6 Fun At-Home Workouts To Keep You Mentally and Physically Fit
No Gym, No Problem
Stay fit indoors and have fun while doing it! Working out at home doesn't have to be repetitive pushups and situps, try any (or all) of these creative at-home ways to stay active in style.
Are you staying home on a rainy day or a global virus crisis? Did your neighborhood gym shut down, favorite fitness class get canceled? Or maybe you’re simply striving to become a more active person and want to start with at-home workouts?
Whichever your situation, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep you fit and work up a sweat. From beginner level yoga, Japan’s favorite oldie but goodie radio taiso, to the more upbeat Zumba and intense bodyweight workouts, we’ve got an at-home workout for people of all ages and all fitness levels.
1. Radio Taiso
Radio taiso (ラジオ体操, rajio taisō), or radio calisthenics, have been a daily part of Japanese public radio and TV broadcasts for over 80 years. Still today, many Japanese workers start their day off by taking part in communal radio taiso and you can even spot some people doing them in parks during your morning walk! Because most radio taiso moves are really basic, they can easily be done by people of all ages and shapes and it retains its popularity—especially among elderly Japanese.
Radio taiso routines are made up of a disembodied voice chanting “one, two, three, four” and providing exercise instructions while upbeat piano music plays in the background. In the televised version, you can watch women dancers, both seated and standing to adjust to everybody’s situation, going through the exercise motions for you to mirror. We have to admit we love the nostalgic taste of it!
Watch an English version of radio taiso to help you get the hang of it.
Yoga as a spiritual practice originated in northern India over 5,000 years ago. As yoga reached Western countries in the 1980s, it transformed away from its meditative and spiritual core and was seen more as a form of exercise and a way to get your body moving—but a trendy one. Most modern-day yoga is an adaptation from hatha yoga which uses different asanas, postures, in a sequence to give you a full-body stretch and workout. Example postures include downward facing dog, bridge pose, tree pose, and mountain pose. You can see more postures here.
Yoga in Japan started to expand in the 2000s, and now, yoga studios can be found all across the country. We have a list of five yoga studios in Tokyo, which have yoga classes in both English and Japanese to check out when we can go outside again.
In the meantime, if doing yoga at home, there are innumerable resources online to help you find your favorite yoga routines. Try a quick sun salutation routine to get you started, or try a longer deep-stretch yoga routine to revitalize your whole body.
Pilates was first developed by Joseph Pilates, a German immigrant who moved to New York City with his wife—Clara—in 1926 where they opened a ‘body-conditioning’ gym. The pilates technique was first used to help dancers recover from injuries or improve their techniques through various well-controlled, mechanical body movements.
Modern-day pilates has the same underlying goals: to rebalance and re-educate the body in order to improve posture, health, and expand your body awareness. “A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence are worth hours of doing sloppy exercise or forced contortion” said Joseph Pilates.
Pilates routines often target specific muscle groups on your body, which makes it popular for people who want to tone or sculpt certain parts of the body over others.
Try this pilates for beginners routine to feel the burn in your legs, butt, and abs!
4. Bodyweight Workout
Bodyweight workouts are a great at-home way to work up a sweat. This type of workout is exactly like its name: you use only your own body weight as a form of resistance to work the muscles in your system. No gym machines or equipment required, just increase the reps or decrease the rest time between sets to get the workout you want.
Commonly known bodyweight workouts include the plank, wall sits, pushups, and squats. Unlike weight training at the gym, bodyweight workouts can help you get some cardio in too, all in the comfort of your living room! If you want to up the ante, grab two liters of water or a bag of rice to add to your body weight when doing these exercises.
Check out these 50 Bodyweight Exercises to add to your repertoire, but please be careful with the jumps if you have a wall in common with neighbors!
It’s time we switch to the funniest workouts of this list… Zumba is a versatile dance-fitness program that combines dance, music, and community to create a great cardio workout. It was first invented in Colombia by dancer and choreographer Alberto Perez who brought Latin dance music to supplement his aerobics classes. Zumba is now a trademark owned by Zumba Fitness, LLC, an entity that also provides Zumba licensed teacher training around the world.
Studies show that doing Zumba for an hour can burn up to 300-900 calories, which is great news considering Zumba is all about dancing and having fun! The dance moves are adapted from four types of Latin dance: salsa, reggaeton, merengue, and cumbia, but many popular pop songs have been adapted to a Zumba routine by talented teachers too!
6. K-Kardio Dance
Motivating yourself to do an at-home workout might be easier if you’re moving to the beat of your favorite K-Pop songs! K-Kardio is a term coined by Jessica Lim, who has her own website and YouTube channel. YouTube has a wealth of resources for Korean K-Pop music fans, who undoubtedly know all about the trendy dance moves associated with famous K-Pop boy band and girl band songs. Pick your song, learn the moves, and voilà, you have a —tremendously fun—workout!
Savvy Bonus: Hula-Hooping!
Does anyone remember when a hula-hoop craze swept across Japan and the rest of Asia? It’s time to dust off the old hula and get hooping! There are some great hula-hoop fitness workouts on the internet, so grab your hula and move that body!
Psst! Do you want more?
Try one of these incredible free resources to get more at-home workout ideas! YMCA is hosting free streaming workouts during Coronavirus quarantine, the renowned Nike Training Club app lets you download 15-, 30-, and 45-minute at-home workouts for free and Yoga International has free videos for everyone from yoga beginners to advanced yogis!
Have you tried one of these workouts and find a new love to include in your routine? Tell us in the comments!