Stuck in a never-ending cycle of lockdowns? Feeling stuck because you're away from the gym? Don't worry about it: exercising at home carries plenty of benefits, and you're just as likely to stick to a home exercise regime as you are your gym schedule. Lockdown doesn't mean you have to lock away your fitness goals.
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This good news comes courtesy of a new study from the Journal of Physiotherapy. Researchers from Monash University (opens in new tab) in Australia sought to compare exercising at home versus exercising at the gym, to figure out which kind of exercise had better outcomes.
One group of participants received a gym-based exercise program for 12 months (gym group). The other group received a home-based exercise program for 12 months with telephone follow-up for the first 10 weeks (home group) BMI, general happiness, the Hospital and Anxiety and Depression Scale, and very easy fitness tests were all used to measure both groups at the end.
Surprisingly, it was found there was no significant difference between study groups across the 12-month intervention period. Adherence to exercise after the six-week programme finished were the same in both groups, meaning even with the gyms closed, it's easy to stay motivated and keep up your exercise regime.
The best home exercises are full of simple, full-body exercises like burpees. One of the best equipment-free metabolic exercises, burpees have been found to work your heart, respiratory system and elevate your metabolism much higher than cycling does.
It's an "anaerobic" exercise, which means it uses your body's oxygen faster than you can replace it. This encourages your body to burn more fat, making the burpee one of the best exercises you can do at home if you want to lose weight.
There is one slight drawback: the study found feelings of depression increased in home workout participants, possibly due to the isolation involved.
However, if you have no choice but to work out at home, there's plenty of ways to fend off the lockdown blues. One of the best ways to get started is to treat yourself to a self-pampering day.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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