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At-home workouts to get you through the summer

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At-home workouts to get you through the summer

We don’t have to tell you: summer in New Orleans gets hot. With temperatures well into the 90s, coupled with almost as many thunderstorms as Florida, it can be downright impossible to get outside for some exercise. However, that doesn’t let us off the hook for our heart-healthy lifestyles. Luckily, we’ve got some at-home workouts for you to turn up the heat while keeping it cool this summer.

Physical activity recommendations

We recommend the same physical activity guidelines as the American Heart Association that include at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity, or a combination of the two per week. You should also incorporate weight-bearing exercise two days each week.

For a well-balanced exercise routine, try to include these five types of exercise: aerobic, balance, bone-strengthening, flexibility and muscle-strengthening.

Aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercise is anything that gets your heart rate up. This type of physical activity boosts heart and lung health and decreases your risk for heart disease. There is no one exercise that is best, but aerobic activity can include walking, running, cycling, dancing, and swimming.

Aerobic exercise at home can be easy if you have the right equipment, such as a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical machine. However, for those of us who have nothing but our tennis shoes, at-home workouts can sometimes feel a little tricky. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Do jumping jacks.
  • Jump rope. Don’t have one? Swing an imaginary jump rope and jump like you would if you were holding a real one.
  • Get in shape for Carnival season with these party-ready exercises.
  • Run or jog in place. Instead of lounging on the couch, try this while you’re watching TV.
  • Turn your living room into a dance floor. Crank up your favorite music and dance around.

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by a period of recovery. HIIT is great because it burns the most calories in less time.

Strength training

Strength training helps build muscles and improves bone density. Building muscle with at-home workouts can be easy thanks to bodyweight exercises and a little creativity.

Here are 10 of some of the best exercises to get in a full body workout that works each muscle group:

  1. Ab workouts. Work your core with crunches or sit ups.
  2. Bicep curls. Bend your elbow and bring your palm toward your shoulder. Lower back down.
  3. Calf raises. Stand flat on your feet. Raise up on your tiptoes and lower back down.
  4. Glute bridges. Lie with your back on the ground, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your pelvis up by pressing through your heels, then lower back down.
  5. Lunges. Start standing, then step forward or backward with one foot. Bend your knees until your top thigh is parallel to the floor, then stand back up.
  6. Planks. Hold your body in a straight line with just your feet and hands on the ground. If this is too difficult, put your knees down, too.
  7. Push-ups. If you can’t do a full push-up, rest your knees on the floor or do a push-up against a wall.
  8. Squats. Stand with your back straight and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  9. Superman. Lie down on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Lift both your arms and legs like you’re flying, then lower back down.
  10. Triceps dips. Place your palms on a chair behind your back and bend your knees like you’re sitting on air. Using your arms, lower your body to the ground then raise back up.

You can add in weight by picking up things you have lying around the house or filling up a gallon jug with water.

If you’re new to working out, talk to a primary care provider to find the right exercise for you. Learn more about Primary Care at University Medical Center New Orleans.