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Wellness: Three At-Home Workouts

Boost your physical and mental health with three convenient workouts that can be done from anywhere.

woman seated in a chair in a yoga pose

It’s pouring rain outside, my schedule is too busy and I don’t have a gym membership – are common scapegoats for our inability to fit in our daily dose of exercise. But have you considered an at-home workout? 

Research shows the dangers of remaining sedentary and many experts recommend at least 30 minutes of activity each day. Here’s how you can get movingwithout leaving your home or office – with little or no equipment. 

First, consult with your health care team before starting an exercise program.

All clear? Here’s what you need:

1. Ten minutes or more
2. One or more resistance bands
3. A chair 
4. A comfortable mat to lie down on
Chair Yoga
This form of yoga is a modified, more accessible version that can be done while seated in a chair. Involving deep breathing, mild stretches, twists, forward and backward bends, this category of exercise is an excellent low-intensity way to loosen muscles and relax, especially in the midst of a hectic day when you simply can’t leave your desk. A 2019 study in a nursing journal found that chair exercise improved mobility.

Chair yoga for stress relief was featured at a recent National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) virtual forum. Harvard Medical Publishing offers this video introduction to chair yoga. Many chair yoga poses, including the forward bend, can be adapted for those with limited mobility. Check out this wheelchair yoga class from Ben Clark.

Did you know you can do strength training using only your body weight? Calisthenics are old school and will get your heart pumping. Think push-ups, sit-ups, planks, jumping jacks and lunges among hundreds of others. You can adapt repetitions and intensity to suit your fitness level. The New York Times recently shared some superfast workout routines if speed is your goal.  

Resistance Band Workouts
Strength training is about resistance, but you don’t need heavy weights or complicated machines at the gym. Try what Harvard Health Publishing describes as a gigantic rubber band: resistance bands. These inexpensive bands, with varying resistance levels, can stand in for dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells.  

Whether standing or sitting, this inexpensive tool offers a myriad of strength exercises for the whole body to help build muscle and gain endurance. Ready to learn how?

Try this resistance band workout from Mayo Clinic.