps, where you jump your knees up towards your chest. Land softly, with your knees slightly bent.
Triceps, Glutes, & Abs
Start in a plank position, with your arms under your shoulders, your legs extended and core braced. Bring one knee towards your chest, then return it and repeat on the other leg. Keep alternating. For a fat-burning workout at home, continue repeating these mountain climbers until you get tired.
Strength exercises for a full-body workout at home
Place your hands directly under your shoulders, with your arms straight and elbows soft. Extend your legs backwards so they're straight, push the ground away, brace your core, and ensure your back is flat and you're in a straight line. When completing ab workouts at home, hold this plank position for at least 40 seconds.
Triceps, Pecs, & Back
Use a stable chair and place your hands directly behind your bottom, shoulder-width apart, facing towards you. Slide forward just far enough that you clear the chair, then lower yourself until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees. Slowly push yourself back up to complete one tricep dip. Aim for three sets of 8-10 repetitions.
Quads, Hamstring, & Glutes
Squats mainly target your thighs and glutes. To complete one squat, position your feet a little more than hip-width apart and in a straight line with your toes slightly turned out. Lift your chest, look straight ahead and keep your back straight.
Then engage your core, inhale and push your bum back as though you're going to sit on a chair. Your weight should be on your heels and your back should be as straight as possible. Lower yourself down until you're about level with your knees then push back up.
Beginner workout at home without equipment
To create an at home workout that targets all muscle groups, start with three sets of 8-10 repetitions per exercise. If you're tight on time and feeling brave, you could turn your workout into a 'High-Intensity Interval Training' routine, involving working out at high intensity for about 20 minutes, in short bursts of 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
There are times when you will find it hard to motivate yourself, this is where fitness apps can be really handy. They enable you to set goals, track your progress and access lots of new exercises and video tutorials every week.
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