Home Gym – How to get fit at home (and the mistakes to avoid): A scientist’s guide
There’s no need to go the gym
Everyone can exercise at home. During the pandemic, life has been different and lots of people have started doing online workouts. Joe Wicks has been popular, for example. We’ve been exploring how well these apps and online programmes work.
Apps and online workouts can be helpful…
…but they’re even better if they’re supplemented with a personalised smart watch that guides you through the exercises and gives you feedback on how well you’re doing them. We have found that people with these watches exercised more and were less likely to give up than the people without them.
Think about exercise intensity
Our research made us realise that it’s vital to teach people how to exercise. Exercise intensity is important. Too intense and it will be unpleasant. Too weedy and you won’t feel the benefit.
We programmed a smart watch so it can guide people to exercise at the right intensity, but you can do the same thing by monitoring your breathing. If you’re doing light exercise such as walking, you should be able to sing. If you’re doing high-intensity interval training, you should be so breathless that you can’t speak.
Need to know…
- Exercise intensity is really important. Monitor your breathing to establish how hard you’re working.
- Getting a six pack is really hard (don’t believe social media posts). Instead, focus on eating well and doing cardio.
- Start with online apps and workouts – find one that you enjoy and aim to exercise twice a week.
There is no ‘best exercise’
There’s only what’s best for you. Short bursts of high-intensity exercise are great, but they aren’t for everyone. Similarly, not everyone has time for a lengthy walk. Think about how much time you have, how hard you want to work and the sorts of exercise you enjoy. As long as you hit these three things, it doesn’t matter what you do. A 20-minute high-intensity interval session can be just as good for you as a 30- to 50-minute walk.
You don’t need a lot of space
If you have a room that’s tall enough to stand in, and long enough to lie down in, then it’s big enough. Star jumps and sit-ups don’t take much room.
Aim for two sessions a week
Our research suggests that people who do two exercise sessions a week improve their fitness more than those who train once a week or not at all, and the improvement is pretty similar to people who train three times a week.
Home Gym – How to get fit at home (and the mistakes to avoid): A scientist’s guide]
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