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Q: What’s the simplest way to exercise at home for new fitness enthusiasts?

Even though gyms are opening again, many people are still exercising at home -- whether they’re playing it safe with COVID or because they’ve found it’s more convenient and affordable. But is it possible to get a good workout without leaving the house? Definitely!
Even if you don’t have a fancy home gym, you can get fit with basic equipment like dumbbells or exercise bands or simple bodyweight exercises. For an effective at-home workout, try to combine a cardiovascular or aerobic activity with a few strength or resistance exercises.

Cardio exercises could include jumping rope, climbing stairs or doing step-ups, jumping jacks, jogging in place, or burpees. For your strength workout, try pushups, wall pushups, crunches or sit-ups, lunges, squats, plank, or chair triceps dips.

Remember to warm up and cool down before and after your workout with some light cardio, such as walking around the block, or easy pedaling on a stationary bike. And do not forget to stretch -- build flexibility by doing some floor stretches or yoga poses before or after your workout.

One downside of exercising at home is that it can feel easier to slack off or skip a workout. Plan a workout schedule and put it on your calendar to keep yourself on track. Set goals for yourself, like increasing the number of pushups you can do, and track your progress in a journal. Try listening to music to boost your energy and motivation or invite a friend to join you to make exercise more fun. Finally, change up your routine to keep workouts exciting and improve your fitness. You can find new ideas for exercises to mix things up online, in fitness magazines, and in workout apps.

The bottom line is you do not need an expensive gym membership to get in shape. Instead, by planning the right mix of exercises and sticking to a schedule, you can have a great workout at home.