We know that exercise is good for our body and mind, but occasionally we encounter obstacles that interfere with getting in a really good workout. One challenge may come from the lack of access to a nearby fitness center. Or another challenge may the lack of motivation to face the weather conditions outside (freezing cold, rain or suffocating heat). Whatever the perceived obstacle, you can still get in a very good, sweaty workout by using the space around you, which is your home.
Many times people use the excuse of not working out at home because they ‘lack the space’, yet in reality, they have a lot more space than they realize. You just have to get creative. Walking in place is great if you need to add a few extra steps to your fitness tracker, but let’s be honest, it’s boring. However, if you use the open spaces you have in the various rooms of your house, you actually have plenty of space to walk and do some exercises. (If you don’t, you may need to clean up a bit first.)
Home Interval Training Workout
What I’m referring to is creating a home interval training workout. A workout where you walk for a set period of time (1-3 minutes) and then incorporate short periods (30 seconds) of intense exercises. The walking portion of the workout is considered the low-intensity recovery (or steady state) period and the quick (short burst) exercises are considered the high-intensity portion. Not only with this interval workout give you variety in your routine, but it will boost your overall cardio/aerobic training.
According to American College of Sports Medicine and other research, interval training increases overall fitness and burns more calories over a short period of time than low-intensity, steady-state exercise such as walking. I can imagine for many of us that doing a shorter but higher intensity workout is critical for our very busy schedules.
Read below for a sample of my personal home interval training workout.
- Begin walking at my front door
- Walk towards and around the breakfast table
- Continue walking around the kitchen island
- Turn right and walk around the couch and in between the fireplace and coffee table
- Walk back to the kitchen and turn right down the hall towards the dining room
- Then walk around the dining room table counter-clockwise and back to front door
Walking ‘around’ this layout gives me about 98 steps each time. As such, I like to do this circuit for 5 times to get almost 500 steps and then I stop in front of the fireplace on the 6th circuit. At this stop, I do either jumping jacks, squats, pushups, planks or side punches for 30 seconds. Then I go back to walking the circuit again.
If you noticed, I have 5 interval exercises I do and since I do them on every 6th circuit, I am getting in nearly 3000 steps total for this workout. Plus the interval exercises are getting my heart rate up which is great for my aerobic activity level as well as a boost for burning calories. Finally, after the cool down phase which consists of slow walking, I like to stretch on the floor.
Please note: Since high-intensity exercises can create a physical risk, start with an exercise that is slightly higher than the normal intensity you are used to doing and gradually build up the intensity over time.
Want to learn more?
Here are a few resources about interval training that I think you’ll find interesting.
So, the next time you are challenged to get to a gym or outside to workout, create your own interval training workout at home. Develop a walking trail around your furniture and rooms with a station or two for a short burst of intense exercises, such as jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, stair climbs, etc. Be creative with your workout and mix it up with funky music and a few dance moves. Why not? No one’s watching anyway, right? Okay, maybe the cat. But who cares. This is YOUR time. Have fun!