Doing a workout at home will help strengthen your heart.
Doing a workout at home will help strengthen your heart.

As a Personal Fitness Trainer, I have seen many people struggle with staying active during the pandemic. People are working from home more than ever and finding the motivation to get moving is difficult. While COVID-19 numbers are on the rise, our country’s epidemic of heart disease is also concerning. There are many ways to stay heart-healthy, but exercise is a major factor. I’m here to provide you with my favorite beginner at-home workout that will help you with your aerobic and strength training needs. 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. This may seem like a lot but when you break it down it’s simply 30 minutes of movement per day – this includes walking, biking, weight training, water aerobics, etc. You can break up these 30 minutes throughout the day or you can knock it out all at once. Find what works best with your schedule and block off that time like you would a meeting at work. If you complete the entire workout routine below, this will get you to your exercise goal for the day. 

Make sure to check with your physician before starting any new workout routine. The exercises below are meant to be taken at your own pace so take breaks when needed and have water nearby. These exercises are not about speed but instead slow and controlled movements with proper form. 

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds at your own pace with a 20-second break in between. Repeat this entire workout routine 3 times total.
If you need longer breaks please feel free to do so.

Sit & Stands – 30 seconds 

All you need is a stable chair for this exercise. Start seated and push up through your heels to get you to a standing position. Repeat this motion at your own pace for 30 seconds. To make this exercise more challenging, hold onto something heavy like a dumbbell or water jug. 

This squat variation is great for strengthening your legs, specifically your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. 

Knee Marches – 30 seconds 

Start standing with feet hip-width apart. You will alternate raising one knee at a time as you use your arms to help accelerate the movement. To make this exercise more challenging you can add light ankle weights for more resistance. 

Knee Marches are great for increasing heart rate and strengthening your quadriceps. 

Side Steps – 30 Seconds 

Start in a slight squat position and alternate stepping side to side. To make this exercise more challenging, add a light to medium strength resistance band right above your knee.

Side Steps help activate and strengthen your legs, glutes, and hip abductors. If you’re someone who sits for most of the day this is a great exercise for you!

Wall Push-Ups – 30 Seconds 

Start two steps away from the wall and then extend your arms out in front of you, about shoulder-width apart. Use your elbows to lower your chest towards the wall and then extend your elbows to bring yourself back to the first position. 

Push-ups are great for improving upper body strength, specifically your chest, shoulders, and core. More importantly, when done correctly and consistently, push-ups can help us with improving our posture.

Arm Circles  – 30 seconds

Start with your arms laterally raised to shoulder height. Start circling those arms forward for 15 seconds, and then roll the opposite way for an additional 15 seconds. 

Arm Circles are a great and easy way to work your shoulders, biceps, and triceps without any heavy resistance. 

 Superman – 30 Seconds 

Start lying down on your stomach with your hands above your head. As you lift your left arm off the ground you will lift your right leg simultaneously. Hold this position for 2 counts until you switch sides. Complete as many of these as possible during these 30 seconds. 

This exercise helps strengthen your lower back and promotes spinal stability. 

Cat and Camel – 30 Seconds 

Start on your hands and knees while placing your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly underneath your hips. Relax your head and let it hang down. Arch your upper back towards the ceiling until you feel a nice stretch and hold this position for 5 counts. As you breathe out, allow your back to sway as you press your stomach to the floor and let your head rise back up to a neutral position. Repeat this motion for 30 seconds. 

If you’re someone who suffers from back pain or someone who sits all day, this exercise is one you won’t want to forget! This incredible exercise helps with spinal mobility, which can help with back stiffness and flexibility without placing too much pressure on your neck. 

Bent Knee Leg Raise – 30 Seconds 

Start lying down on your back with hands at your side and knees bent. Lift your legs until your hips slightly come off the ground. Lower your bent legs back down again slowly and tap the ground with your feet. Repeat this motion. 

Strengthening your core will help you during everyday life activities by improving your balance and stability. 

If you are able, repeat all 8 exercises above for 2 more rounds. If you struggled with this workout routine, start with one round and slowly work your way up to eventually doing three total. 

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