Health

The Best At-Home Workout

mother and son doing yoga
If you think you need to join a gym that's packed with pricey equipment to be healthy, don't fret. It's possible — and even easy — to exercise at home effectively. Working out at home is cheap, convenient, and can give you the same benefits you'd receive working out at a gym that requires getting in your car and paying a membership.

For a home workout with no equipment, find yourself a spot with some room to move — a basement is often a good choice — and center yourself on a rug, yoga mat, or exercise mat. Begin by stretching for five minutes as a warm-up. You can improvise stretches that work for you or find stretching warm-ups online. Then, try the following routine for a balanced workout. 

Pushups

Include this classic move in your home workout plan – it's excellent for upper body and core strength. You know how it goes: Lie facing downward with your toes and hands on the ground. Keep your body in a flat plank and straighten out your elbows, raising yourself off the ground. As an adjustment, you can also place your knees on the floor. Do 10 reps, pause, and do ten more. Repeat for five total sets.

Stationary lunge

Your hamstrings and glute muscles will thank you for this no equipment workout exercise. Stand straight with your hands on your hips. Slowly lower your right leg so you're kneeling on it with the other leg bent. Your left foot should stay flat on the ground, and your right foot should be on your toes. Push back up to your standing position. Repeat 5 times, then switch legs. Do five sets.

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Glute bridge

This is one of the most effective exercises for a full body workout at home without equipment. Lay on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and hands at your sides. Tighten your abdominal muscles and glutes, and push your hips up off the floor several inches, so your body is planked from shoulder to knees. Pause in this position for five seconds, then lower yourself back down. Start with 10 reps; work up to 30. For an additional challenge, do some reps with one leg extended off the floor.

Runner's crunches

One of the most classic, simple exercises to do at home, crunches work your entire core. But good form is key here. Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head, with elbows wide apart. Bring yourself to a sitting position. While you're pulling your upper body up, raise one leg, so your knee is close to or touching the opposite elbow. Keep the other leg extended straight out. Slowly lower your leg and upper body at the same time. Repeat on the other side. Do 10 reps. 

Bird dog

Another easy exercise to do at home is the bird dog. It works both the upper and lower body. Lower yourself on all fours with your hands placed on your mat directly below your shoulders and knees, under your hips. Keep your neck and head aligned with your core. Extend your left leg and right arm out simultaneously, stretching as far as you can. Pause for five seconds. Return to your starting position. Repeat with right leg and left arm. Do 5-10 reps.

Curl to press

Although this is a no-equipment workout plan, you'll get the most benefit out of this exercise if you hold a canned good in each hand while doing it. Start with your arms at your sides, holding the cans. Bending at the elbow, bring your hands to chest height in front of you. Pause. Then lift your hands over your head, arms by your ears. Reverse the process and bring your arms back to your side. Repeat 10 to 30 times, depending on your fitness level.

Standing triceps extension

While you've got your can of chickpeas out, try this easy exercise at home. Grab one of the cans and hold it with both hands. Lift your hands over your head, holding the can, and slowly bring your arms down behind your head until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your wrists straight and your elbows tight against your head. Pause, then slowly unbend your elbows until the can is over your head and your arms are straight. Do 10-30 reps, depending on your fitness level.

Resistance side plank

Here's another easy at-home workout exercise. Lie on your left side, with the side of your left foot and your left arm, from elbow to hand, resting on the ground. Hold a can in your other hand. In a controlled manner, raise the arm holding the can until it's straight above your head. Pause, then lower it to the ground. Repeat 10-30 times, then switch and try the same thing on the other side. 

Cooldown

At the end of your easy at-home workouts, take a few moments to cool down. This lowers your chance of injury and allows you to bring your heart rate and breathing back to at-rest levels. Do this with a short yoga workout, stretches, or by lying flat on your back on your rug or mat, allowing yourself to focus on each body part and relaxing. Start with your toes and work up to your head. 

Enjoy the way your body feels after moving it, and remember, a good workout doesn't have to be complicated to be effective. Exercise can help you lose weight, which is one of the healthy habits that can help you secure a $1 million life insurance policy. Although Ethos doesn't require a medical exam, adopting an exercise routine can improve your health, which could result in lower premiums on a life insurance application. Check out the policies that Ethos offers here.

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