Creating a Home Workout Plan that Works

woman doing pushups at home

We all know daily exercise is important and helpful for everyone. But, implementing a home workout plan that works for you is arguably harder than the actual workouts.

Explore this Guide:

 

Total wellness isn’t complete without regular exercise. But regular exercise can be really difficult to successfully integrate into our daily lives.

 

The number one thing you can take away from this article is to expand your idea of what a home workout plan includes and how you can incorporate physical activity into your day in creative new ways that really work.

 

Benefits of Daily Exercise

 

woman running outside

 

Exercise counts as anything that gets your body moving and your heart rate going.

 

Getting a daily dose of exercise is an important part of life. It has both physical, mental, emotional, and even social health benefits that you can’t put a price tag on.

 

Here are just a few of the many benefits you can enjoy when you start your home exercise program.

 

Mental Health

 

Exercise has been proven to decrease depression, anxiety, and stress and increase your good mood and happiness.

 

Exercise helps change, regulate, and maintain the parts of your brain that deal with stress. It also boosts your production of happy chemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine, and endorphins.

 

You also don’t have to do high intensity, high impact workouts to reap this benefit. Any amount of physical activity can help your body better regulate these important chemicals for a happier and more stress-free you.

 

Happiness is also the one exercise result you can start seeing right away with any amount and any type of exercise!

 

Maintain a Better Weight

 

Your body puts energy in when you eat and uses that energy throughout the day and during physical activities. If you put more into your body than you put out then you’ll gain excess weight or find it difficult to lose weight.

 

Other problems occur when you expel more energy than you put into your body. This puts a lot of stress on your body, makes it hard for your body to recover from working out, lowers your blood sugar levels, and can cause unhealthy weight loss.

 

Weight and health are all about finding balance.

 

Being physically active on a regular basis can help you hear your body better so you can more easily find this balance.

 

Physical Health

 

Exercise helps strengthen your bones and muscles.

 

As we age, it gets harder for our bodies to maintain muscles, which is what helps us function, move, and keeps us from getting injured easily.

 

That’s why it’s important to strengthen your bones and muscles now while that process is easier to do.

 

More Energy

 

All of the benefits we already mentioned will increase your energy levels. The same chemical reactions that happen when you exercise that help reduce stress and increase happiness can also make you feel full of energy.

 

Some studies show that exercise can help reduce tired symptoms for people with chronic illnesses.

 

Reduced Risk of Disease

 

Reduce your risk of disease and improve your health conditions by staying active. Being active can help improve a lot of bodily functions like your insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of heart disease, and decrease high blood pressure.

 

Healthier Skin

 

Exercise can give you healthier and stronger skin.

 

Oxidative stress can build up in your skin over time, but exercise helps your body make more natural antioxidants to combat this.

 

Better Sleep

 

Being physically active helps your body better perform the functions it needs to in order for you to get a good night’s rest.

 

It can help you both fall asleep faster and sleep better through the night.

 

Part of why this happens is because exercise helps your body better regulate its temperature, which is an important factor in both falling asleep and getting quality sleep.

 

Good for Brain Function

 

Exercise doesn’t just strengthen your bones and muscles. It can also help strengthen your brain!

 

Regular physical activity can increase overall brain function, protect your memory functioning, and strengthen thinking skills.

 

Higher heart rates from exercise can also lead to increased blood flow to the brain which helps your brain be healthier and perform better.

 

Increase Social Connection

 

Exercise can be good for you socially too!

 

Working out doesn’t have to be done alone. You can join a sports team, a hiking group, an exercise class, or get someone to be your running buddy.

 

Read more about how to make your own outdoor group in, “Make Your Own Adventure Club and Get Outside!

 

If you can’t work out with other people in person, you can still use an accountability partner to help keep you excited, motivated, and help give you new ideas about fun new ways to work out. Share your exercise program with a friend or create one together.

 

Cure Addictions

 

With the help of exercise, you can kick addictions easier. Exercise can help with virtually any kind of addiction too, like smoking, soda, or sugar.

 

Exercise helps to regulate and balance your body, making it a lot easier to abstain from unhealthy crutches.

 

 

yoga class

 

Every body is different and comes with different requirements. Always talk to your doctor about healthy exercise and diet habits to help make a home exercise program that is best for you.

 

In general, the average person needs about 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

 

It’s also suggested that about 75 minutes should go toward more strenuous physical exercise while the rest of your 150 minutes should go toward light and moderate-intensity activities.

 

Moderate Exercise Examples:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Playing sports
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Cleaning the house
  • Gardening
  • Cooking dinner
  • Doing the dishes
  • Yoga

 

Intense Exercise Examples:

  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Swimming laps
  • Intense sports
  • Intense hiking (particularly with hills)
  • Intense biking (particularly with hills)
  • High impact workout videos or classes

 

Here’s an example of what a week that meets basic exercise recommendations might look like:

 

Monday 30 minutes intense cardio exercise
Tuesday 30 minutes moderate flexibility exercise
Wednesday 30 minutes intense strength exercise
Thursday 30 minutes moderate cardio exercise
Friday 30 minutes light flexibility exercise
Saturday Rest day
Sunday Rest day

 

There are 3 general exercise categories the average person should focus on when planning out their week of physical activity: cardio, strength, and flexibility.

 

Cardio Exercise Examples:

  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Biking
  • Jump rope
  • Dancing

 

Strength Exercise Examples:

  • Weight lifting
  • Resistance bands
  • Bench presses
  • Chin ups
  • Push ups
  • Planks
  • Moving furniture
  • Climbing

 

Flexibility Exercise Examples:

  • Yoga
  • Water aerobics
  • Dancing
  • Palates
  • Stretching

 

How to Create a Home Workout Plan

 

personal fitness journal

 

In the end, every person needs their own system to make working out work for them.

 

Some people have early morning jobs meaning they can’t get out from behind the desk until after work is done.

 

Some people have jobs that are already very labor-intensive, meaning they probably get all the physical activity they need at work.

 

Other people take care of children or relatives at home and should remember that a lot of home activities like cleaning and playing with the kids count as moderate forms of exercise.

 

Whatever your life circumstances, remember that it’s ok to modify weekly workout recommendations into your own home exercise program.

 

Here are some daily exercise tips that can help you figure out the home exercise program and motivation practices that will work for you.

 

Step 1: Get What You Need

 

Many physical activities require some kind of equipment or material.

 

To hike you need the right kind of shoes, apparel, and backpacks so you don’t get calluses and so you can bring water and trail mix along with you.

 

To swim you need a swimsuit, a towel, and maybe some goggles or a swimming cap to protect your hair from too much chlorine exposure.

 

To run you need running shoes, running clothes that protect you from chaffing, and possibly earbuds and music to listen to while you run.

 

To work out at home you might want to get some weights, a yoga mat, or a treadmill.

 

If you need help buying the equipment you need to start working out more seriously, stop by your local Check City and take out one of our small, short-term loan options like personal loans or payday loans.

 

Step 2: Make Goals

 

Set SMART goals for your home exercise program. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

 

Read more about making SMART goals in, “4 SMART Goal Examples” and “How to Set Goals.”

 

Think about what you want exercise and physical activity to bring into your life and mark down any specific goals you might have like gaining or losing weight, having more energy, or getting better sleep.

 

Find a place to record your goals and your progress.

 

Step 3: Make Plans

 

Start your physical fitness plans by making lists of the different kinds of physical activities you enjoy.

 

You want a list of cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises. Even further, you want a list of light, moderate, and heavy exercises. Your list should include exercises that are exciting to you and that you can do.

 

Now that you have your activity ideas written down, you can more easily plan 3 days of light and moderate exercises and 2 days of heavier exercises.

 

It can help to designate a day each week to planning (like every Sunday or Monday). Sit down and plan out your healthy meals and physical activities for the week on that day.

 

Don’t forget to plan for rest, recovery, stretching, and regular work and household activities that count as exercise as well.

 

Easy Home Workouts

home workouts

 

Workouts are different when you are doing them at home vs the gym. There are more distractions at home and you don’t always have the space available for large equipment.

 

Luckily there are lots of home workouts you can do that don’t require any machines or equipment.

 

Arm Workouts at Home

 

It’s a good idea to target certain muscle groups during your workouts. You might switch between working different parts of the body depending on the day of the week, like making Mondays Arm Workout Day.

 

  • Tricep dips
  • Bicep curls
  • Reverse plank
  • Plank
  • Push ups

 

Chest Workout at Home

 

The chest and abs are the core of your body. Core workouts are important for maintaining healthy posture.

 

  • Push ups
  • Jumping jacks
  • Chest presses
  • Chest flies
  • Chest dips

 

Ab Workouts at Home

 

Having toned abs can actually help make other exercises easier. You use your core muscles for every other exercise as well.

 

  • Crunches
  • Planks
  • Twists

 

Back Workouts at Home

 

Don’t forget about your back muscles, they need attention too. Your back muscles will help with good posture and reduce back and neck pain.

 

  • Pull ups
  • Pull ups
  • Superman
  • Reverse crunches

 

Butt Workouts at Home

 

Your glutes are an important muscle for many physical activities, like running, swimming, or hiking.

 

  • Squats
  • Leg raises
  • Kicks
  • Lunges
  • Stairs

 

Leg Workouts at Home

 

When doing leg workouts be mindful not to hurt yourself or overwork certain muscles. This can result in painful problems like shin splints.

 

  • Leg raises
  • Jumping rope
  • Jumping jacks
  • Stairs
  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers

 

Cardio Workouts at Home

 

Cardio workouts are meant to burn calories quickly and really work up a sweat. Cardio exercises also bring up your heart rate and get blood pumping throughout your entire body.

 

  • Jumping jacks
  • Jumping rope
  • Frog jumps
  • Burpees
  • Running
  • Stairs
  • Mountain climbers
  • Squat jumps
  • Lunges

 

HIIT Workouts at Home

 

What is HIIT? HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training.

 

In a HIIT workout, you do high-intensity workout moves in intervals, often 30 to 60-second intervals. Then you repeat that workout circuit again.

 

You can think of HIIT workouts as workout sprints because they are faster workouts over a shorter period of time.

 

  1. Butt kicks (60 seconds)
  2. Reverse lunge (60 seconds)
  3. Squat jumps (60 seconds)
  4. Burpees (60 seconds)
  5. Plank (60 seconds)
  6. Repeat!

 

Home Workout Equipment

 

You don’t need any equipment to do lots of great at-home workouts. But having some equipment can really help.

 

  • Treadmill
  • Step machine
  • Bike machine
  • Set of weights
  • Yoga mat
  • Yoga blocks
  • Resistance bands
  • Pull up bar
  • Ab roller
  • Balance ball
  • Jump rope

 

Daily Exercise Tips

 

two women high fiving while doing yoga

 

The steps to creating a home workout plan are simple, but actually enacting those plans can be more difficult.

 

Hopefully, some of these new daily exercise tips can help you fix that problem and keep you excited about being more active.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Adjustments

 

Sometimes, after living with a set routine for a while, we realize that routine doesn’t work for us. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and changes to your exercise plans as you see fit.

 

If you are planning on changing your home workout plan, think about what is working for you right now and what isn’t.

 

Maybe you have been trying to gain weight but you have been doing too much cardio and not enough strength training.

 

Maybe you like the workouts you’ve been doing but your body has been getting really sore and you need to add more flexibility training and stretches to your home workout plan.

 

Or maybe you’ve been working out in the mornings, but it doesn’t leave you with enough time to get ready before work and you end up rushing and stressing out about it. In that case, you might need to consider changing the time you implement your exercise routine.

 

Needing to make adjustments to your home workout plan is not a failure but a normal part of finding your own balance.

 

Reward Yourself

 

The biggest motivating factor in any goal is repeating the benefits, results, and rewards.

 

But with physical health and fitness, those results can take a long time to see. This is all just part of healthy fitness practices that focus on long-term healthy habits rather than fast results that burn you out.

 

That doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to reward yourself sooner when you know you’re doing what you’re supposed to for a healthier long-term.

 

Take yourself on a wellness vacation, buy something new for your at-home gym, invest in a great blender to make tasty smoothie bowls, or go on a shopping trip after reaching one of your smaller goals.

 

Don’t forget to track the results you can see right now like better mood or sleep quality. These can help you see the results you need to stay motivated to keep going.

 

Shop for Exercise Accessories

 

Many people feel motivated by shopping. It’s a great way to get an immediate reward that is also useful and fun to use.

 

Workout accessories can add an element of fun and reward to your physical activity. It can also help facilitate your workouts!

 

Smart watches can help track your diet and physical activities each day.

 

A functional and comfortable workout wardrobe can give you great things to wear while you run, swim, hike, or bike.

 

Good shoes that are made for your foot type can help prevent injuries and give you more out of each workout.

 

At-home workout materials can help you take complete control of your workout habits and make getting a daily workout into each day much easier.

 

Use Free Exercise Videos

 

Stop spending so much money on what’s available for free.

 

FitOn and Fitness Blender are just a few of the many free workout videos you can find online.

 

Variety

 

Don’t do the same workout every day. Not only is this hard on your body and will overextend some muscles while ignoring others, but it’s boring.

 

You have to do different things otherwise you’ll get bored and stop working out all together. This is key to a successful home workout plan.

 

Make sure you are doing different kinds of physical activities like cardio, strength, and flexibility training.

 

Get Creative

 

Toss all your preconceived notions about what exercise is out the window. Exercise is anything that gets your body moving. It doesn’t have to be a run, a workout video, or a trip to the gym.

 

You don’t have to force yourself to do traditional workouts that you hate to get your recommended physical movement in for the day. Cleaning the house, gardening outside, mowing the lawn, or playing with the kids are all completely valid forms of exercise.

 

Go at Your Own Pace

 

Make being physically active a life-long habit by going at your own pace. Regular physical activity needs to be sustainable, otherwise, you’ll get burnt out and stop. It’s okay to make readjustments to your home workout plan.

 

During home workout plan readjustments you might want to make your workouts more challenging. Just make sure you’re ready for a more challenging workout first and make sure you don’t increase workout difficulties too quickly.

 

For example, start by going on light walks. After a few days start doing a light jog for part of that walk. Then do some running until you can easily run the whole route.

 

Go swimming and do as many laps as you feel comfortable doing. Record how many laps you can do or your lap times. Then make goals to slowly increase how many laps you can do or your best lap times.

 

Find hikes near you and put them in a list from easiest to hardest. Do a hike each week as you go from the easiest hikes to the hardest hikes.

 

Make a Sustainable Routine

 

Many people who create a home workout plan don’t think about whether it will be sustainable or not. Instead, they focus on the fast results they are impatient to get.

 

But creating an exercise routine that is sustainable is absolutely crucial to your success.

 

Daily physical activity needs to be a part of your lifestyle, not just a current means to an end. It can be exciting and easy to make big goals and big fitness plans to meet those goals, but if your plans aren’t sustainable as daily habits, you’ll burn out and lose the drive to exercise at all.

 

Spread Little Workouts Throughout the Day

 

Whoever said you have to do your recommended amount of daily exercise all at once? No one! So spread it out throughout the day instead.

 

Instead of working out for 30 minutes all at once, try doing 15 minutes of physical activity in the morning and 15 more in the afternoon. This could include a 15-minute walk and a 15-minute cleaning session to tidy up the house.

 

That’s all it takes to get your daily physical activity in for the day.

 

In Conclusion,

 

A successful exercise program is sustainable and consistent.

 

Our bodies need to move and work a little each day to stay healthy and strong. You probably get more exercise into your day than you even realize with regular daily tasks that also count as exercise.

 

Successfully create your own customized exercise program by following these steps and tips.



Sources


CDC.gov. “How much physical activity do adults need?”

MedlinePlus.gov. “Benefits of Exercise.”

MayoClinic.org. “Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity.”

Healthline. “The Top 10 Benefits of Regular Exercise.”

HopkinsMedicine.org. “Exercising for Better Sleep.”

University at Buffalo. “Study: Exercise helps treat addiction by altering brain’s dopamine system.”

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