A Week of Workouts (You Can Do Mostly At Home)
Do you want to workout but you don’t know what to do or your usual go-tos are getting stale?
Mix it up and try a week of different workouts!
We have ideas—some of which you’ve likely tried—and some perhaps not. Thankfully, even if you have tried a certain form of exercise there are ways to vary it and make it more interesting and challenging. Most of these can be done from home, or in the gym or at a class if you prefer.
Fitness goals differ for everyone. Maybe you’re looking to challenge yourself more, do something more low impact, do something more intense, stretch, tone up, or just move and try something new.
Since everyone’s body and level of fitness differs, start small and consult a health professional before attempting a new or more intense workout, especially one involving any weights and especially if you have any injuries or sensitive areas. No one workout is the best for every person, so hopefully you’ll be able to try a few things and see what works and is realistic and good for you and your body.
If you’re looking for some tunes to help accompany some of these workouts, check out our newer music Workout Playlist.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Why it’s good: HIIT, defined by Fitness Blender as "short, intense, unsustainable bursts of physical activity, paired with intervals of quick rests" is good because it’s about getting maximum results in minimal time, usually 30 minutes or less. You get your heart rate up quick and challenge yourself. Fitness Blender adds: "This type of intense training causes a sort of metabolic disturbance which can result in the body burning calories at a higher rate up to 48-72 hours later. HIIT can also increase metabolism, reduce insulin resistance, improve cardiac function, produce faster gains in endurance levels than steady state cardio training and can be an effective way to recruit/build type 2 fast twitch muscle." It’s an awesome and intense kick in the butt. Just watch your form. It’s more important to do exercises correctly, as opposed to quickly or too severely, so you can help avoid injury.
- Check out these videos of 10-, 20- and 30-minute HIIT routines for beginners. Trust us, even beginners HIIT can be challenging!
- Try these only 8 power moves you need for a good HIIT workout, a fitness expert told Shape.
Why it’s good: Through poses that often flow together and are connected to your breath, yoga is stretching, strengthening and toning but also usually low impact so it’s easier on your joints. It can be challenging but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually centering and can be modified for different levels of fitness or injuries.
Try it: Alloy’s list of five best online yoga workouts includes yoga for weight loss, energy detoxifying or a butt workout. Just choose your focus and get flowing.
Why it’s good: Active dance can be a great cardiovascular workout, the benefits of which include heart health, increased metabolism, hormones that boost mood, and more. And dance’s fun factor is high!
Try it: Equinox cardio dance expert Nicole Steen’s 30-minute cardio dance party can help you break a sweat, get that heart rate up, burn calories and shake your booty.
Why it’s good: Putting one foot in front of the other is natural, but due to the modern sedentary lifestyle of sitting in our cars or at a desk or on the couch, often we don’t get enough movement. In addition to weight management and helping our lymph system, which helps our body naturally detoxify, walking can also aid in preventing disease. “A study in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology showed that walking at a decent clip reduced participants’ risk of developing high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels as much as running,” Health Magazine reports.
- Health Magazine shares the best walking workouts according to fitness experts.
- Hit the treadmill at the gym for 20-30 minutes, walking or speed walking at your natural pace with an incline of 1.0-1.5.
- Walk whenever, wherever and however you can for as long as you can. Go on a walk during your lunch break. Even a few minutes of movement helps your body and mind.
Why it’s good: Weights and strength workouts aren’t for just guys. Strength training helps build muscle mass that helps with daily tasks and weight management, plus overall health like protecting bones and preventing disease.
Try it: Holly Perkins, founder of Women’s Strength Nation, offers these five essential strength training moves for women. This program uses weights, but be aware that even small dumbbells can cause injury if you’re not used to them, if they are too heavy for you or you’re doing a move that’s not familiar to you. Consult a pro and start small. No need to try and impress anyone, bro.
Why it's good: This fun but challenging fusion of Pilates (similar to yoga in its stretching and strengthening focus), is executed to pop music and in the style of dance choreography. Quick, focused movements raise your heart rate while strengthening and toning. You can feel the burn. Blogilates moves are mostly low impact, plus it’s fun!
Try it: Fitness blogger and body positivity fan Cassey Ho shares her Blogilates exercise videos online and 24-Hour Fitness gyms now offer Pop Pilates classes she developed. Catch a class or pick a few Blogilates videos that each target a different area of the body—abs, arms, back, butt, obliques, legs and thighs, total body. They vary in length, so do what works for you.
Rest and Recover
Why it’s good: Taking a rest day is good for your mind and body to recover, especially muscles that have been worked hard so that they have time to rebuild and get stronger.
Try it: Just because it’s a “rest day” doesn’t mean you need to sit around all day—movement is still good for us. Get some good sleep and nourishing food and unless your body really needs a break, try something low-key like a walk around town or in a park with a friend or some gentle stretches to get the blood flowing and help the muscles that have worked. NerdFitness has a bunch of ideas for what to do on an “off day.”
Jessica Hamlin is an LA-born and bred journalist and editor who started taking pictures of food back when everyone used film cameras. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s health coach training program, she’s passionate about wellness and enjoys making and discovering delicious and healthy food. Her work has appeared in Clean Plates, NPR affiliate KPCC, AOL, and Eater LA.