Getting Your Heart Rate Up When You Can’t Get to the Gym
The U.S. government recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity. Aerobic activity makes a person’s heart beat faster and breathing rate increase compared to normal. In addition, adults should include at least two days a week of muscle-strengthening and flexibility activities. Muscle-strengthening activities make muscles do more work than they are accustomed to during activities of daily life. You want to try to work all the major muscle groups including the legs, hips, chest, back, abdomen, shoulders, and arms. Flexibility activities improve the ease and range of motion for a joint.
So what counts for each activity that I can do at home? Anything that gets you moving! It all adds up, so have fun. Start with just five minutes and go from there. Here is a breakdown of some movements you can try.
- Walking up and down stairs or around the house
- Jogging or running in place
- Dancing, skipping, jumping
- Online aerobic exercise class
- Stationary bicycle
- Yard work, such as raking
- Cleaning the house, such as sweeping
- Playing games that require catching, throwing, and kicking
- Gymnastics or tumbling
- Some video games that include continuous movement
- Jumping rope
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- Strengthening exercises using exercise bands or hand-held weights
- Body-weight exercises (push-ups, planks, sit-ups, squats, lunges)
- Digging, lifting, and carrying as part of gardening
- Some yoga postures
- Some forms of tai chi
- Games such as tug of war
- Tai Chi
- Simple stretching
Written by Natalie Jones, Family Health Extension Specialist. Reference material from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.